Well, actually, I guess they didn’t. Or they thought no, it couldn’t happen to us. Gee, guys. The sex industry, including the porno industry rakes in billions of dollars a year and you didn’t think they would LEAP at the opportunity to start flooding the ebook market with graphic porno books? No distribution costs to them, no overhead costs, no writing ability either, but hey, no different from the content of the paperbacks they used to sell in plain brown wrappers, just way cheaper to produce with way bigger returns.
The big firestorm this past weekend was WH Smith (headquartered in England) and Kobo and Amazon arbitrarily pulling down any ebooks that had the vaguest suggestion of illegal content. Apparently young readers searching innocently for books and using key words like “Daddy” were directed to titles like “Daddy Does his Daughter” and “Daddy F**ks Goats”. Hmmm. In response to outraged parents and readers complaining, Smith and Kobo pulled down ALL Indie and self pubbed books in order to avoid the very real possibility of being charged with selling/distributing illegal kiddie porn etc. I can imagine half of Britain fainting at the thought.
Amazon’s reaction has been a little less knee-jerky, but a lot of authors woke on Sunday and Monday to find their books pulled merely for having the wrong key words in their meta data. Erotica was the hardest hit, and most of those authors are understandably upset, since no one pulled 50 Shades of Gray in the purge. Or any of VC Andrews’ books, which are filled with generations of incest.
Authors, being a sensitive bunch, are in a panic and emails are flying around: Have your books been pulled? Have yours? Have yours? The sky is falling folks, but it was only a matter of time until it did. As previously mentioned, what wide-eyed, greedy-minded porn distributor could pass up such an open avenue to profit? It is the same avenue to profit that all self-pubbed authors have taken, myself included, and I’m sure, when the dust settles and reason prevails again, an intelligent vetting process will be put into place and most of the indie authors who had their works summarily pulled will be reinstated.
Meanwhile, the panic spreads.
I’m betting the print publishers are getting their first real chuckle over ebooks in a long time.