The panty police have struck again! This time it is Jolly ol' England whose collective knickers are in a twist. Apparently, MH Smith, an eBook retailer who relies primarily on Kobo for their eBook content, was publicly embarrassed by some rag of a British tabloid, when it was pointed out that they had some racy titles in their catalogue. Sadly, they reacted like a 3 year old with her hand caught in the cookie jar. As a result, some titles of my more kinky work will no longer be found at Kobo, at least for the time being. I am shamed by any book sellar that censurs for ANY reason, but respect their rights to be idiots. I've been informed that most of my titles will be functional at Kobo once more soon, but how many sales will this little tantrum by the third rate hack cost me and so many other authors? When will people learn that no one is forcing people to purchase the kinky work of so many? Is it possible to counter sue for stupidity? I'm very much disturbed by this, despite ever growning sales.
The entire month of July, you can find many of my works along with thousands of other authors at the annual Smashwords Summer/Winter Promotion at drastically reduced prices. Many of my older backlist works are free! Come and check it out at www.smashwords.co
My latest anthology, "The Complete Nicole Draylock Collection 2011-2012", is currently sitting at #2 in Erotica at Smashwords.com. I have frequently bumped into the top 10, sometimes having three or more works in the top 50 at one time, but this is as close as I've been yet to #1! Given the nature of my work, which I'll admit is far too extreme for your average soccer mom, I'm very proud to have come this far. For all those that read my work, thank you very much for your continued support!
Update: As of June 30th, this anthology is #1 in erotica and #10 bestseller overall at Smashwords. I am truly honored!
Those that know me know that I detest censorship of any kind, but something has occurred which I think many of my readers might do well to consider. If you read my work, there is a fairly good chance that you are open minded to the point that many people would find you quite perverted.
Personally I just consider a rich fantasy life essential to health, but some people can’t quite crawl out from the rock they hid under to survive the dark ages far enough appreciate fantasy, much less good sex.
The good people at Amazon seem to be among
this group, something most of you that read anything more edgy than Danielle Steele probably already know. This company has the right to ban Winnie The Pooh on their sight if they want, but when they do, they are stating that every single person who has or will been a costumer of theirs is too stupid to make their own decisions about what they
want to read, buy, etc. Now I’m a Nook user, and personally feel that Amazon and Wal-Mart are the too greatest evils this country has produced, but that is for a wholly different reason, and will try to constrain myself to the issue at hand. Recently I
posted a story, a VERY short story, which features what appears to be non-consensual sex as a theme. If you actually take the time to read to the end, you discoverer that it is indeed not so at all; despite this, the lovely reviewer at Amazon, sent me a note explaining that my story was not “within the
terms of our TOS” and was blocked. Now I know that many of my stories, and my best ones at that, are not going to be accepted by the dried up prunes that work at Amazon, so I don’t even send them.
As a result, of the thousands of books I sell, not even a tithing is sold on Amazon. That they don’t approve of my work makes me smile actually, as I can count on the stories they are so judgmental about to sell far better; but what offends me is that in essence they are deciding that you, dear reader, are too ignorant to make your own decisions about what you read or don’t read.
I have been looking at the various reviews I get on my works, and wanted to share some insights. When I first began publishing my work, I was crushed by anything less than 4 star reviews, but over time, I've come to appreciate them. Once in a great while, the lower ratings actually give me some usable feedback. Granted, many 1 star ratings are just hilarious. An example is the lady who claimed to be into k9 for several years who claimed one of my stories was "anatomically incorrect". I have to say I laughed for quite some time at this one, considering I am quite certain of such things :).
At anyrate, I've noticed that often my best selling titles get a low rating on one site, and on another they will have several 4 or 5 star ratings. What is really nice is that I often sell more books on the site where that title has a low rating.
Its taken some time to accept that not everyone appreciates my work, just like any other author, but those that enjoy what I right are a loyal bunch, and I am eternally grateful for their support. If you are reading this, you are most likely a fan of what I write, and if you have suggestions, or ideas, never hesitate to contact me at my email address. I will always answer you, and will always consider my readers opinions.
I love to hear from readers. I appreciate the feedback I get from those that enjoy my work, and with that in mind, I've decided to have a little contest. I would love to hear from my loyal readers what they would like to read about. Use my contact form to submit your suggestions. The story proposal that intrigues, inspires, or titillates me the most will get to see their idea turned into a short story. The winner gets a free copy of the finished story.
Rules for Submitting a Proposal:
You must be at least 18 years of age
Your submission needs to be a general idea for the story: Don't flesh out the details, that is my job :)
Stories written based on ideas from your submissions become my sole property upon publication. You will get a free copy, but hold no other writes to the story.
By submitting a proposal you are agreeing to the above terms.
3/1/13 We have a Winner! Two of them in fact. I couldn't decide between two of my favorite suggestions, so I merged them into a single story which will be released at Smashwords and B&N within the next few days, and the other major retailers shortly after. Our winners will be recieving personal emails with coupons to collect their free copies of the story that was the result of their ideas soon!
All the recent concern over censorship are rooted in the need of some people to assail our very imaginations. All this misguided effort is the direct result of social pressure gone wrong. It is not only the prerogative but the responcibility of artists of all types to question the social norms of society. This is not to say that society doesn't need norms for the safety of the populace, but as society develops, the customs and mores of the past need to be examined with new eyes to discover if they still hold merit in the world of the day. Fundamentalists will always fear change, for they are unable to adapt in an ever changing world. Were it not for the questions posed by the thinker's of the day concepts like freedom, abolition, and women's rights would never have been taken up by the masses and the evil's of the past would still plague the society of today without opposition.
According to Mark Coker's latest update (dated Mar 12 2012) a meeting with paypal has resulted in Smashwords green lighting a return to their pre Feb 24th TOS. This is good news for everyone. Let us hope that it is the last word in this fiasco. I know it will come as a welcome relief to many, and hopefully will be remembered as a V
Visa answered an inquiry yesterday, forwarded by Ms. Madeleine Morris from BannedWriters.com concerning the accusation by paypal that their new policy concerning erotica was a result of trying to accomodate the requirements of the credit card companies. According to Visa, they have no such policy, and whether they approve of material or not is not the business they are in. They stress in the letter that they are in no way part of the reason that paypal started strong-arming publishing companies concerning their legal content. While I confess I often write about subjects that while my fevered brain can contemplate, I would never consider actually doing, it is exactly this ability to use literature to explore beyond the borders that makes it so very important. Some will argue that such work only benefits the depraved, but generally speaking those people are the ones whose moral footing is weakest. Unable to look beyond their own impulses at the issues of right and wrong they cling to outdated mores without understanding their true meaning.
Visit Ms. Morris's blog for the complete text of the letter from Visa at: http://www.bannedwriters.com/2012/03/10/visa-writes-us-back-this-is-not-our-doing-paypal-censorship-erotica/
Today, Anuj Nayar, Director of Communications, for Paypal blogged in some very sugary words about how the acceptable use policy that has brought on an outcry of censorship was only good business for them, and that they had no intention of censorship but rather suggested that they were preventing their service from being used to purchase items that "might" not be legal. They suggested that works containing the banned subject matter "often includes images" and "sometimes intentionally blurs the line between fiction and non-fiction". I have read a great deal of fiction over the years that is now banned by this decision and I don't recall either of those too assertions being held up by the works I have seen. I believe this is an attempt to quiet the furor of the mainstream without actually capitulating to the admission that they are censoring legal content. Mark Coker at Smashwords is IMO doing a good job of working for the benefit of his authors and publishers, but one man or one company alone will not bring Paypal out of their medieval stance. If they fear images (which could be illegal) or works that are not fiction (not sure how that works) then by all means require that all books containing illegal images remove said images, and require fiction author's to clearly state that their work is a work of fiction. These are two things that publisher's could do quite simply I believe, and thus we could all return to business as usual.