So, with all of the hullabaloo the last day or so about KOBO taking down all indie authors, and Amazon threatening to remove erotica from their shelves, I feel the need to look at it with a "glass half-full" mentality, because to do otherwise would make me crazy. And I'm all about self-preservation...
First of all, it's not an attack on erotica, it's an attack on illegal pornography: situations involving rape, incest, and other unmentionable acts. It all started with this and this. I wouldn't want my kids seeing that stuff while they're looking for books, either. I can understand the issue. However, it isn't the author's issue, unless they didn't do what they were supposed to do (check the box for +18 content when they published). And Amazon actually states in it's rules for publishing that material isn't acceptable anyway, so those authors are in breach of contract for publishing it in the first place.
KOBO, to my understanding, has taken off all Indie authors, and will put back up the ones they deem worthy. Now, I'm not going to address that right now, because I can't. It will make me crazy. So, back to the self-preservation thing. I believe that my books in no way fall into the "Taking my Drunk Daughter" category, so I'm not going to worry about it, yet.
Amazon, to my understanding, has utilized some sort of computer-generated filter to go through all of its titles, to weed out the ones who fall into a certain category (i.e. Taking my Drunk Daughter).
I believe what they are trying to do, while a bit overzealous (i.e. Salem Witch Trials), is noble. I myself have been shocked (not too easy) by some of what I've seen for sale on some of the book sites. Stuff that I've seen on some porn sites (yeah, I said it). Stuff that I could write if I wanted some sleaze ball masturbating all over their kindle/computer/whatever. Some of that stuff should probably go. What I mean by that is incest, rape, and certain beastiality. However, when we leave it up to a computer to decide, we lose shape-shifter books, don't we? And those have a ginormous following.
What do I see coming from this? I see something HUGE in the indie world. I see something along the lines of Uncovered Books, independent publishing platforms that actually cater to the authors and readers, and not corporate pocket books. I see Smashwords taking the lead in the book market, and instead of making money distributing books, it actually makes money selling them. I see a revolution from the Indie Authors, and the readers who support them. I know I'm not alone in reading solely indie authors. There are thousands, if not millions of people out there who read ONLY indie stuff.
Since it's inception, this has been an unregulated market. And as much as I love the concept of free-speech, people have taken advantage of it. And that sucks. I see some regulation in the future, but I can only hope that I will not be affected. I hope that the regulation will protect my children from being exposed to harmful things before their time. I hope that it will see porn go to xnxx.com, where it belongs, and not Amazon, next to Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. I hope that after this initial flogging of everyone with certain word combinations, or certain book covers that show flashes of skin, or even BDSM is over that we can all enjoy what we love most about indie authors.
So hold onto your hats. It's not the end. It's the beginning.