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First they came for the underage, incestuous shapeshifters.

March 6, 2012 \pm\31 1:57 pm

Well, the writers of such FICTION.   Because we all know that if we read something like that, we’ll run out and rape a werewolf or something. Just like bestselllers might lead us to murder!

Many of these writers publish through various Indie Ebook sellers such as Smashwords, Bookstrand, and All Romance Ebooks (that goes to the page where one should be able to find the anthology my first published piece of erotica is in, but alas, you have to sign in to erotica). These publishers have been pressured by Paypal (and don’t forget credit card companies) to remove certain erotic works or lose their account. What amounts to economic censorship. Those of us who write and publish (or hope to) should not put up with attempts to tell writers what they cannot write, by telling them they cannot sell it to readers who want to read their works.

Smashwords caved to Paypal (full letter to “Smashwords Authors, Publishers and Literary Agents” here).

Today we are modifying our Terms of Service to clarify our policies regarding erotic fiction that contains bestiality, rape and incest.  If you write in any of these categories, please carefully read the instructions below and remove such content from Smashwords.  If you don’t write in these categories, you can disregard this message.

PayPal is requiring Smashwords to immediately begin removing the above-mentioned categories of books.  Please review your title(s) and proactively remove and archive such works if you are affected.  

I apologize for the short notice, and I’m especially sorry for any financial or emotional hardship this may cause the authors and publishers affected by this change.

No matter what your opinion on “icky” writing might be, and I know mine is convoluted and confused due to my history, it’s hard not to worry about where this latest round of censorship might lead, if folks don’t speak up. I have no doubt that the current contraception wars and slut-shaming are somehow related. Many of these “banned” works are written by women for women. And it’s pretty obvious that women’s sexuality is scaring the shit out of folks.

Yeah, AWP has been going on, but I haven’t found mention of this on any of the “lit” blogs. All I know is that there is quite a bit of incest, underage sex, rape, bestiality and what have you in “literature,” whether fiction or not. Memoir anyone? It’s a slippery slope.

The erotica & erotic romance community is understandably up-in-arms. They’re banding together – and have a formed The Banned Writers, ” coalition of writers, readers, publishers, and editors who have come together to fight against the economic censorship of erotic fiction by non-governmental organizations and entities who believe they have the power and the right to determine what adult men and women should be allowed to read.”

Violet Blue’s post (my husband, a trade magazine editor sent me this, though I’d already seen it)

Here’s a list of blog posts on the Paypal debacle.

And here’s another list.

I’ll probably have more to say on this, though I’ll probably post that rant at my own long-neglected blog. Back to my packing. We want to move.

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2 Comments
  1. March 6, 2012 \pm\31 7:44 pm 7:44 pm

    Actually it’s not just censorship, it’s extortion. Do as we say or we’ll do this.

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  1. Robin Elizabeth Samson: First they came for the underage, incestuous shapeshifters. | Banned Writers

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