We regret to inform you that Pegasus Pulp e-books are not currently available at W.H. Smith in the UK and Whitcoulls in New Zealand and that worldwide availability at Kobo may be limited.
Warning: Swearing, righteous indignation and links with potentially offensive content below the cut!
This is due to a crusade against some of the more fringe erotica titles (mostly pseudo-incest a.k.a. sex between step-parents and adult step-children) a.k.a. “depraved filth” (their words, not mine) by some moralistic busybodies in the UK, which caused W.H. Smith and Whitcoulls to take down their respective e-book stores to pull all self-published e-books, whether erotica or not, taboo or not. Meanwhile, Kobo is scrambling to purge their catalogue of supposedly objectionable titles, which significantly affects the availability of all self-published e-books at Kobo. So far Amazon is only blocking erotica, including erotica that does not fall into any of the categories deemed problematic, so Pegasus Pulp titles should be unaffected.
Shit like this is the reason why I speak out against corporate censorship of erotica, even though I don’t write erotica and personally don’t find incest, whether biological or pseudo, even remotely appealing. Because from banning erotica it’s just a small step to banning any content someone somewhere finds offensive and from there it’s just a small step to banning all indie books.
And you know what? I’m fucking furious. I’m fucking furious that my books are unavailable to many readers because of a moral outrage about a genre I don’t write in a country where I don’t live with an attitude towards pornography I don’t understand (I always thought the UK was a sexually liberal country). I’m angry on behalf of my erotica writing online pals, who are not “depraved and sick individuals”, but regular folks, usually women, some of whom have had their entire catalogue of books preemptively blocked by Amazon and removed from sale altogether by Kobo and W.H. Smith and all for the crime of catering to fantasies for which there is obviously a lucrative market. And for the record, from what I’ve heard from erotica writers, incest and pseudo-incest are among the most popular niches, so there’s a lot of “depraved individuals” out there. And for the record, by the looks of them the objectionable e-books were poor quality content thrown up in masses by “get rich quick” scammers. Erotica authors are generally very aware of what lines shouldn’t be crossed so not to bring down the ban hammer.
I’m angry at W.H. Smith, a company which got a lot of my money over the years (I just dropped approx. sixty pounds at Smith‘s during my most recent visit to the UK) and whose e-book store I always supported by linking to it from my product pages, for caving in to a campaign of manufactured outrage, even though W.H. Smith has no problem carrying erotica as well as graphic child abuse memoirs in its high street stores. I’m angry at Kobo, a company which is my second best market after Amazon and whose e-reader I chose over Amazon’s Kindle, for limiting up the availability of e-books to readers worldwide because of an uproar in one country (and isn’t it interesting that even though Kobo sells e-books in muslim majority countries, unlike Amazon, the outrage about all the evil porn came from the UK and not from e.g. the UAE), though to be fair Kobo at least wrote a mail to all uploaders to apologise for the problems.
But most of all, I’m furious at The Daily Mail, a sensationalist rag so depraved (Hey, if they can use “depraved” with a straight face, then so can I) that I’ve heard it referred to as “The Daily Hate-Mail” by Brits, The Kernel, a no name tech blog mainly known for not paying its writers and having an editor-in-chief who changes his name more often than his underwear, and Jeremy Duns, a writer of spy novels which had some Amazon reviewers complaining about the evil depravity of his protagonist.
You just ruined the livelihood of a whole lot of people. Hope you’re proud of yourselves.