Thursday, May 7, 2015

The Morality Police

A little over a year ago, I was the victim of an Amazon crusade.  Two of my titles were pulled for going into a gray area as far as consent -- at least, that's what I assume because the mighty Amazon is great for giving ambiguous answers and not consistently following their own rules.

And to make things better, it was two out of a four book series.  I ultimately pulled the other two as well, because who wants books two and four if you can't buy one and three on the site?  Of course, these books are still available at all the other major retailers out there, but Amazon is easily 75% of my income and not having these books available at the behemoth stinks.

Victoria Vallo had her Captured by Space Pirates 4-book series yanked at about the same time and it was a serious blow for her as well.

I heard of several other authors being targeted and having books pulled during that time period -- it seems that Amazon was bowing to pressure from certain conservative groups about the books they offered for sale on their website.

After a few months, things calmed down, for the most part.

They may have calmed, but it left me scarred.  I changed the way I wrote, fearful of what might get yanked next.  I stopped pushing the dubious consent line, even though the gray area there tantalizes me.

And my sales plummeted.  I stopped writing what I absolutely loved in fear.

Fear of losing my ability to pay the rent made me cowtow to Amazon's very ambiguous policies -- and even that's a joke because they really don't have clear policies.

It's like having an alcoholic father and publishing something with the hope its a good day.  Suddenly, it's no longer a good day and daddy beats your ass into the ground in a drunken rage.

The reason I bring this up is author Keegan Kennedy had TWENTY of his titles yanked from Amazon on Tuesday.  Now, most of these books had been for sale for months, some years, yet Amazon suddenly decided they were now breaking a general content policy.

I feel terrible for him.  I couldn't imagine having twenty of my titles go poof overnight.

So check out Keegan on Amazon (or rather -- what's left) and you can also find his other titles on Barnes and Noble and iTunes

Don't let fear tactics and censorship stop authors from writing the amazing works they do.

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