It's not often that I speak out about things that may be considered controversial. As a writer, I would rather keep my audience entertained than annoy them. Not everyone shares opinions on everything, and I will respect anyone with an opposing opinion as long as they respect me.
That said, I saw posts on Facebook referring to a book that I had seen posted all over the place. "Her Master's Courtesan" is dark erotica. Dark erotica isn't really my thing, but who am I to judge anyone who reads it?
So, yesterday I read that Amazon have taken it down. They take down books all the time, I had all that trouble with the cover for The Sultan's Bride, but I knew going in that it may cause me issues and I was prepared. This was different.
At the time it was taken down it was sitting at #246 in the entire Kindle Store and had 82 five star reviews. It was selling and had an audience that loved it.
Lily just posted that Amazon had a problem with the content and the cover. The real problem here is that Amazon have practically non existent guidelines, so it is impossible to know what they will take offence to. Their guidelines amount to "You should know what we take offence to."
But no-one knows, and it changes on a regular basis. What one person finds offensive, the next takes joy in. So, how does that work? It doesn't. The issue for Amazon is that they sell so much erotica that bringing in real guidelines hurts them as much as it hurts the authors.
I am not a fan of censorship. Once it begins, it's hard to know where it's going to stop. At the moment on Amazon, it's an arbitrary decision made by people who have no guidelines to work with either.
This makes me mad, and I don't even know how to express it. So, I'll leave you with a couple of links.
Her Master's Courtesan is still up at B&N (and in the top 100 over there) http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/her-masters-courtesan-lily-white/1118716881?ean=2940148139157
Here's the petition for Amazon to put Her Master's Courtesan back up. Check out the cover for yourself and decide if there's anything offensive about it.
Ariadne Wayne is the pen name of an overworked, often exhausted mother of two who frequently turns to the internet for relaxation. It doesn't always work...