If you’re not familar with this story…it began with Amazon removing books which go against their policies and procedures. I am in complete agreement with their actions because of the content of the books in question (rape, incest, beastiality etc.) Putting hardcore erotica titles alongside childrens books is unacceptable and of course action should be taken to remove them.
Then WH Smith followed by shutting down their website.
The books in “question” were distributed by Draft2Digital (almost 8,000 books) and my debut romantic thriller, REFLECTION, was one of the books distributed via D2D along with many other of my publisher’s (MuseItUp Publishing) titles.
REFLECTION has won numerous awards. UP Authors Fiction Challenge Winner (2013), Silicon Valley’s Romance Writers of America (RWA) “Gotcha!” Romantic Suspense Winner (2004) and an Honourable Mention in Calgary’s (RWA) The Writer’s Voice Contest (2006).
“To our Kobo Writing Life and self-publishing partners:
As you may be aware, there has been a significant amount of negative media attention in the UK regarding offensive material that became available across a number of eBook platforms. Kobo was included in the reports from media and we are taking immediate action to resolve an issue that is the direct result of a select few authors and publishers violating Kobo’s content policies.
In order to address the situation Kobo is taking the following steps:
1. We are removing titles in question from the Kobo platform.
2. We are quarantining and reviewing titles to ensure that compliance to our policies is met by all authors and publishers. We will ensure that content meeting the policy is made available online as soon as possible.
3. We are reviewing our policies and procedures to implement safeguards that will ensure this situation does not happen in the future.
We are working hard to get back to business as usual, as quickly as possible. We appreciate your patience and understanding in this matter.
Our goal at Kobo is not to censor material; we support freedom of expression. Further, we want to protect the reputation of self-publishing as a whole. You have our promise that we will do all we can to ensure the exceptions that have caused this current situation will not have a lasting effect on what is an exciting new channel that connects Readers to a wealth of books.
After reading the the message from Kobo…REFLECTION does not contain anything that would warrant removal instead it was pulled because my publisher chose to use D2D.
In the end, isn’t this censoring to begin with? Selecting a “group” is not cool and what about all the other books on Kobo’s site? Shouldn’t they be removed and quarantined to ensure they are in compliance with the same policies? Do they really believe there aren’t books on their site now that go against their content policies?
Of course it’s not the end of the world but it sure as heck has caused a lot of problems especially with Christmas just around the corner. I put a lot of effort and time into promoting my books. I believe WS Smith and Kobo went into panic mode and unfortunately my book along with so many others were convicted and removed without a trial.
I look forward to a phone call from Kobo today and hopefully a quick resolution to the problem.
UPDATE: After numerous posts to Kobo, I’m happy to see they responded and put REFLECTION back up on their site for sale! Thank you, Kobo.