Sometimes, it’s hard to know where to start when speaking about censorship. There’s a lot of it around. Apple iBooks make me the angriest. They blocked, as in banned, one of our books because “transgender” was a keyword. The result? We at Go Deeper rarely submit books to them any more. Of course, tons of authors/publishers experience such bans from places like iBooks and Kobo. (Hat tip to Giselle Renarde.) Then there’s KDP, of course. They censor Go Deeper and trillions of other indies all over the place. Put “incest” in your blurb and watch them snub you for including valid and important information. Take it out, and they reward you.
They also recently censored Anais Nin’s Auletris, written long ago but only published now, because of a pair of naked breasts on the cover. Readers! Apparently, nipples are dangerous. (Maybe Amazon thinks we should all be smooth-breasted. Actually, just look at the boobs they censored on the cover of Johnny the Brave on the right — she might even be a flamin’ statue, folks. Click the image to find out what we eventually had to do this series’ covers. Just as pretty, but also pretty pointless.) Oh, and let’s not forget the almost non-existent content guidelines from KDP: “What we deem offensive is probably about what you would expect,” they say. Those are their content guidelines.
But here’s why I love social media, especially Twitter:
We get to talk about it.
A prime example? #BannedByAmazon is a hashtag — and a fairly popular one at that. After all, KDP’s choice to ban certain books creates an aesthetic that many actively seek. Amazon have banned it? Then it interests many of us. Some of the greatest books in the world have been banned, of course. But the more we talk about bans, the harder it is to suppress said books. With Twitter, and other channels, we can give banned books a voice and share the links to B&N and Smashwords and other retailers who don’t ban books. It’s easy and vital to moan about those who do ban, but let’s also remember to praise those who don’t. And guess what comes up higher and higher in Google searches, the more we RT on Twitter? Tweets with links in them.
They ban it. We tweet it. Here are a few things our communities are saying:
Aghast at Amazon's censorship! It is unacceptable for large corporations to suppress the content we wish to access! https://t.co/8lBCiIh4tw
— Poetrianais (@PoetriAnais) October 21, 2016
— Paul Herron (@AnaisNinBlog) October 21, 2016
— Poetrianais (@PoetriAnais) October 24, 2016
— Hewson Founder (@HewsonJoystick) October 17, 2016
— Giselle Renarde (@GiselleRenarde) October 28, 2013
Have I told you lately that my book was #BannedbyAmazon? Apparently it offends them when imaginary people fuck their imaginary step-families
— Lexi Wood (@sockpuppetlexi) October 7, 2013
— Lana Fox (@foxlana) October 25, 2016