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Monday News: Google censorship which may be good; WH Smith in...

Free speech advocates worry that Googe’s suppression of this content can lead to adverse results.

In response, WH Smith decided to shut down its entire site over the weekend to remove all self published content that it was receiving through Kobo and has promised that until Kobo and WH Smith can work out an acceptable resolution wherein ” we are completely confident that inappropriate books can never be shown again” WH Smith’s website will remain down.  Amazon employs filters which drives self published authors who write this sort of thing bonkers but it will be interesting if Amazon will start rejecting it altogether. 

Jane Litte is the founder of Dear Author, a lawyer, and a lover of pencil skirts. She spends her downtime reading romances and writing about them. Her TBR pile is much larger than the one shown in the picture and not as pretty. You can reach Jane by email at jane @ dearauthor dot com

20 Comments

  1. mari
    Oct 14, 2013 @ 05:20:31

    Can’t help wondering if that good feeling cheaters get lasts after their caught and paying through the nose with child support, etc.

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  2. Junne
    Oct 14, 2013 @ 05:57:20

    @mari:

    Is there a link between adultery and paying child support in the USA? I thought it was only a money issue ( the higher-income spouse).

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  3. Ren
    Oct 14, 2013 @ 06:42:16

    The thing I’ve found most interesting about the cheating study is the overwhelming assumption it refers to the sexual type of cheating.

    I’m just surprised anyone thought it warranted a study. I thought everybody already knew if you get rewarded for a behavior, you repeat the behavior, since it’s the fundamental principle of of raising children, training animals, maintaining relationships, managing employees, and otherwise interacting with any sentient thing.

    I want some grant money for stating the obvious.

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  4. Lil
    Oct 14, 2013 @ 07:29:20

    Now, when I read the cheating item, I assumed it was talking about plagiarism or cheating on tests. For some naive reason I always assumed that adulterers felt guilty.

    On a different topic, the idea that “free speech” can be used to justify invasion of privacy and extortion really irritates me.

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  5. Jane
    Oct 14, 2013 @ 07:35:50

    The experiments in the study had nothing to do with adultery but rather overstating accomplishments, lying about time, etc. that sort of thing.

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  6. Patricia Eimer
    Oct 14, 2013 @ 07:54:09

    Not surprised to find that cheaters don’t feel guilty– after all there has to be an upside to ruining your relationships. And the daddy-daughter porn? Good on WH Smith for trying to keep it from getting through to their kiddie site. People can read what they want but certain stuff needs to be kept away from the kiddos and spank me daddy fic is probably near the top of that list.

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  7. Meri
    Oct 14, 2013 @ 08:00:28

    @Ren:
    It’s not stating the obvious. Dishonest/unethical behavior is really not my area of expertise, but I did look over the literature review and some of the studies. The researchers showed that people expect unethical behavior to lead to negative affect, and also cited multiple studies that showed this pattern. They then conducted several studies that indicated that this is not always the case, even if there are no financial incentives for cheating and the “reward” is just feeling good/knowing you beat the system.

    My guess is that the article is based at least in part on the first author’s dissertation, and if there was any grant money involved, it wasn’t very substantial – there is none acknowledged in the the original article in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology (which is worth checking out for anyone interested in the subject).

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  8. Renda
    Oct 14, 2013 @ 08:16:16

    Funny. I didn’t click on the “cheaters” link, but it never occurred to me it was “fidelity cheaters.” There should be research as to why people come up with different connotations for that word.

    And yeah, the daily deals are a reason I check every day. But I will say I was losing interest and then they added the Audible editions and all of a sudden I am interested again. They will probably have to keep adding more and more perks to keep people coming back. My physical and virtual TBR piles are so huge, the only interest I have in new books is if I can get the Audible and e editions for less than 5 bucks. Above that marker, I tend to let them go, figuring that if they are on sale once, they will be on sale again.

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  9. Diana
    Oct 14, 2013 @ 08:37:01

    I’ve always felt like those mug shot sites were a form of blackmail…they only offer to keep their silence if you’re willing to pay them. It’s icky.

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  10. Expy
    Oct 14, 2013 @ 10:30:27

    @Diana: They are a form of blackmail. As the New York Times article points out, that is how the mug shot websites make their money.

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  11. Darlynne
    Oct 14, 2013 @ 11:03:07

    The Daily Deals are working quite well, then, since I’m one of the many who cannot look away or resist checking, even on vacation. Thank goodness for eReaderIQ, otherwise this obsession/fear of missing a book would take over more than it has.

    I will say, however, that even free or discounted isn’t enough to make me browse through B&N’s difficult and slow site.

    International opportunity is huge these days.

    Yes, well, let’s not have those stupid geographic limitations get in the way then, shall we?

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  12. Lynne Connolly
    Oct 14, 2013 @ 11:25:28

    The WH Smith panic has spread to Kobo. I just checked and all my self-published titles have been pulled, but not the books published by a publisher.
    That makes absolutely no sense if they are looking to pull erotic titles. Most of my self-published books are backlist books written before I started writing erotic romance. Mostly Regency romance. Yes, with sex scenes, but “mainstream” sex scenes that would compare with anything you’ll find in the average, non-sweet Regency.
    It’s clear discrimination, especially as, so far, my erotic romances are virtually untouched. I can’t check the WH Smith site for obvious reasons.
    The people at fault are Kobo and WH Smith. They commissioned the designers of the faulty websites that were putting erotica next to children’s titles when a search was put in.
    The reasoning behind their decision is absolutely ridiculous.
    I’m planning to pull all the Kobo and Smith links from my website. I’d like it if people, readers and writers, would agree to boycott these outlets, and any other site that engages in a similar policy because I don’t think they’ll listen unless people vote with their wallets. There are lots of other places to buy the books.

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  13. Wahoo Suze
    Oct 14, 2013 @ 11:31:24

    Yes, well, let’s not have those stupid geographic limitations get in the way then, shall we?

    Word. There’s a book I want to buy, and ARe won’t let me due to geographical restrictions. I could buy it from Kobo, and likely will eventually, but I don’t like buying from Kobo for a variety of reasons.

    Actually, that’s kind of weird, now that I think about it. How is it that Kobo can sell me a book that ARe can’t? Are the geographical restrictions tied to specific retail outlets?

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  14. Julia Gabriel
    Oct 14, 2013 @ 11:36:08

    Kobo seems to be pulling all self pubbed books off their site today, regardless of genre. They pulled one of mine, a sweet romance with zero sex (and no daddy issues, either). But Fifty Shades is still for sale. Go figure.

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  15. Liz Mc2
    Oct 14, 2013 @ 12:06:12

    I think pulling all self-published titles in a porn panic is an over-reaction, and I hope this is a short-term thing while Kobo gets its filters sorted. I certainly understand why authors are upset.

    On the other hand, I am a customer who has complained to Kobo about their filter/algorithm issues, which go beyond the search function. My 11-year-old has a Kobo account. Fortunately, I was having the e-mails sent to me, because she got a recommendation e-mail listing 4 middle-grade titles similar to previous purchases . . . and a teacher-student “breeder porn” title. I don’t monitor my kids’ reading particularly closely and I mostly let them decide what they’re ready to handle (with some discussion with me). But I don’t really want to have to explain that to her.

    So yeah, I think Kobo has a problem they need to fix.

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  16. Kate Sherwood
    Oct 14, 2013 @ 12:14:50

    My self-published title is still up on Kobo, so it doesn’t seem like a blanket removal. No idea why mine got missed – it’s an m/m romance, not super-steamy, but certainly with a couple sex scenes…

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  17. Kate Sherwood
    Oct 14, 2013 @ 12:43:23

    Lynne and Julia, were your books uploaded through Draft to Digital? A thread at AW is suggesting that Kobo focused on e-books from that source, rather than all self-pubbed e-books across the board. (Mine was uploaded through Smashwords and is still there)

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  18. Lynne Connolly
    Oct 14, 2013 @ 12:59:00

    Mine were uploaded directly to Kobo Writing Life, not through a third party, but I do have an account at Draft2Digital for my Apple uploads.

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  19. Jane
    Oct 14, 2013 @ 13:26:32

    @Liz Mc2: Yes and I had a negative experience trying to find pony stuff for my tot. I even have adult filters on. Part of the problem is that authors are trying to actively avoid the adult filter through coy titles/blurbs and the like and I think books are slipping through the cracks.

    I hope that there can be some resolution but I laugh because on the one hand you see authors kvetch about Apple or BN’s long vetting process. If each book has to be vetted by human, that vetting process is just going to get longer and longer and longer.

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  20. Jody Wallace
    Oct 15, 2013 @ 10:21:42

    @Jane:

    Oh, man. Pony stuff. I unhappily learned what R-34 was all about when my kids came up to me after searching for My Little Pony images so they could color their own and they happened to notice that “My Little Pony R-34″ was a suggested Google term, and the stuff that came up was…

    I don’t think my children have been scarred? But they were definitely confused. Since they know what naked bodies LOOK like, they were more inclined to point out the inaccuracies than feel sick inside. But yes. It can be difficult to find things for children on book sites and the internet!

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