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Wednesday Midday Links: Book Sales Plummet, eBook Sales Flat

There is a new Amazon controversy arising out of a self published book by an author (not linking to it because I don’t want to give needless publicity to the book itself) about how to become a better pedophile.   A number of people want Amazon to remove the book.   The content is certainly disgusting but it is probably not illegal. [It could be illegal in some regions and territories outside of the US] Writing about illegal acts isn’t illegal.   Child pornography laws cover images (usually of real people, although recently there has been convictions of people buying graphic illustrations of children in sexual poses and acts).   It does not cover the written word. A classic called Lolita is about a middle aged man’s sexual obsession with a twelve year, an obsession that he acts upon.

My first reaction was that I am adverse to content based restrictions.   Meaning, I don’t like it when a purveyor of information like Amazon unilaterally decides what we should have access to.   I have to make the public disclaimer that I am not condoning this book or the act of pedophilia but questioning the issue of content based bans by booksellers and other similarly situated businesses and institutions. However, I also think it is the right of consumers to say that they don’t want to shop at a place where this type of book is sold.

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September sales are gloomy:

  • Hardcover Children's/YA:   down   17.4 percent for the month ($76.6 million). Down 15.1 percent YTD
  • Children's/YA Paperback: down 1.6 percent ($53.3 million).   Down 6.8 percent YTD
  • Adult Hardcover: down 40.4 percent ($180.3 million).   Down 8.1 percent YTD
  • Adult Paperback: down 15.8 percent for the month ($111.5 million). Up 1.5 percent YTD
  • Adult Mass Market: down 23.6 percent ($67.8 million). Down 15.7 percent YTD
  • E-book:   Up 158.1 percent ($39.9 million). Up 188.4 percent YTD
  • Downloaded Audio Books: Up 73.7 percent ($7.7 million).   Up 34.1 percent YTD
  • Physical Audio Book: down   42.6 percent ($11.6 million).   Down 12.6 percent YTD

Nate over at The Digital Reader explains why ebook growth is flat despite the positive numbers.

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Charlaine Harris’ series will be a Hidden Object Game with a release date set for early 2011.   The game will be called Dying for Daylight. Thanks, Lada, for the tip.

Charlaine Harris is the latest literary powerhouse to partner with I-play. The casual games publisher has generated more than 50 million downloads across its four book-based franchises. These games include four James Patterson  Women’s Murder Club titles, several Agatha Christie adaptations, a title based on a Nora Roberts novel and most recently the transformation of  The Great Gatsby into an interactive game experience.

Ironically or not so ironically, these hidden object games sometimes cost less than the books themselves.

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Speaking of pricing and books, Agent Annette Green (agent of Meg Cabot, among others) laments the actions that publishers have taken toward ebooks, finding that print publishers have learned little from the lessons learned by the recording industry.   She specifically targets agency pricing pointing out that applying agency pricing only to digital books creates absurd results such as the paper book being cheaper than the digital book:

In what seems to me a stupendously ill-judged attempt to revive the ghost of the Net Book Agreement, several major publishers have announced their adoption of the agency model of selling e-books. Online retailers will no longer participate as wholesalers, buying at discount and selling at whatever price suits their margins. Now the price will be set by the publishers and the retailers will simply take an agreed percentage commission for generating the sale.

….

A statement from Amazon UK discussing its US experience says "when prices went up on agency-priced books, sales immediately shifted away from agency publishers and towards the rest of our store". If there's any truth in this it can't be good for publishing

Given that many of the digital bestsellers are books that are Agency priced, the authors affected most adversely are new and midlist authors whose books’ price can be a deterrent for new readers.

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A new study by Attributor suggests that online infringers will take down the infringing material 75% of the time when approached nicely and sometimes offering a different model of revenue:

Attributor's approach engages unlicensed content users in dialogue before resorting to formal takedown notices and even more draconian ways of making them remove illegally obtained content.   By educating infringers and reasoning with them instead of bombarding them with legal threats, Attributor was able to persuade 75 percent of the offending websites to alter their behavior.

I’m uncertain from the blog post at ereads.com whether the takedown is only in response to alternative model of revenue or simply through the dialogue and education.

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

59 Comments

  1. MF Makichen
    Nov 10, 2010 @ 12:04:39

    I know of at least 6 ebooks I haven’t bought because of agency pricing. In one case the ebook price on Amazon is only $4 less than the hardcover. I’m amazed that publishers think this pricing model works. I feel bad about not supporting the writers but I just can’t justify what I consider the arbitrary expense.

  2. Laura Vivanco
    Nov 10, 2010 @ 12:09:44

    Nate over at The Digital Reader explains why ebook growth is flat despite the positive numbers.

    Were you referring to this post?

    [Thought I’d ask (a) in case other people were interested and (b) so that I could subscribe to the thread.]

  3. Ridley
    Nov 10, 2010 @ 12:13:19

    I keep lists on Goodreads of books I want to buy and break those lists down by agency, non-agency, Harlequin and OOP/no ebook available. Three out of four lists have numbers that fluctuate up and down.

    Can you guess which list continually grows and grows without ever going down?

  4. Ridley
    Nov 10, 2010 @ 12:46:18

    Also want to add that I’m with you, Jane, on the Amazon dust-up.

    If it’s not considered legally obscene, they should sell it. I don’t want retailers to start protecting what they decide are my delicate sensibilities.

    It’s a big part of why I went Android rather than iOS when I bought a smartphone. I’ll make up my own mind, thanks.

  5. Amber
    Nov 10, 2010 @ 12:48:51

    Unless the content of the self pubbed book is actually illegal, I have to agree with Amazon on this issue. Censorship is something I feel strongly about. It’s easy to say you don’t want to censor books when they don’t offend you. It’s much more difficult to take the same stance when confronted by ugliness such as this.

  6. Lisa J
    Nov 10, 2010 @ 12:57:43

    I have at least 8 books I haven’t purchased in the last two months alone due to agency pricing. There are series I love by authors who would normally be autobuys for me, but I refuse to pay $2+ more for the e-book than I would for the paper version. It’s just crazy to expect people to do that.

  7. meoskop
    Nov 10, 2010 @ 13:01:23

    I know I personally am buying far less books since Agency, and I’m a high income high user household. I have even found myself reluctant to buy my kids paper books from Agency pubs – putting them on library request list, borrowing, etc, just because I’m mad.

  8. Janet P.
    Nov 10, 2010 @ 13:11:11

    “A statement from Amazon UK discussing its US experience says “when prices went up on agency-priced books, sales immediately shifted away from agency publishers and towards the rest of our store”. If there's any truth in this it can't be good for publishing”
    —-
    I love it when Amazon let’s those nuggets out. It absolutely reflects my buying habits. I love a deal. I hate feeling like a seller is taking advantage of me. My entertainment buying dollars tend to gravitate toward purchases that make me feel good. It has gotten so bad that yesterday I was reading about a book that sounded really interesting and it said “Published by Hatchette …” I didn’t even bother getting on Amazon to check it out. What’s the point? It’ll be priced at a level that will only piss me off.

    Thus agency priced eBooks tend to languish on my wish list, even when I love the author.

    And let me just add – major kudos to Kobo books for bringing their discount coupons back for non-Agency books. That’s the way to drive my buying decisions.

  9. Moriah Jovan
    Nov 10, 2010 @ 13:12:29

    @Ridley:

    What Ridley said. As per usual.

  10. KMont
    Nov 10, 2010 @ 13:13:35

    Those that are agreeing with Amazon on the pedophile book issue – where have they made a statement? Other than the book still being up, that is. Amazon doesn’t usually tend to make statements on this kind of stuff. Or if they have I’ve had my head in the sand – entirely possible.

    I am not in agreement with the book being up there, by the way, but am finding both sides of the issue to be very interesting. Still processing it. I might never fully process it, it just goes against a very core part of my personal beliefs, so it’s hard to get past it ATM to set aside the obvious revulsion and see it only as a black and white issue of censorship. I don’t know if I could look at something that effects children like this as just censorship. I think there’s a bigger issue, possibly.

    All I can think of as I look at all this today is what a world we live in.

  11. Brandy
    Nov 10, 2010 @ 13:28:47

    I’ll admit I’ve complained to Amazon over an erotica book featuring Incest included in the Romance section. I never asked that they not sell the book, I just asked them to move it.

  12. Ros
    Nov 10, 2010 @ 13:35:43

    I am not a lawyer nor a US citizen, but it strikes me that the issue with the paedophilia book might not be obscenity but incitement to crime? If it really is doing what the title suggests, then that is not in any way the same kind of thing as Lolita. Books called ‘How to make bombs’ and ‘How to pick locks’ and ‘How to commit internet fraud’ would strike me as similarly likely to be illegal.

  13. Ridley
    Nov 10, 2010 @ 13:36:37

    @KMont:

    Here is an article that quotes a response ostensibly from Amazon.

    I’m opposed to casting aside the 1st Amendment for any reason, and “someone think of the children!” hasn’t swayed me yet. I’m closely following the CA video game law under review by the SCOTUS right now and I hope Amazon sticks to its guns on this, objectionable as the content may be. Pulling legal material due to popular revulsion is a slippery slope.

    Wise parents might even buy this book and look at it the way companies do when hackers alert them to security flaws. Here’s an open hand for you to actively work against.

  14. Ridley
    Nov 10, 2010 @ 13:39:43

    @Ros:

    Well, they still sell the Anarchist Cookbook and no one seems to mind. It even has a 4 star average.

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  16. Ros
    Nov 10, 2010 @ 13:45:18

    @Ridley: Have never heard of that, I’m afraid and the Amazon page is not particularly clear about its content. I did find the Amazon page for the paedophilia book where the author’s summary is: ‘This is my attempt to make pedophile situations safer for those juveniles that find themselves involved in them, by establishing certian rules for these adults to follow. I hope to achieve this by appealing to the better nature of pedosexuals, with hope that their doing so will result in less hatred and perhaps liter sentences should they ever be caught.’

    Aside from the semi-literate nature of his writing, it seems clear that the author’s target audience is criminals engaging in paedophilia, and that his purpose is for them to modify and perhaps moderate their behaviour. So it’s hard to tell. But I’d say that if there is advice in the book on grooming a child, for example, then that seems to me like it would be considered incitement to crime.

  17. Jane
    Nov 10, 2010 @ 13:51:00

    @Ros: Amazon has sold books in the past (and still does, I believe) on how to raise dogs for dogfighting and other dogfighting books even though such activities are illegal here in the US.

    Here is a book on how to pick locks.

    I don’t believe it is illegal to write about illegal things.

    Plus, incitement has to produce “imminent lawless action” (at least I think that is the standard). I don’t see the book inciting “imminent lawless action”.

  18. Ridley
    Nov 10, 2010 @ 13:52:36

    @Ros:

    The anarchist cookbook is a how-to guide for armed insurrection. It has recipes for explosives, how to make a proper garotte and fun stuff like that.

    My point being that, if people think the pedo book is illegal, someone should challenge it legally. I don’t want retailers making those decisions for us.

  19. Ros
    Nov 10, 2010 @ 13:52:49

    A little googling suggests that this might be the relevant law in the UK (as I say, I am not from the US and I have no idea if there is an equivalent there):

    Section 46 creates the crime of:
    Doing an act capable of encouraging or assisting the commission of one or more of a number of offences; and
    Believing that:
    One or more of those offences will be committed, but having no belief as to which; and
    His act will encourage or assist the commission of one or more of them.

    So you can ‘assist’ or ‘encourage’ an offence without having a specific instance of that offence in mind, so long as you have a belief that there will be some actual instances and are not speaking wholly hypothetically.

  20. Ros
    Nov 10, 2010 @ 13:54:59

    @Jane: Okay, it sounds like that is different in the US.

    And Ridley, I agree that booksellers are not lawyers or judges to make those decisions. But I can see why they might be cautious if they thought there was a chance the books are illegal. If they are only acting as censors regarding what they consider to be obscene, then that’s different.

  21. Janet P.
    Nov 10, 2010 @ 13:55:09

    Well, my fondest hope is that at least 153 different people have already called their local police, the FBI or whomever else is appropriate and reported the author. The authorities can then investigate the crap out of him and hopefully find something that will lead to an arrest. I strongly suspect that any disgusting individual who would write such a thing probably has done something which is legally punishable.

    I’m not sure that Amazon has the ability or duty to determine the legality of a book. If the justice system finds something to prosecute the author/publisher over, then Amazon should definitely pull the book. Until then? Distasteful but a slippery slope.

    I think that most people are uncomfortable with Amazon censoring literature – even if obviously over the line cases such as this. Freedom of literature is a very dear value to most.

  22. Jane
    Nov 10, 2010 @ 13:56:59

    I wonder if he is a member of this organization which the ACLU defended on the basis of first amendment rights.

    Some of the content reminds me of the stuff I read from Marion Zimmer Bradley’s deposition defending her husband’s pedophilia. Ugh. Somethings you wish you can unsee.

  23. sao
    Nov 10, 2010 @ 14:03:55

    A bookstore should be able to choose what they sell. Plenty have chosen not to sell, for example, porn. Why should Amazon be different?

    Physical bookstores have always had to make decisions about what they stock. If Amazon wants to say any particular book is not worth their warehouse or server farm space, that’s their business.

    Will you claim censorship if, some time in the future, billions of self-published authors want Amazon to carry their unreadable, unwanted, and unedited reflections on their navels and Amazon declines?

    Hell, maybe the reason I’m unpublished is that the publishers are censoring me.

  24. Ridley
    Nov 10, 2010 @ 14:15:53

    @sao:

    Will you claim censorship if, some time in the future, billions of self-published authors want Amazon to carry their unreadable, unwanted, and unedited reflections on their navels and Amazon declines?

    But they do sell these now.

  25. Lynnd
    Nov 10, 2010 @ 14:22:17

    In Canada it is illegal to counsel and offence and the relevant section of the Criminal Code says:

    “22. (1) Where a person counsels another person to be a party to an offence and that other person is afterwards a party to that offence, the person who counselled is a party to that offence, notwithstanding that the offence was committed in a way different from that which was counselled.”

    I am not a criminal lawyer, but I would think that the author of this book might be caught by this provision in Canada. Is there anything similar in U.S. Federal or State criminal legislation?

  26. Lynnd
    Nov 10, 2010 @ 14:23:10

    @Lynnd: that should be “counsel an offence.”

  27. Ridley
    Nov 10, 2010 @ 14:25:25

    @Lynnd:

    I doubt there’s anything similar. We take our ideology seriously here.

  28. Jane
    Nov 10, 2010 @ 14:32:46

    @Lynnd: @Ros: My understanding is that the US has the most broad Free Speech protections of any country. There are narrow exceptions, one of which is incitement to crime. I believe the current standard in US for incitement to crime is based on the Brandenburg v. Ohio decision wherein the Supreme Court found an Ohio statute forbidding the teaching of anarchy or other violent activity. It was used to try to prosecute the KKK. The Sup Ct. ruled the statute was unconstitutional and said that a state may not “forbid or proscribe advocacy of the use of force or of law violation except where such advocacy is directed to inciting or producing imminent lawless action and is likely to incite or produce such action.”

  29. Jo
    Nov 10, 2010 @ 14:33:59

    Coming into contact as often as I do with the fallout from all manner of sexual abuse, including (but not nearly so often) as pedophilia, I still think it’s up to Amazon if they want to make it available to their buyers. They’re under no obligation to. And, Jane, I thought you were probably referencing NAMBLA in your earlier post, but curiosity got me and I clicked on the link. Dang, I was right. And it’s my work computer. God only knows what wretched cookie dropped on hard drive.

  30. Janine
    Nov 10, 2010 @ 14:47:13

    Ana at the Book Smugglers blog has a great self-examining post on the book banning controversy.

  31. DS
    Nov 10, 2010 @ 15:28:28

    Comic book and graphic novel sales are also down ( http://www.icv2.com/articles/news/18554.html ) DC and Marvel are lowering their prices in January to encourage sales.

    Why do I think that book publishers would probably up their prices to make up for lost sales?

    Audible has been running some super nice sales on audio books.

  32. Lynnd
    Nov 10, 2010 @ 16:22:38

    In additiion to the counselling issue, this book would be considered child pornography in Canada.

    “163.1 (1) In this section, “child pornography” means

    (b) any written material, visual representation or audio recording that advocates or counsels sexual activity with a person under the age of eighteen years that would be an offence under this Act;
    (c) any written material whose dominant characteristic is the description, for a sexual purpose, of sexual activity with a person under the age of eighteen years that would be an offence under this Act; or …”

  33. Lynnd
    Nov 10, 2010 @ 16:35:27

    Further to my last post – the actual offence is as follows:

    “Every person who transmits, makes available, distributes, sells, advertises, imports, exports or possesses for the purpose of transmission, making available, distribution, sale, advertising or exportation any child pornography is guilty of

    (a) an indictable offence and liable to imprisonment for a term not exceeding ten years and to a minimum punishment of imprisonment for a term of one year; or
    (b) an offence punishable on summary conviction and liable to imprisonment for a term not exceeding eighteen months and to a minimum punishment of imprisonment for a term of ninety days.”

    Amazon would be considered a “person” and if Amazon. Given that Amazon sells books to Canada and has a Canadian subsidiary (this book does not appear to be available at amazon.ca), I wonder if Amazon would be subject to the child pornolgraphy provisions of the Criminal Code? The child pornography and child sexual offence provisiions can be applid to Canadian citizens or permanent residents of Canada who commit such offences abroad. A Canadian citizen was recently convicted of crimes of sexual assault which he committed against children in Thailand.

  34. Janet P.
    Nov 10, 2010 @ 16:37:11

    Interesting –

    Is the book available to Kindles with a Canadian address on the Manage My Kindle page?

  35. John
    Nov 10, 2010 @ 17:49:23

    A book like that is squick. It is. However, Amazon has a right to sell it, and as Ridley pointed out, it could be turned into a preventative thing as well if used by the right organization (not NAMBLA, obviously.)

    My friend is actually reading Lolita for her English paper, and I’ll probably read it before college. I’ve read the first few pages, and the character is rather tortured in that he knows what he is doing is wrong. It’s meant to make a statement (actually a good one – pedophilia is still nasty) and not porno. This Amazon book, however, is not in that same viewpoint.

    Le sigh. I don’t think people should ban books, because people should be their own judges of moral and comfort level, but that Amazon shite is nasty no matter how you cut it.

  36. John
    Nov 10, 2010 @ 18:03:14

    Also – Marion Zimmer Bradley is a great author, yet her defense of her husband is disturbing. Growing up has such a horrible effect on the world’s brightness sometimes.

  37. Marianne McA
    Nov 10, 2010 @ 18:12:34

    It’s neither censorship nor book-banning to refuse to stock a book – Amazon should refuse to stock it. (And they should refuse to stock books promoting terrorism, racism, or which feature talking kittens.)

    I can see no moral or commercial reason why Amazon should feel it their duty to become a conduit through which any idiot can inflict their inane maunderings on to the general public.

  38. DS
    Nov 10, 2010 @ 18:17:08

    I had to look. It’s at 292 in Kindle paid, one star and over 1000 reviews. All of those negative reviews and clicks on the item are just driving it up the rankings. It’s 34 kb and according to an interview with the author from The Smoking Gun, he admits he has sold one copy.

    If people had ignored it, it would be buried in the depths of the rankings by now.

  39. Jane
    Nov 10, 2010 @ 18:34:05

    @DS This is why I didn’t link to it. I didn’t want to add to the notoriety.

  40. Jane
    Nov 10, 2010 @ 18:47:51

    @Marianne McA Here’s the problem I have with Amazon taking the book down. It would be a content based decision. So do we require Amazon to read and consider each and every book that has objectionable material and determine which one has literary merit and which doesn’t? Who decides what is objectionable? The voice of the people? But wouldn’t the Christians and the Catholics and whomever else who decry homosexuality be able to generate a huge number of complaints regarding homosexual romances?

    How about books regarding pedophilia? Then Lolita shouldn’t be sold.
    How about non fiction books regarding pedophilia? Then books about Elizabeth Smart and others like her couldn’t be sold.
    How about non fiction books regarding pedophilia written by someone grooming others for pedophilia? Now you are getting into the intent of the author which would require Amazon to then contact the author, interview the author and then someone would have to decide what the author’s intent was.

    I guess I view this as I would rather have one objectionable book stand at Amazon than for Amazon to start making content based decisions on what is and is not sold.

  41. hapax
    Nov 10, 2010 @ 19:41:47

    At least half the books published by Paladin Press offer step-by-step instruction in committing criminal acts (including murder and treason), and there isn’t any outcry for their removal.

    The PROTOCOLS OF THE ELDERS OF ZION, which has been directly linked to genocide, is available for sale on Amazon in several editions.

    I have no doubt that this is a nasty, nasty book. And one which I might conceivably buy, if I were a psychologist studying paraphilias, or wished to include a realistic pedophile character in fiction that I were writing.

    Books do not commit crimes.

  42. Keishon
    Nov 10, 2010 @ 23:20:07

    I should know better but my initial response was gross, take it down! But upon reflection, people can be just as vehement about any content that they may find objectionable that I might not so…yeah, I have no issue with Amazon selling the book as long as I don’t have to see it. In fact, I wish I hadn’t seen it at all…thanks Twitter. Bottom line for me, as long as it’s legal, I wouldn’t want to ban/censor anything that someone else might enjoy.

  43. Marianne McA
    Nov 11, 2010 @ 03:04:15

    @Jane. I’m just comimg at it from the other direction. The book has been brought to Amazon’s attention – they’re not being asked to read everything to find it.
    They have to read that one book. And if, as moral individuals, they – whoever runs Amazon – thinks the book is objectionable, as shopkeepers they make the decision not to stock the book.

    I don’t think they can refuse to engage with the case in hand by arguing that it places them at the top of a slippery slope. As for your question ‘who decides what’s objectionable?’ I think in this case it’s the shopkeeper who has that moral responsibility.

    (The Christian/Catholic distinction makes me uncomfortable. It’s probably a N. Irish thing.)

  44. Edie
    Nov 11, 2010 @ 05:08:56

    From my very limited understanding I think Australia’s laws are similar to the UK and Can.. and are enforced, if I recall a furor which resulted in a how to bomb book being banned in the last couple of years.
    So I am comfortable with my immediate thought of bring it down ya dodgy bastards.

  45. Edie
    Nov 11, 2010 @ 07:27:49

    You know the worst thing about blogs though?? They make me think.
    My knee jerk reaction was backed up by my view of law etc where I am. But then after reading some interesting blogs, including the smugglers, I started thinking about things that are illegal in other countries that I would have me up in arms about them banning books on.. dammit!
    I was enjoying having a relatively cut and dried opinion for a change.

    Thinking hurts.

  46. katiebabs
    Nov 11, 2010 @ 07:28:59

    Amazon has taken down the guide. When you click on the link to the page to buy the book, you get an error.

  47. Deb
    Nov 11, 2010 @ 07:32:49

    A nice summation of the discussion: http://tcrn.ch/csCNvc.

    Brava to hapax: “Books do not commit crimes”.

    I have to admit, I am getting weary of the mob mentality. I’d bet the vast majority of dissenters have not read the book. I haven’t either, but I can’t really judge the book in anyway if I haven’t read it.

    Also, I just wish all this energy had been used last week during our election. I have no problem with protests, but when we are given the responsibility to determine the future leaders of this country and more 50% of voters in this country were too damn lazy, I really have little respect for your voice now.

  48. sao
    Nov 11, 2010 @ 07:36:29

    @Jane

    If a bookseller has a stupid content-based rule that you call censorship how is that different from a bookstore that chooses, say, to limit their sales to mysteries or Sci-Fi? Plenty of bookstores in the past didn’t stock Harlequins.

    Amazon has the dominant place in the marketplace BECAUSE it sells just about everything. You are assuming the reverse, that because it has a dominant market share, it should/must sell everything.

    If Amazon (or any other bookseller) chose to discriminate against a category of books, be it Sci-Fi or incitement to pedophilia, some other bookseller would pick up the slack, unless no one could perceive a market.

  49. anon
    Nov 11, 2010 @ 08:18:53

    From the snippets I’ve seen posted online the book includes advice on how to make homemade condoms for pre thirteens.

    I can’t decide whether this book is a sick mney making joke or for real. If it is for real, as a former victim I’m very pleased to see amazon that took it down.

  50. anon
    Nov 11, 2010 @ 08:26:18

    @anon: Oh my, forgive the typo and grammar in that last para. I can’t type straight today…

  51. Jackie Barbosa
    Nov 11, 2010 @ 09:03:04

    Looks like Amazon pulled it after it hit the Kindle bestsellers list. I guess it was one thing to support free speech when it was on the fringe and another to support it when it got “maintstream.”

  52. Brian
    Nov 11, 2010 @ 09:07:59

    The book has been pulled by Amazon.

    Interestingly enough the author had only sold one copy until this blew up. After that it sold enough copies to make it to number 80 on the top 100 Kindle books sales list.

  53. Brian
    Nov 11, 2010 @ 09:14:14

    Looks like Amazon pulled it after it hit the Kindle bestsellers list. I guess it was one thing to support free speech when it was on the fringe and another to support it when it got “maintstream.”

    That and because of the thousands of people threatening to boycott them and also having it make the more mainstream media.

  54. Jackie Barbosa
    Nov 11, 2010 @ 09:21:28

    @Brian: I think the fact that the book became so PROMINENT in their own listings had more to do with its removal than the Internet brouhaha and complaints. Up until fairly late in the game (even after it hit mainstream media), Amazon was insisting they were on the side of free speech and would not take it down. Granted, if no one had complained and it had hit the bestseller list, they might have done nothing.

  55. Ridley
    Nov 11, 2010 @ 11:18:30

    Good job making a mountain out of a molehill, people.

    Had Twitter not been clutching its pearls, no one would’ve bought this book at all.

  56. SAo
    Nov 11, 2010 @ 13:30:10

    On the subject of slippery slopes, Ridley’s comment made me think of another sort of slippery slope.

    Books have always been subject to a series of gatekeepers making choices. Agents, editors, publishers, book wholesalers, bookstores, libraries.

    If you remove these gatekeepers, and self-publishing becomes so easy that cobbling your college essays, your kids’ baby pictures, unedited collections of your e-mails, the detritus on your hard drive into a “book” is a matter of seconds, you could easily face a situation where 90% of the “books” in the world are unsalable trash.

    Demanding that Amazon (or anyone else) stock all books in the name of avoiding censorship may lead you down a slippery slope to a point where an increasingly burdensome portion of their server farms are occupied with “books” that would never see the light of day now, and will never see a single sale in the future.

    Even the Library of Congress, tasked with preserving the web, has to make choices about what content is worthy, because there’s just too much. They have no need to generate revenue out of it, either.

  57. Stumbling Over Chaos :: The Return of Linkity!! Now with even more linkity!!
    Nov 12, 2010 @ 07:21:55

    […] news: Dear Author and ReadReactReview (and […]

  58. kindle review Portal
    Nov 19, 2010 @ 12:27:01

    Interesting –

    Is the book available to Kindles with a uk address on the Manage My Kindle page?

  59. Lurv Looks Back: November | Lurv a la Mode
    Dec 01, 2010 @ 07:29:58

    […] that, though, Book Smuggler Ana did a post on her reactions to the book and Dear author wrote up a couple of pieces as […]

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