You know, I am a great believer in the free market. I think a company like PayPal can do whatever they wish. If they want to play nanny to consumers by attempting to unduly influence the market, they have that right. Same with BookStrand and Smashwords … if they want to knuckle under, well, they have their own bottom line to think about. But it surprises me that more AUTHORS and ARTISTS aren’t up in arms.
Now me, I write all kinds of stuff. Cozy mysteries. Fantasy adventures. M/M romance. I am not sure if anything I’ve written would be affected by these policy changes. My book SOMETHING DIFFERENT is on Smashwords as of right now … we’ll see. But I find it depressing to see some writers defending PayPal’s new rules on the following grounds.
“Pseudo-incest books are tacky. It’s not incest, but “Me and Step-Daddy” books are almost incest, and incest is bad, mm-kay?”
Don’t like it? Don’t read it. I have enjoyed the amazing experience of being looked down on by “zombie writers” (folks who write exclusively about the Zombie Apocalypse) and vampire writers and “menage” writers (yes, they write romances about threesomes) because some of my books contain erotic content. I know there’s always going to be competition and jealousy in artistic circles but it’s really amusing to find yourself at the bottom of the pecking order with some books, and near the top (mystery) with others.
“Rape fantasy books are disrespectful to rape victims everywhere. Furthermore, rape is illegal, so why should writing about it be okay?”
Again: don’t like it, don’t read it. I am not even going to delve into the difference between reality and fantasy, which apparently is too abstract for some professional writers to grasp. I am going to say this.
ALL murder mysteries deal with illegal acts. Are all murder mysteries, especially the gritty ones that describe the act from the killer’s viewpoint, disrespectful to murder victims?
ALL woman-in-jeopardy/kidnapped child/slasher/serial killer stories deal with illegal acts. Same question. Should victims and surviving families be offended?
In certain places in the world, menage love stories deal with (“glorify”) illegal acts. Same with my m/m romances. They are disrespectful to folks who object to homosexual sex and love on the grounds of religious or cultural tradition.
EVERYTHING we write is theoretically disrespectful to someone, if they choose to object to the existence/sale of books that differ from their personal world view.
You know, I really do encourage free speech and disagreement and I don’t give a rat’s ass if you think I’m right or wrong. But if you’re a published author who feels good about this because YOUR books aren’t affected, I wish you’d reconsider.
First they came for the communists,
and I didn’t speak out because I wasn’t a communist.
Then they came for the trade unionists,
and I didn’t speak out because I wasn’t a trade unionist.
Then they came for the Jews,
and I didn’t speak out because I wasn’t a Jew.
Then they came for me
and there was no one left to speak out for me. — Martin Niemöller (1892–1984)