Thursday, March 1, 2012

Seth Godin, Censorship,, and Apple

(Update: I received an e-mail from with an explanation as to what might have happened. They were very gracious and took the time to explain everything in detail to me. Evidently, it's something to do with the way the book was tagged. Which I understand. I will post more soon. I've always supported ARe for their excellent product descriptions, and it's nice to know they care enough to get back this soon.)

Late last night I went over to Dystel & Goderich to read a few blog posts to take my mind off the fact that ARe banned one of my books for no valid reason I can see, and I found a blog post there about censorship with a link to a great article written by Seth Godin.

Although Seth Godin's situation is quite different from mine, it's still the same thing in a general sense. Apple is allegedly refusing to carry his book for their own reasons, which are explained in detail in his article.

In my case with "Skater Boy" it's not only unfair because my book doesn't fall under any of the targeted categories that are being banned, but also because it's implying I write books with these taboo topics. In other words, I have never written about incest, bestiality, and the other taboo topics that are all being banned right now. I've never read them either. I don't even read BDSM books. I respect those who do. But it's not for me. (Not to mention the fact that ARe took down "Skater Boy" this week, and left up an anthology where the same story was published a few years earlier under the title "In This Our Day.")

And the sheer fact that I don't have the choice anymore bothers me intensely. As a reader, I don't like other people making these decisions for me, nor do I like having my freedom taken away. I'm an adult and I feel capable of making adult decisions without anyone's help.

Anyway, check out Seth's article about his experience. It's very interesting.

There's been a long history of ubiquity at the bookstore. With a few extreme exceptions, just about every book is available at every bookstore if you're willing to order it. Universal availability feels like part of the contract we make with bookstores-we expect them to sell everything. In the digital world, this goes triple, because there's no issue of shelf space to deal with. Read more...

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