Saturday, 19 October 2013

Quarantined! The Kobo saga continues...

Further to 'Kobo did WHAT?' I emailed the company to ask why my novels and short stories had been removed from their website.  I was told they hadn't been removed, they were merely quarantined.

A letter to our KWL authors and self-publishing partners

In order to address the situation Kobo is taking the following steps:
  1. We are removing titles in question from the Kobo platform.
  1. We are quarantining and reviewing titles to ensure that compliance to our policies is met by all authors and publishers. We will ensure that content meeting the policy is made available online as soon as possible.
  1. We are reviewing our policies and procedures to implement safeguards that will ensure this situation does not happen in the future.
I am glad they are addressing the issue of the vile and unwholesome books that slipped through the net but the whole situation reminds me of being at school.  Someone has written a naughty word on the toilet door so the whole class is kept behind until someone owns up.

As an author I am still a very small fish in the big pond of self publishing.  I hate to admit that I'm unlikely to lose much revenue from my books being unavailable but I really feel for the bigger authors and especially the small publishing houses who have been affected by this situation.  Kobo's mistake could cost them dear indeed.

It has raised a lot of discussion about what is suitable subject matter and what is not.  Erotica is subjective, some people are turned on by sunset walks on the beach, other's prefer a bit of slap and tickle but I think we can safely draw the line at illegal acts.  Or can we?

I have been feeling a little paranoid about the book I'm currently working on.  It explores the grey areas of sexual abuse.  Is it sexual abuse if the woman doesn't say no?  Is it rape if she is incapable of saying no?

Without spoiling the story there are scenes were an older man takes sexual advantage over an inebriated young woman.  The scenes are reasonably explicit but I didn't write them as erotica to turn people on, I wrote them as part of a greater story.  If scenes of rape are unacceptable then does my book break the policy?  If it does then  by the same measure do we also lose such great works as Alice Walker's The Color Purple?

It's food for though and I don't envy Kobo's review team one little bit!


  1. You are going to be made up when you read this! It's a comment from a Facebook group where I posted about your latest book.
    "So I'm like half way through this book now and I know I'm not gonna put it down tonight until i've finished it. But it's hard going init... I'm like reading for five minutes, then crying fer ten, read fer another five, cry for another ten... Gonna take me half the nite and cost me half a bog roll at this rate... lol xx"

  2. Thanks for sharing. I hope they were enjoying the story. It sounds like I need to buy shares in Andrex! LOL!