As anyone who has been here knows, I’m an advocate for adult entertainment (for adults, but that should go without saying.) I certainly read porn! And I think that other adults should be able to choose their own entertainment for themselves.
If you’re a writer, you may be aware of Amazon and B&N’s recent blacklisting or demoting of sexual content — even if it’s sensual romance. Amazon has been ADULT filtering certain works, making it nearly impossible for readers to find them.
B&N has consistently booted erotica and romance off the best-sellers lists, demoting them below #100 so they’re not visible on the first 3 or 4 pages. As a reader, this offends me considerably. Not only are they hiding things from me, but they are assuming that I am not fit to choose my own entertainment. I have not usually been the recipient of slut shaming, but I really feel like that’s what this is.
How will I find what I want to read, if it’s not on Amazon? By booting certain books off B&N’s bestsellers, are they trying to discourage authors from writing more of them? What hit me was how many writers depend solely on Amazon and B&N for their sales. I believe that every writer should have their own small ebookstore online, a way to sell their ebooks that THEY control.
If you can sell your own ebooks from your own website, no one can boot you off the general listings. No one can censor your covers. Sure, you won’t attract as much traffic as Amazon, but at least people can find you.
I’m putting up a long series of tutorials, leading you step by step in putting up your own online bookstore. It’s easy — I’ve done it a couple times — and it is not that expensive. An entire year will cost you less than the price of a good cover, and this may be the worthiest investment you can make to protect yourself. As for the time it takes, maybe a weekend? It’s simple and not very flashy, but it will work.
I’m already about halfway through, and the text will be HTML so everyone can read it online with screenshots. It will be a work in progress. If you have any suggestions or comments, leave ’em here, or hit me on Twitter.