It’s ridiculous that I have to take time away from my full-time writing career to do this, but here it goes…
I just received the following email:
No, I didn’t make a lot of money from my self-published titles on Bookstrand. In fact, hardly any at all. Seriously, like $100 a year total. It was barely worth taking the time to upload the books for that but I listed my titles there so my readers would have options. Why did Bookstrand deactivate my account? Because they were getting flack from PayPal about some of the self-published books on Bookstrand that contained things PayPal considered obsene, such as pseudo-incest (step-parents and step-children) and barely legal sex (18 year old teens having sex).
What books did I have there in my self-published account that is now inactive? I had my romantic comedies that were originally released by Linden Bay Romance in both eBook and print (OPPOSITES ATTRACT, NICE & NAUGHTY, JUST DESSERTS), one military book from Linden Bay Romance (CROSSING THE LINE), and my recently out-of-print eBook I got the rights back to when Sapphire Blue Publishing closed its doors (GILLIAN’S ISLAND). So I had a few books about computer geeks, and firemen, and a Marine, some of them barely containing any sex at all, and books that had been accepted, edited and published by actual publishers even if they were small press. Then I had my two self-published books EDUCATING ANSLEY and THE EX-FILES. Yes, these were erotic romance, but they also had a happy ever after ending, and safe, consensual sex between mature adults. I also had my Free Read CAT SNIPS, an anthology of short stories, one of which was also once published and I’d gotten the rights back. In one of those stories, there isn’t even actual sex, just a dream.
So like the tuna who gets caught in the commercial fishing nets, I got swept up and disposed of along with the other books they didn’t want listed because of the PayPal censorship and Bookstrands’ fear and laziness. Why take the time to look at my actual books when you can just delete “most” indie accounts? I believe they said MOST because there are a few self-pubbed authors there who make them a SHITLOAD of money (pardon my French) so they are willing to take a risk with them.
It shouldn’t matter really, as I said I made crap there, but I’m pissed. This line really got me… “publishers with clear submission and publishing guidelines”. I’m a best seller at Samhain Publishing (who has an excellent reputation in the industry). Samhain routinely has books on the NY Times bestseller list so they are not churning out crap. I just signed a 3 book deal with Kensington Brava. I’ve been published in YA by Tor Books, Western Publishing (who owns Golden Books) and Sports Illustrated for Kids since the 1980s. Yet I’m being treated like I’m not a professional, like someone who is putting out inappropriate content and inferior works because I chose to self-publish? Even if most of those books were previously published? Maybe I’m just having a diva moment. A “don’t you know who I am?” *foot stomp* type of moment. Then again maybe I’m just scared, because if Amazon KDP and Barnes and Noble Pubit follow Bookstrand’s lead, that will financially hurt me because self-publishing with those companies pays my mortgage.
I guess we’ll see…