Monday, October 14, 2013

My books have been banned by WHSmith

  My books have been banned by WHSmith. The information on the screen-dump below is what is shown when you search for Amos Keppler on their website.
  This isn't unexpected, since I knew that my books are controversial and would be controversial seen through mainstream eyes, but that doesn't make it okay, of course. If anything, the books being controversial is one more important reason to sell them and feature them. Censorship and oppression of free expression are never okay!
  If you read the beginning of their message you might get the impression that it’s only ebooks, but that clearly isn't the case, since I haven’t published ebooks yet. And if you read further that is pretty much confirmed.
  They’re also claiming that they’re only removing «hard porn», but I know for a fact that that is yet another lie. They use the opportunity to remove radical controversial content, not only mine, but quite a few others. I know, for instance of several books from other authors with no description of intercourse or even nudity at all. Some of my books do describe intercourse and the greatness of having wild and raucous sex, though. I’m sorry. I’m SO sorry, okay…
  My books and others were also removed several days before the website was taken down.
  One of my novels, The Slaves, describes in graphic detail what trafficking and modern slavery does to people. It wouldn't be surprising if they wouldn't want that to reach the public. I, for one find my descriptions pretty tame compared to the real world. Reality, as always is far worse.
  A recent European Parliament report states that there are 880 000 slave laborers, among them 270 000 victims of sexual exploitation in the EU alone.
  An underestimation.
  «… we are disgusted by these particular titles, find this unacceptable and we in no way whatsoever condone them».

  «… we have decided to take our website off-line to best protect our customers and the public. Our website will become live again once all self published eBooks have been removed and we are totally sure that there are no offending titles available. When our website goes back online it will not display any self published material until we are completely confident that inappropriate books can never be shown again».
  «The customers AND the public»? No small feat…
  Yes, I seem to be very dangerous in their eyes, and I can happily confirm that I am! Dangerous long live!
  Yes, it is amusing in a way, even though censorship and oppression of free expression are never amusing.
  What is amusing, though, is that they have sold my books for three years, that I and others have slipped past their vaunted system of censorship for a fairly long time.

  I find their attitude and «values» totally unacceptable and offensive, of course.



  I have emailed WHSmith and asked what is «wrong» with my books, asked what they object to specifically but have received no reply.

9 comments:

Sully said...

Unbelievable!

Amos Keppler said...

As stated: kind of expected, but even more wrong because of that.

Sully said...

The 'screen-dump', above, of their statement, is absolutely absurd! It simultaneously gave me a headache and nausea while reading it.

Amos Keppler said...

It is totally absurd, almost insane in its dedication to censorship.

paula shene said...

Amazon and the other e book sellers are on a witch hunt and promising to ban all that does not have a publisher behind them.

Idiocy in the highest degree - it will only hurt their sales as the books will find other homes.

It seems WHSmith is trying to run with the big dogs. They will be the losers.

And you'll get more customers from this furor.

Amos Keppler said...

Well, so far only WHSmith has removed my books.

Attention has picked up, which is good, of course.

Anonymous said...

Do you have cencorship on your blog? I assume you won't allow any content that you disagree with on your blog, would you?

So then why cant WHSmith ban content they don't like?

Amos Keppler said...

"Anonymous": You're asking the wrong question. I'm still glad that you asked it, though, since many sheep probably share your misconception.

I have been forced to have moderation on my blog because I used to receive tons of spam, vicious harassment and conservative propaganda. but I still let through opinions, no matter how much they disagree with my own. You have to be a major asshole and show it to be moderated on the Midnight Fire. And even then I will not keep you from expressing yourself here, if you are interested in a true discussion.

Amos Keppler said...

In other words: they practice censorship. I only bar the absolute minimum of what I need to have a functioning blog. And I keep evaluating the necessity of that action. I have removed the moderation now and then. The harassment and crap and abuse quickly return in spades.

Besides, as stated, your question is and wrong at its most basic. The tone and angle you use makes it clear you're not interested in fighting censorship at all but on the contrary serve it. Most people don't want to think about the oppression we all suffer from and get angry when people point it out. I suspect strongly you're one of them.