Posts tagged Blackstone
We open our inbox this morning to find a little encouraging missive from the Amazon content mavens: Your book is available in the Kindle Store, it says. Huzzah! Seems our response to the giant’s request for a cover change to JustineG‘s Summonings: Anicka & Kamil was met with approval by whatever bizarre metric they use. Now, considering that THIS is what upset them…
… we wonder how it is that THIS met with a nod (electronic or otherwise) of acceptance?
Again, we feel it’s very likely that the bare midriff and possibly the almost discernible navel piercing in the original cover was what put the censor-bots on alert. And yet! And yet the second, revised cover is clearly far more porn-y than the original. Our second girl isn’t even wearing a top and her expression is about as cheesy and wanton as you could expect. That’s some straight-up Hustler-style imagery there. (Note: image is fair use, not taken from Hustler)
All that being said, it’s not even the cover imagery that is at issue here. That we’re putting down as simply an interesting experiment. The issue is the moral tempest-in-a-teacup that the recent ebook censorship blow-up illuminates. As Daily Grail contributing editor Ian Vincent @catvincent tweeted yesterday…
I’ll believe the Amazon/Kobo/WH Smith erotica ban is a moral act the second they pull 50 Shades Of Grey. No? Didn’t think so.
To that sentiment we heartily agree. Especially when we consider that much of the fury surrounding this issue is ebooks with “questionable” or “immoral” content, content that the censors apparently scan for using keywords provided by the authors. Now, Summonings: Anicka & Kamil, as we mentioned in our last post, is a transgressive little bomb of a book in this regard. In fact, “transgressive” is one of the keywords we used when originally putting the thing on the Kindle Store shelves. But that’s only one of the seven keywords we chose. Here are the others…
Yup, the ancient privilege of royalty and gods, right there in the open, and still there after the first sweep of the Amazonian censors. Hell, we’re not even shy about it in the description of the book!
Blackstone readers briefly met Anicka, teen witch and High Priestess of Stregoicavar, and her handsome idiot brother Kamil in BLACKSTONE Book 1: RED MONOLITH FRENZY. In ‘SUMMONINGS: Anicka and Kamil’, we learn what these wicked siblings get up to when the incense is smoking and the incantations are called. Dark sex and black sorcery like you’ve never read before!
Oh Kamil. You handsome idiot. What a pair you and your sis are!
So, just what is going on over at Amazon, we ask? Based on this, our admittedly limited experience with censorship at their hands, let us venture this as a fair estimate of Amazon business practice vis a vis erotica ebooks and the prudish “think of the children” fuss they occasionally have to deal with (we seem to remember something similar to this blowing up a year and a half ago?)…
It’s nothing, folks. A wrist slap here and there, a hoop or two to jump through to satisfy groups that, once mollified, will forget that such books even exist. Certainly such people aren’t reading them now and if they do, well, that’s their dirty little secret and they’re welcome to it. It’s our hope that Amazon and Kobo et al. get the whole thing sorted out in a way that benefits all parties, and we’re reasonably confident that they will, because despite all the public hand-wringin’ and mollycoddlin’, erotica titles are a large part of their profits. The smut is not going away. So keep writing, keep putting it out there. Yes, the times are interesting for erotica production and consumption, but hey! News flash! It’s always been interesting out here in the smut mines.
Having posted all this, perhaps we’ll get hoisted on our own petard soon and find our entire catalogue of Justine’s books pulled from the shelves. (Orgy in the Valley of the Lust Larvae, anyone?) We’ll keep you updated, Migraineers.
Well, we suppose it had to happen eventually: the great and powerful Amazon got around to Martian Migraine Press Erotica titles in their review process, and have found ONE of our covers for JustineG‘s BLACKSTONE Erotica series worthy of a wrist slap…
We’re cool with it, obviously, and will make the changes they request (not least because Kindle is our biggest market so far), but we are also shaking our collective head, because THIS is what they are considering to be too far out in the sea of smut…
We guess bare midriffs are somehow pornographic now? Migraineers, what do YOU think? Granted, Summonings: Anicka & Kamil is one of Justine’s more transgressive little tales (that final scene alone is pretty squicky, in a “getting it on with a Lovecraftian deity” way, not to mention that there’s some incest in there, but hey, when in Stregoicavar!) so getting a wrist slap for the cover is, frankly, a lucky thing already, but… come on.
Let us know what you think, folks: good call on the part of Amazon? Or weird paranoid raving? We’ll take comments below, natch, and we’d be happy to get this retweeted and linked to widely.
UPDATE (mere minutes after the MMp DesignDroid5000 was tasked with creating a “less censorship triggering cover”)…
We’re going with this now…
suppose only time and the random thrashings of Azathoth will tell whether this appeases the Amazon censor-bots. Our guess is no but what will it say about the legitimacy of said bots if they say yes, this is OK? Interesting times, friends. Interesting times, indeed.
UPDATE: THE TIMES ARE INTERESTING
Erotiterrorist and Lovecraft fan Shon Richards (Violatrix, Dark Lords of the Earth) has been in the game for a while, we understand, so when he says that the climactic scene of Justine Geoffrey‘s RED MONOLITH FRENZY took his breath away, we’re inclined to stick a shoggoth-barb in our hat! Thanks Shon. We love Justine (and we’re not just saying that because she used the Triple-Word on us!) and we’re glad more folks are coming round to her unique brand of weird arousal!
Shon’s full review here > Dirty Books: RED MONOLITH FRENZY
And it’s not just fellow smutketeers singing Justine’s praises: UK bizarro writer Ade Grant (author of The Mariner and Seeker) calls the “dreamlike freedom” of PRIESTESS “thoroughly endearing” and is pleased to find in Justine’s work a bracing alternative to the cookie-cutter erotica that dominates the market these days. Says Grant: “You won’t find any Christian Grey’s in the pages of Priestess, but you might just find a Charles Dexter Ward, juiced up on a heady concoction of LSD and Viagra.”
Ade’s full review here > “Can I stick it there? Well I won’t know until I try!”