Saturday, April 19, 2014

How corporate censorship is hurting erotica writers

My overall ebook sales trends.
It is official--first quarter of 2014 was my slowest quarter as a writer since I made the switch from doing the print market to being an indie writer selling ebooks though online retailers (Smashwords, Barnes and Noble, Apple, etc.). Well, if you ignore my very first quarter which I tend not to count because my stuff was only available though Smashwords, and Smashwords alone that quarter.

So overall, over the space of ten quarters, I have went from nothing to making good money back down to almost nothing.

And I know exactly what to blame for this sales trend.

It is not laziness. It is not fickle customers. It is not my own personal mental and emotional state. It is not my ill physical health (migraines suck). It is not the national economy. It is not the global economy.

No, all these things together do not account for the sales trend.

No, this trend is all about corporate censorship of erotica.

The big spike in my sales was when I full distribution, as in even Apple iBookstore was carrying my full line of offerings.

Since then, Apple has discontinued carrying a lot of my ebooks. And even those stories which were rewritten to confirm with iBookstore standards do not move--gee, I guess even Apple fans do not want to read watered down vanilla erotica. Kobo has killed all my money-making erotica. The Sony Readerstore has gone under, transferring users' libraries to Kobo (my own personal library of other writers' stuff had a third of it not transfer over--and I am not into the extreme types of erotica). And the less said about Amazon, the better.

The only place that my full line of erotica offerings is still being carried is Barnes and Noble, and they did a weird thing to the default search so that you have to trick the system in showing you erotica even when you punch in the exact title and author into the search inquiry.

In other words, you can only find my best selling erotica at one online retailer who is hiding it behind a search wall.

(Please note that the recent addition of Scribd has not worked its way though the system yet...but I imagine that corporate censorship is to follow as soon as they decide that they do not want their customers using their service to pay yucky smut.)

As for my other types of writing, they have been slow, but steady without no great increase or decline in sales. Too bad that my overall sales depend upon heavily on erotica ebooks. If I could find something mainstream or even niche to write that would move at a quicker pace I would devote more time to writing it than writing erotica.

Bottom line: Corporate censorship is hurting erotica writers and their income. And that includes little old me.

1 comment:

Rodney C. Johnson said...

Its not just me!

I've been having an awful go it with Apple, which is seeming, if it is possible, more Draconian than Amazon in this regard.