So, Smashwords has banned three of my books, Little Monsters, Peter the Wolf, and Penny for Your Debts. Curiously, they’d left Dogs of War despite it containing the same themes, and they left up Bran of Greenwood and the Scary Fairy Princess despite it having bestiality themes. With this inconsistent handling of my titles, I’ve decided to remove all my books from Smashwords. I’ll be removing all links to Smashwords from my sidebar, but some old posts may still point to bad links to them.
Also, I will no longer promote titles from authors working with Smashwords. By this, I mean that if you tweet a link that leads to Smashwords, I won’t retweet it. I want to be clear that this does not mean I wouldn’t promote the same title as an Amazon link, or as a link from the publisher’s site. Also, do not think that I am telling you other authors that you should boycott Smashwords too. You’re all grown adults and can make your own decisions about who you sell through. I am just making the personal choice not to promote their store, or any products sold through it. No one has to follow me down the same path.
I apologize to all the Smashwords-affiliated indie authors who are losing my Twitter promotions because of this fiasco, but Mark Coker has made it clear that he does not support freedom of expression, nor does he really support the authors he works for. Yeah, I know, it’s his sandbox, and his toys, so he can make up whatever rules he wants. But the dude has standards so ridiculous, he couldn’t sell books that traditional publishers and brick and mortar stores have no problems carrying. For a dude running a porn ebook shop, he’s pretty hypocritical, in my opinion.
I want to stress again, Mark took down books that were not erotic in nature, but left up my one porno title. That’s seriously inconsistent policy making, and it’s par for the course with Smashwords. Despite my many problems with Mark and his policies, I have always worked to promote Smashwords over Amazon. I did so because to my knowledge, Mark was not censoring authors the way Amazon was. Clearly, I was misinformed on my opinion, and Smashwords is no better than Amazon about arbitrarily deciding what they are willing to sell.
And, rather than rant about how unfair it is, I’ll just pack up the rest of my toys and walk away. I’ll be looking at another vendor today, but this may or may not work out. So for right now, my books are Amazon-exclusives. No, I don’t like that, so I will be working to find other options.
To my readers who bought through Smashwords, I apologize for the inconvenience. I’ve appreciated your support, and should you choose to stick with Smashwords to support other authors, that’s your decision to make. But Smashwords has lost me as an author, and as a customer.
Finally, I want to close this out by asking a favor. If I can find a new vendor, I hope that you will be willing to try them out instead of shopping at Amazon. To me, Amazon is the other gorilla waiting for their turn to smother authors with their arbitrary policies. Right now, they’re playing pricing games, forcing folks to raise or lower prices as they see fit. They’ve also been known to ban books, so I can’t delude myself enough to believe it can’t happen to me. It just happened to me on another vendor, after all. So if I can find a vendor willing to carry my titles, please, help me prove that I’m worth the trouble by buying my books on their site. That’s really all I can ask, and if you still buy my stuff on Amazon, well, all I can say then is, “Thanks for the support.”
All right, one last thing. Thank you to everyone on Twitter who wrote with messages of support last night. I can’t say I was upset about this, because I had a week to prepare myself for the inevitable. Nevertheless, it felt good to get so many messages agreeing that this decision by Smashwords stinks. I appreciate that, and I hope I don’t come across as complaining at you.