Monday, October 14, 2013

I have no title for all this madness.

You know, I never thought I'd have a use for the "Suddenly: Madness" tag again, nevermind so soon, but I guess I should have seen it coming.

In some ways I suppose I did see it coming, if only vicariously. Independent publishing has proven to be a real Pandora's Box, made no better by how much storefronts have just jumped on something that looked sparkly and popular without putting half a day of effort into their interface.

WH Smiths is offline and Kobo sabotaged itself to appear like it, by proxy, was being a social justice warrior of the modern age and correcting heinous crimes, too.

It's okay though, Kobo. Don't worry, WH Smiths, it was impossible to find shit on your storefront anyway. Zero options for keyword searches, genres not even listed on the book's page? Though I guess if you're going to half-ass providing a service you should also half-ass fixing your mess and just take the whole storefront offline.

So basically, they're suffering the repercussions of their own greed, now. You don't just open gates on a global scale and expect no one you disagree with to come in. You don't accept running a platform of this scale and be surprised when you're incapable of controlling it. I've said it for however many years running, probably at least ten after watching Serial Experiments Lain, but a lot of the people responsible for these things don't seem to be ready to handle a digital age.

It's frustrating, but at the same time I can't help but default to laughing at it. You have to, really. You can't let everything weigh down on you too heavily at face value, because you're gonna carry that weight.

The box is open and the ride cannot be stopped, so there's no fear of that it will. That's why I haven't even touched on Amazon's reaction to these recent events. For a wonder, they've been much more controlled and effectively reasonable about it. I say effectively in emphasized italics because of course this happening at all will never be a nice, good or straightforward thing that people can just bounce back off or feel comfortable being around. Consider though, that if they handled it as awkwardly as Kobo, none of anyone's books would be available until they did the sweep they've done. That would be utterly ridiculous.

Also consider how they've handled it. As an author to have to deal with the ADULT Filter which is likely now gone in place of putting the offending title on Draft and contacting you, I honestly prefer this method, if not what's caused them to go into a refreshed search for offenders. This way, there is open contact over the issue. That was one thing sorely missing from their old system which may as well have put most people's work back on Draft status. If there's at least some open dialogue, I can appreciate the effort.

I was affected by it as many have been, and had Becca's Birthday Wish pushed back to Draft with a mail about what I need to do about it. Perhaps what wasn't as clear as could be, and led back to knowledge garnered from having dealt with their trial-and-error system in the past, but after tweaking the synopsis to remove the word Daddy, it was accepted, published and sold once again. I still need to re-submit the CreateSpace version but that isn't so important.

Unless they hate money or something, I'm expecting Kobo's poor excuse for a storefront to do the same once it's done with handling the damage control as poorly as they handle the storefront in general, so I might be down a book that needs republished with more neutral wording. We'll see.

Moral: Persevere and flow with the subtle changes in the current. Also WH Smiths can go fuck itself.

Now, I have real writing to get back to finishing now available here as if nothing's on fire, because the only thing that will let your publishing die is your resolve. Now to start running through the All Hallow's End specials.


  1. Best of luck to you...and keep on writing!

    1. Thank you, I will! You too! It's a great thing to get into and for all the shifts and shuffles, it's here to stay, so it's down to us to stick with it!