Amazon Pulls the Romance of Lust

Now you know it’s getting scary. For the $14-an-hour social media oversharers at CreateSpace. Amazon, which just missed its third earnings target of the last four quarters, seems to have frightened the rank and file.

So they’re censoring.

Weirdly.

I’ve now had two dozen titles pulled, and just bit the bullet on a really expensive html5 app for Olympia, but here’s what else is going on:

They’ve lost their minds.

No, seriously. They’re just nuts. I actually no longer have an economic stake in this. The Romance of Lust, a Victorian epic which has never been out of print, was my best-seller for the years 2003-2008. We’re talking over 100k copies in that timespan, and enough for me to launch the Ophir books series, the largest collection of Victorian/Edwardian erotica the world has ever known. Sometime in ’09, Daniel Fromont at Project Gutenberg, issued the same title.

Needless to say, anytime Gutenberg puts out a text, there’ll be 15-50 versions from the Wildside/Wilder/Kessingers of the world. My own sales went to crap, but I’d seen the writing on the wall and added new things. Bottom line, there’s only so much money in reprints.

My own sales of Romance of Lust, a minimum $500-a-month title for half-a-decade, went to 0, ‘cuz some of those CreateSpace/LSI reprints were for like $7 or whatever. Life goes on.

Now, Amazon is censoring everybody. Partly, this is because of me saying, “how can you assclowns censor me, when you have all four volumes of this book available? ALL FOUR?” And I’m sorry.

Reason I was cocky, during the years when Amazon was burying every gay and erotic title in search results, they still allowed Romance of Lust to be found, ‘cuz the work is that huge, and that influential (cc: Miller, Henry; Harris, Frank; Fraser, George MacDonald), that they never buried it.

So, it always sold on Amazon.

‘Til now.

Thank god, nothing else on Amazon has the same themes! If it did, after all, their search-inside-the-book would’ve long ago found the title and removed it! There’s no need to worry about losing the safe harbor provision of the DMCA by these searches!

OK, maybe there is.

Anyway, it’s pretty clear from the desperation, both in censorship and in “extra services,” like $1k for a press release, CreateSpace is one of the weakest divisions of Amazon, and ripe for a culling of douchebag staff.

So, you know, be mean back to the weak-ass censors who are banning crap approved in the ’60s, while in no wise protecting their corporate masters from litigation. And if there’s a nice girl from CreateSpace you know, tell her she shouldn’t have smoked pot during BEA 2010; it was too obvious.

About dmoynihan

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  • KAM

    I’ve stopped shopping at Amazon because of this growing problem. I’m willing to either go without something (thereby saving 100%) or shop at Barnes & Noble, who I have my own grudges against since they killed the small bookstores I grew up frequenting.

    Amazon’s strength has always been the fact that they stocked close to everything, so they were a great source of information as well as a great place to shop. Now they are becoming neither.

  • Juan Kerr

    I don’t know about amazon.com, but the Olympia Press edition of The Romance of Lust is still available for download from Amazon.co.uk: http://www.amazon.co.uk/The-Romance-of-Lust-Complete/dp/B001NIZU80/

  • http://www.munseys.com dmoynihan

    Yeah, it’s gotten weird. I actually have two different versions of that book–one complete, one split into four volumes.

    Meanwhile, they’ve pulled the printed editions, but left in the LSI editions. What usually happens is, I get an email from “The Kindle Team,” then maybe another contradicting the first, then a third which affirms/denies/ignores the others. Some books have gotten 7 emails or more.

    When they’re that inconsistent, it behooves me to further my efforts at direct sales. Which… I’m doing :)

  • http://www.munseys.com dmoynihan

    Weirder still. There are other titles that Amazon’s pulled from the U.S., but not the UK.

    How… strange.