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Author Topic: So...about the banned book thing  (Read 14860 times)  

Offline brkingsolver

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Re: So...about the banned book thing
« Reply #50 on: August 09, 2017, 02:54:03 PM »
I do suggest to those not having done so, do not try to google this with the little info posted here. I do not recommend it.  :o :o

I learned my lesson on this forum a couple of years ago. You can't un-see things.

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Offline Huldra

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Re: So...about the banned book thing
« Reply #51 on: August 09, 2017, 03:27:09 PM »
If you want to read a book presented as romance in which the hero repeatedly rapes and abuses his wife before beginning to rape and abuse his daughter at age 10 or 11, and ultimately rapes her while she is in labor with his child at age 16 to "show her she's his"--perhaps the author will begin selling it from her website, unless she's found in violation of her state's obscenity statutes. You can go find it there if that sounds amazing and romantic to you.

Anybody can write anything they want. Nobody's obligated to publish it. The corner store doesn't have to sell Hustler, and Amazon doesn't have to sell this. The author made a choice to publish something she had to know was far across the line. Now she's weeping about how she's not a monster and everybody's being so meeeeaaan. But you know--there are a lot of real victims out there, girls and women who were molested by their father or stepfather, a man who told them it was romantic and they had a special love. These are the twisted words and rationales of the abuser, and they hurt.

O.o

Either there are two banned books circulating in the rabble-rabble atm, or the one I assumed we were talking about picks up quite a bit in the second half.

Offline Shelley K

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Re: So...about the banned book thing
« Reply #52 on: August 09, 2017, 03:55:41 PM »
Of course books shouldn't be banned. Amazon removing books that violate their terms is a different matter altogether. I have the right to write the most depraved things imaginable whether anybody else likes it or not. Nobody is obligated, however, to publish or sell what I write. Please let's keep in mind that no matter what horrific act is being depicted on the page, it isn't really happening. I find The Human Centipede a concept so absolutely vile that the trailer bothered me for days, so much so I never watched the film. I still support the creator's right to make what I consider absolutely vile trash. I'm not forced, after all, to consume it. Please remember it's not the acceptable speech that needs protecting.

And somebody PM the title of this book, please. (Got it, thanks!) I'm not going to claim it's to blacklist this author from my own library--I probably don't read them anyway, and frankly I don't care what people write.  I'm more morbidly curious about what's been said about it, and I can't find that without her name or the title.

Also, yes, I believe Lolita would be published today. It's not a romance and would never be mistaken for one.

« Last Edit: August 09, 2017, 04:17:57 PM by Shelley K »

Offline brkingsolver

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Re: So...about the banned book thing
« Reply #53 on: August 09, 2017, 03:59:39 PM »
Interesting. A little snooping around shows that the author and her street team advertised that Amazon would ban the book before it was released. Not the first book Zon's banned by this author. Also interesting that there is a group of "dark authors" who support and pimp each other's books that violate ToS. As they say, even bad publicity is good publicity. I guess. Of course, none of these people are publishing using their real names.

What surprised me was the number of women on twitter, facebook, etc., who endorsed the book. Silly, little, naive me.


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Offline Seshenet

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Re: So...about the banned book thing
« Reply #54 on: August 09, 2017, 04:03:41 PM »
Interesting. A little snooping around shows that the author and her street team advertised that Amazon would ban the book before it was released. Not the first book Zon's banned by this author. Also interesting that there is a group of "dark authors" who support and pimp each other's books that violate ToS. As they say, even bad publicity is good publicity. I guess. Of course, none of these people are publishing using their real names.

What surprised me was the number of women on twitter, facebook, etc., who endorsed the book. Silly, little, naive me.

I read some reviews on Goodreads during my own snooping and I too was surprised at the women who liked it. I looked at the author's website and I could be wrong, but I get the impression she wanted it to be banned.

Offline EB

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Re: So...about the banned book thing
« Reply #55 on: August 09, 2017, 04:06:24 PM »

All of this. I am so relieved to see someone else type this out. I saw 95 percent of the authors in my genre praising the author that wrote this book and I was straight up horrified. I felt like I must be insane... like I had missed something or that the entire community had missed something.

Sadly, I think some authors will compromise what's right in order to "get in good" with the right people. I think that's what disappointed me the most.

The book blatantly went against Amazon TOS. The uproar was ridiculous. Amazon can sell what it wants.

I used to think I was pretty open-minded to what can be published. I have never thought any book should be banned. I don't shame readers for reading what they read. I write some pretty steamy books myself that skirt the line of taboo.

This book is a whole other level. For personal reasons, it made me ill. Now, I understand I don't get to decide what is okay for others to read. But nothing has ever made me feel this way. Selfishly, I am glad it was banned and wish it had never been written. A lot of the reviews on Goodreads sound like something straight out of an abuser's diary. "She's underage but wise beyond her years. Their love was so intense. Destined."

I just.. I can't.

Yes, it's definitely brought out a lot of strong opinions in the community. After finishing the book and then reading the reviews, I am quite stunned.  I agree that Amazon & any other vendor has the absolute right to sell whatever they want, and they can choose not to sell whatever they want, 100%.  My first reaction to hearing about this was to think, "Why on earth would any author write something like that and then pass it off as a love story?" I mean, heck, just yesterday here on KBoards we were discussing the issue of having a hero/heroine in a romance have sex with another person or cheat, and how much that turns off readers. I think we can all agree that cheating in a romance can be a hot button issue, so it's good to have the conversation for all of us who write romance. Ultimately we want readers to enjoy our work, and arguably most of us probably want to make some money at this gig. So we pretty much try to give readers what they want without pushing the boundaries of the genre too far... and then there are those book that strive to do the exact opposite.

The term "bodice-ripper" didn't materialize out of thin air. Thirty years ago, dubcon was ubiquitous, especially in historical romance. Could Lolita be published today? Times change.

I was SOOO thinking of Lolita when this exploded.
And seriously, the whole "bodice-ripper" era and the whole hero-rapes-the-heroine-but-she-falls-for-him-anyway thing that went on for years.

Offline EB

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Re: So...about the banned book thing
« Reply #56 on: August 09, 2017, 04:12:36 PM »
Interesting. A little snooping around shows that the author and her street team advertised that Amazon would ban the book before it was released. Not the first book Zon's banned by this author. Also interesting that there is a group of "dark authors" who support and pimp each other's books that violate ToS. As they say, even bad publicity is good publicity. I guess. Of course, none of these people are publishing using their real names.

What surprised me was the number of women on twitter, facebook, etc., who endorsed the book. Silly, little, naive me.

Wow.  Just...wow. :o
I feel like I am approaching marketing all wrong after watching this unfold.

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Re: So...about the banned book thing
« Reply #57 on: August 09, 2017, 04:21:10 PM »
And seriously, the whole "bodice-ripper" era and the whole hero-rapes-the-heroine-but-she-falls-for-him-anyway thing that went on for years.

Not to mention the infamous General Hospital incident, which I think the show might have tried to retcon in later years.
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Offline Paranormal Kitty

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Re: So...about the banned book thing
« Reply #58 on: August 09, 2017, 04:25:38 PM »
Not to mention the infamous General Hospital incident, which I think the show might have tried to retcon in later years.

They still have a rapist and rape victim couple, except he wasn't her rapist.

Offline Seshenet

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Re: So...about the banned book thing
« Reply #59 on: August 09, 2017, 04:26:24 PM »
Barnes and Noble is selling it. Four 5-star reviews.

The pb, not the e-book.

Offline Shelley K

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Re: So...about the banned book thing
« Reply #60 on: August 09, 2017, 04:33:01 PM »
Now that I've been able to check it out, the whole thing was an obvious marketing ploy. She's laughing all the way to the bank.

I'll stick with regular appeals to Bookbub.

Offline RedFoxUF

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Re: So...about the banned book thing
« Reply #61 on: August 09, 2017, 05:23:04 PM »
Interesting. A little snooping around shows that the author and her street team advertised that Amazon would ban the book before it was released. Not the first book Zon's banned by this author. Also interesting that there is a group of "dark authors" who support and pimp each other's books that violate ToS. As they say, even bad publicity is good publicity. I guess. Of course, none of these people are publishing using their real names.

What surprised me was the number of women on twitter, facebook, etc., who endorsed the book. Silly, little, naive me.

Well of course. They've turned getting banned into a money maker. No doubt there's a secret group somewhere coordinating this. It's all marketing. All of it.

Back in 2012 I would buy an author being surprised at what happens when you publish this kind of stuff, but today? When the author has a strong FB presence? Please. They know what they are doing. This is all calculated. These books come out every few months and the culture of outrage on the internet means everyone loses their collective minds, on all sides, and the author profits.
« Last Edit: August 09, 2017, 05:24:50 PM by RedFoxUF »

Offline she-la-ti-da

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Re: So...about the banned book thing
« Reply #62 on: August 09, 2017, 05:28:39 PM »
Quote
Can targeted porn or erotica help people in that kind of situation manage their dangerous sexual desires safely?

No. My opinion, but based on the fact that when these people do cross that line and act out their fantasy, they are found to have loads of child porn (even if it's literature, or computer generated pictures). They can't help their urges, but it's society's job to prevent them from acting upon them, and to punish them if they do.

Lolita would indeed be published today. It's not romance, and not meant to be. It's not erotica, and not meant to be. I remember the "bodice rippers" from back in the day, and while I found it to be a weird way to look at romance, it did not contain incest nor underage heroines, to my recollection. And I read tons of them, because that was romance. The same with the Flowers in the Attic books. Not romance, not erotica.

Remember the movie "Blue Lagoon"? People were up in arms because two shipwrecked siblings entering puberty had sexual relations. They basically raised themselves, had no idea what was so"right" or "wrong". Again, not meant to be a romance nor erotica.
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Offline Cassie Leigh

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Re: So...about the banned book thing
« Reply #63 on: August 09, 2017, 05:41:32 PM »
A possible defense for this kind of material is that some people do have sexual desires that would be dangerous to themselves or others if acted upon in real life. Whether these desires are innate or acquired from early experiences (or some combination of the two) I don't know, but my understanding is that they don't go away. Rather, they must be suppressed throughout the entirety of the person's life. Imagine having to go your whole life without a single truly satisfying sexual experience because having such would do profound damage to an innocent person. It would be hard to do. Maybe the chances of pulling it off are small. Can targeted porn or erotica help people in that kind of situation manage their dangerous sexual desires safely? We don't know, I think, because so few people study the issue -- the topic is too abhorrent to attract funding, even though you'd think preventing molestation would be high on everyone's list, given how common it is, and how damaging.

I'm pretty sure there has been research done on this, but I'd have to go track it down.

It's far more likely that by portraying this type of thing as acceptable or desirable to the victim that it would be more likely to lead to someone doing it rather than give them a safe outlet.  Also the more mainstream it appears to be, the less someone thinks they have to suppress those urges.

On a side note, they did studies on those Nancy Reagan era don't do drugs ads and found that they actually increased drug usage because they made it appear that drug use was far more common than it was. (Discussed in a book called Contagious by Jonah Berger that I recently read.)


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Re: So...about the banned book thing
« Reply #64 on: August 09, 2017, 05:55:35 PM »
It's far more likely that by portraying this type of thing as acceptable or desirable to the victim that it would be more likely to lead to someone doing it rather than give them a safe outlet.  Also the more mainstream it appears to be, the less someone thinks they have to suppress those urges.

Yes. It's called "normalizing the behavior."

Offline sela

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Re: So...about the banned book thing
« Reply #65 on: August 09, 2017, 06:11:23 PM »
I agree with a lot of what has been written about this book and the whole issue of taboo literature and taboo erotica.

I don't personally want to read it or books like it. I think it romanticises what is a very negative thing that is not at all romantic in any way and shouldn't be erotic.

When I was doing my MA, I worked for a professor who studied deviant behavior and I did research on child sexual abuse (and my BFF was a survivor of incest). I had to stop doing the research because it was too hard to read about. Plus I have seen my BFF struggle ALL HER LIFE because of the abuse by her father. She still suffers, thirty years after she finally escaped her abuser.

My issue is that it is literature (or at least fiction) and it is speech and I think it has to be protected. Even if it is vile. I don't want anyone policing my mind, my fantasies, or what art I like to consume. Or art. Art -- even bad disgusting or vile art -- has to be protected. Art is not the reason people do this. But art is often an expression of what goes on beneath the surface.

That said, no government is banning her book. Amazon and other retailers are because that's their right as retailers. If people want to read it, I am sure she can find a way to publish it somewhere and people will buy it who want to read it.

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Re: So...about the banned book thing
« Reply #66 on: August 09, 2017, 06:23:23 PM »
That said, no government is banning her book. Amazon and other retailers are [banning it] because that's their right as retailers. If people want to read it, I am sure she can find a way to publish it somewhere and people will buy it who want to read it.

The emphasized parts are important. Too many people throw around the "censored" bomb as though they have a right to force a retailer to carry a certain item. That right doesn't exist. You do have the right to boycott a company if you don't like the way that they operate. You can even advocate that others stop doing business with them. But you can't make them carry a certain product. That's capitalism.

Offline brkingsolver

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Re: So...about the banned book thing
« Reply #67 on: August 09, 2017, 06:29:59 PM »
My issue is that it is literature (or at least fiction) and it is speech and I think it has to be protected. Even if it is vile. I don't want anyone policing my mind, my fantasies, or what art I like to consume. Or art. Art -- even bad disgusting or vile art -- has to be protected. Art is not the reason people do this. But art is often an expression of what goes on beneath the surface.

That said, no government is banning her book. Amazon and other retailers are because that's their right as retailers. If people want to read it, I am sure she can find a way to publish it somewhere and people will buy it who want to read it.

^THIS^

Burning books = bad
Writing prurient books that might cause bad behavior = bad
Raising children who don't have the urges to read about or commit such things = good

If there wasn't a market, it wouldn't be an issue. I live in a city that has more than one murder a day. Banning guns would probably reduce that, but a lot of the murders are done with a knife. Fixing the root causes might possibly be some help toward a solution?

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Offline Gentleman Zombie

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Re: So...about the banned book thing
« Reply #68 on: August 09, 2017, 06:41:53 PM »
I'm still shocked by what short memories people have. Was I the only one around during the early days of KU? The store was literally flooded with tons of "Do Me Daddy" types of erotica. Most of it targeted to women readers. And not just Amazon quite a few of the retailers were carrying it. Those readers didn't just suddenly vanish. And Amazon works really hard to suppress that sort of material. I'm not a particular fan of this particular brand of erotica. But I see the appeal of selfish, abusive "daddy" type. Its a kink quite a few people have. They imagine themselves as being subservient. It what tickles their fancy. And yeah that writer knew the ban was coming. IMHO it will drive Private sales plus paperback sales. Amazon typically ignores the Create space version of banned books.

Offline kcmorgan

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Re: So...about the banned book thing
« Reply #69 on: August 09, 2017, 06:42:17 PM »
A possible defense for this kind of material is that some people do have sexual desires that would be dangerous to themselves or others if acted upon in real life. Whether these desires are innate or acquired from early experiences (or some combination of the two) I don't know, but my understanding is that they don't go away. Rather, they must be suppressed throughout the entirety of the person's life. Imagine having to go your whole life without a single truly satisfying sexual experience because having such would do profound damage to an innocent person. It would be hard to do. Maybe the chances of pulling it off are small. Can targeted porn or erotica help people in that kind of situation manage their dangerous sexual desires safely? We don't know, I think, because so few people study the issue -- the topic is too abhorrent to attract funding, even though you'd think preventing molestation would be high on everyone's list, given how common it is, and how damaging.

Sexual deviants didn't put this book in Amazon's Top 100. The number one demographic for this book is middle-aged women. And not because they are sick or twisted or anything. It's because the number one demographic for all romance is middle-aged women and if you tell people something is forbidden and naughty and they can't have it, then they are going to try twice as hard to get it. She wrote a book that was 'taboo' and people enjoyed reading and she came up with a campaign that has everyone talking about it. Smart lady.

Offline Shelley K

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Re: So...about the banned book thing
« Reply #70 on: August 09, 2017, 08:12:09 PM »
I'm not on board with the idea that stories about things people consider deviant fuel deviant behavior, even a little. Heavy metal music doesn't cause Satanism or suicide, and pornography doesn't make people rapists. Murder mysteries don't cause homicides. The most sexually violent societies on earth are also the most sexually repressed ones, not the ones where you can buy pornography on a street corner.

And it bears remembering that the audience for a book like this blocked one is women, not men. Women write these stories, women read them and give them five star reviews. I'm not going to judge other women for what turns them on or shame anybody for their sexual inclinations. *shrug* That's been done to women for centuries already, and I figure that's more than enough.

This case, though, it's almost a shame to look at in that context. I'm all for sexual freedom, but this is just marketing. It's like shock radio. Not worthy of the conversations that spring from it, really.
« Last Edit: August 09, 2017, 08:20:31 PM by Shelley K »

Offline JulianneQJohnson

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Re: So...about the banned book thing
« Reply #71 on: August 09, 2017, 08:21:01 PM »
What your average non-sex offender reads because they find it sexy and what they want in real life are two very different things.  Rape is a very common fantasy, but that doesn't mean folks want to be raped in real life.  Same thing with incest stories.  There are people who find reading about fictional incest exciting, but it doesn't mean they personally want to sleep with anyone in their family.

Human sexuality is a complex and murky area that is still not fully understood.  I personally will not judge anyone for what they choose to read in eroticaland or any other genre.  It's a story, it's not real life, and reading (or writing) something which would be taboo or illegal in real life isn't a crime.  I don't think video games make people violent, I don't think rock and roll will lead people to devil worship, and I don't think rape or incest fiction will promote sex crimes.

All of that said, Amazon and any other book retailer has the absolute right to refuse to carry any book they wish for any reason.  Period.  Lolita might be a classic now, but it was turned down by a slew of publishers at the time, and they had every right to do so.
             

Offline JulianneQJohnson

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Re: So...about the banned book thing
« Reply #72 on: August 09, 2017, 08:22:34 PM »
I'm not on board with the idea that stories about things people consider deviant fuel deviant behavior, even a little. Heavy metal music doesn't cause Satanism or suicide, and pornography doesn't make people rapists. Murder mysteries don't cause homicides. The most sexually violent societies on earth are also the most sexually repressed ones, not the ones where you can buy pornography on a street corner.

And it bears remembering that the audience for a book like this blocked one is women, not men. Women write these stories, women read them and give them five star reviews. I'm not going to judge other women for what turns them on or shame anybody for their sexual inclinations. *shrug* That's been done to women for centuries already, and I figure that's more than enough.

This case, though, it's almost a shame to look at in that context. I'm all for sexual freedom, but this is just marketing. It's like shock radio. Not worthy of the conversations that spring from it, really.

We posted at almost the exact same time, and you said it better than me. :)
             

Offline RedFoxUF

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Re: So...about the banned book thing
« Reply #73 on: August 09, 2017, 08:29:34 PM »
I'm still shocked by what short memories people have. Was I the only one around during the early days of KU? The store was literally flooded with tons of "Do Me Daddy" types of erotica. Most of it targeted to women readers. And not just Amazon quite a few of the retailers were carrying it. Those readers didn't just suddenly vanish. And Amazon works really hard to suppress that sort of material. I'm not a particular fan of this particular brand of erotica. But I see the appeal of selfish, abusive "daddy" type. Its a kink quite a few people have. They imagine themselves as being subservient. It what tickles their fancy. And yeah that writer knew the ban was coming. IMHO it will drive Private sales plus paperback sales. Amazon typically ignores the Create space version of banned books.

Yeah. People have super short memories. I see authors running around now claiming they are the first to do this and that right in front of the people who actually invented the marketing techniques....they have no clue of what came before them. An ebook history of the indie gold rush would be instructive at some point.

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Re: So...about the banned book thing
« Reply #74 on: August 09, 2017, 09:14:04 PM »
Sexual deviants didn't put this book in Amazon's Top 100. The number one demographic for this book is middle-aged women. And not because they are sick or twisted or anything. It's because the number one demographic for all romance is middle-aged women and if you tell people something is forbidden and naughty and they can't have it, then they are going to try twice as hard to get it. She wrote a book that was 'taboo' and people enjoyed reading and she came up with a campaign that has everyone talking about it. Smart lady.

Yeah, good points.

This discussion is reminding me of a women's studies class I took as an undergrad. One day, the class got sort of heated while discussing rape fantasies. One side thought women should refuse to indulge in them because they normalize rape in a culturewide sense; the other side thought women should be free to enjoy them while also demanding not to be raped in real life. As I recall, neither side was able to convince the other before class ended.