No one is really sure what prompted Barnes & Noble's heavy-handed tactics this week. Several bloggers have blamed it on the release of K. Webster's The Wild earlier this month. Webster deliberately violated T&C on several retail sites, not just B&N, in a effort to drum up publicity for her book. (And no, I will not link to it.)
Others have suggested that B&N was cleaning house in an effort to make themselves more attractive to a potential buyer.
However, I have trouble believing B&N's witch hunt was based solely on one author misbehaving or a corporate suitor. I mean, Microsoft got so fed up with B&N's missteps that they choose to walk away rather than deal with the bullshit. I can't see any investor, other than the crazy investors currently buying stock, touching B&N with the proverbial ten-foot pole. Not even Amazon or Kobo.
The weirdness on Wednesday was amplified when I checked the listings for one of my favorite erotica authors, Selena Kitt. While a majority of her e-books were gone from B&N's online listings, the paperbacks remained available.
Another favorite author Sarah Robinson, who writes hot romance but not erotica, was "on review" with B&N according to her Facebook posting.
So what the hell was going on with B&N's online store?
All we know is that B&N decided the backlash from authors and readers wasn't worth it, and they have started restoring accounts. Personally, I have a problem with the fact that they started pulling accounts before posting the August 16, 2017, revisions to their T&C. As a former attorney, I highly doubt if that stunt would hold up in court if a group of indie authors would file a class action suit. But this bullshit will probably make a lot of indie authors reconsider dealing with B&N in the future. I know I'm reconsidering keeping the updated books I've reloaded on B&N over the last few months.
Then, on top of B&N's crap, Amazon started reviewing Alter Ego's books. Why? I have no idea, but their T&C from September 1, 2016, is still online. I did some checking and other erotica authors have seen their own books being rifled.
I don't know about anyone else, but I'm really getting tired of erotica being the publishing world's whipping boy.
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