In a month when the top story should have been the Frankfurt Book Fair, what excited many people was the news that UK retailer W. H. Smith suddenly removed all self-published books it had only recently started carrying. It did this because a customer complained that a search for children’s books with the keyword “Daddies” returned titles of an adult, and in some cases gross, nature. From this naive filter failure, it was only a short but entirely predictable step to the retailer reassuring its UK middle-class customer base that they would not have to suffer such distress any further, and blaming the uncontrolled orgy (pun intended) of self-published books for the problem.
While many commentators pointed out the hypocrisy in this stance, there can be no surprise. Independent Authors continue to suffer the most outrageous discrimination as mainstreams use their influence to defend their shrinking market shares, in this case by having a major UK retailer pin the blame for its own simple mistake on the perceived tawdry subject matter of many self-published books. Clearly, the message is that adult material is only acceptable if it first has the mainstreams’ seal of approval. Continue reading “Indie News Beat: The times, they keep on a’ changing”