I jumped into erotic e-books as a writer and small publisher at the very beginning. My hope was to have free and open distribution of erotic lit that was not determined by anyone except those who wanted to write it and those that want to read it.
I think this new development with PayPal is taking us back to the dark ages. Especially with BDSM on the list of forbidden subjects that e-book publishers can’t carry of they want to keep their ability to process payments with the 800-lb gorilla known as PayPal. Snip from PayPal Strong-Arms Indie Ebook Publishers Over Erotic Content:
On Saturday February 18, PayPal began threatening indie book publishers and distributors with immediate deactivation of the businesses’ accounts if they did not remove books containing certain sexual themes – namely, specific sexual fantasies that PayPal does not approve of.
PayPal told indie e-book publishers and retailers – such as AllRomance, Smashwords, Excessica and Bookstrand – that if they didn’t remove the offending literature from their catalogs within a few days of notification, PayPal would close their accounts. (…)
One corporation begins to shape an entire market
Smashwords had little choice. On February 24, Smashwords sent a letter to all of their authors saying that it was being forced to make PayPal’s guidelines about erotic literature the new rules for content Smashwords would publish and distribute from now on.
All of the Smashwords authors were told in an email that if they want to see their work published and distributed through the popular alternative e-book e-tailer, they will need to make sure their works of fiction conform to PayPal’s acceptable use definitions of sexual fantasies.
Bookstrand went nuclear, and completely eliminated most of the indie titles from their catalog.
AllRomance has decided to stop publishing books that focus more on sex than romance – they are effectively purging all titles that are primarily sexually explicit storytelling “where sex [not romance] drives the story” from their catalog.
PayPal would ban works by Anaïs Nin, Vladimir Nabokov, Henry Miller, Marquis de Sade and books like Caligula, The Sookie Stackhouse Novels (True Blood), The Story of O, Venus in Furs, Lolita…
(…read more, Pulp Tech)