Skirting the Lines, Hugging the Lines, Leaping Over the Lines

I scraped my original post, so I could weigh in on the Paypal/Bookstrand fiasco.

A quick summary of events for those not in the know:  Paypal played the heavy with Bookstrand and All Romance Ebooks.  On the chopping block: Pseudo incest, barely legal, dubious/forced consent.  Bookstrand originally just said: hey, we’ve stopped everything, please pull your books that violate these rules.  Grumbling, but fine, people mostly complied, while being deeply concerned about Paypal decided what legally consenting adults in fiction do.

Then Bookstrand decided to simply kill their indie section.  This would have been a much more minor deal, except then Siren (their in house publishing arm) also sent a nastygram to Dear Author, blaming it all on filthy indies who just didn’t know where to draw the line.

Kindly get your facts straight.

Siren-BookStrand Publishing NEVER has and NEVER will publish books with the disgusting themes of incest, pseudo incest, rape for sexual titillation, or bestiality with naturally occurring animals. ALL of these incest, pseudo-incest, rape, and bestiality titles were uploaded to the e-book store, BookStrand.com, mainly by self-pubbed authors who don’t know where to draw the line when it comes to obscenity. We have deactivated those self-pubbed titles from BookStrand as per PayPal’s specific request. Currently, these are the same titles still offered for sale by Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and All Romance Ebooks.

As for rape, we carry about a small handful of titles (out of the 2,000 we have published) where rape was portrayed as a criminal act of sexual assault that left our heroines psychologically damaged as they struggled to rebuild their lives and found love and trust again with the heroes. As for bestiality, hopefully you aren’t mistaking this filthy act with a family dog or a pet goat for an HEA romance and sex with shape-shifting sentient beings such as wolf-shifters, dragon-shifters, etc., in their human or partial human form.

I don’t know what your agenda is, but it is irresponsible of you for not checking your facts before making such an outlandish and false statement.

I demand that you remove such blatant inaccuracy that stems from your ignorance about what we publish.

Sincerely,
Publisher
Siren Publishing

Let me re-emphasize the good bit: Siren-BookStrand Publishing NEVER has and NEVER will publish books with the disgusting themes of incest, pseudo incest, rape for sexual titillation, or bestiality with naturally occurring animals. ALL of these incest, pseudo-incest, rape, and bestiality titles were uploaded to the e-book store, BookStrand.com, mainly by self-pubbed authors who don’t know where to draw the line when it comes to obscenity.

Of course, I immediately went to Bookstrands’s Top Sellers list and found almost half of them involve groups of brothers (actual related siblings) having intimate relations with a woman. Apparently that thin bit of skin that separates the vagina from the anus are all that it takes to keep it from being incest.

Bookstrand/Siren has also gone through and added this to their incest titles: Note: There is NO sexual relationship/touching between the brothers.

So of course, I then needed to spend an obscene amount of time looking at DP images and videos on the internet. (Note: I completely distracted myself, thus am writing this the next morning, rather than finishing it last night.  Whoops!) Ain’t no way, no how that doing a hot and nasty double penetration of a woman with your brother is not sexual touching. Maybe they can keep their balls and legs from touching, but they are getting off on the stimulation of a cock in the other orifice.

Siren is flinging a lot of attitude for a company that happily publishes actual incest between siblings at authors who wrote some dirty stories about STEP relations getting it on.  You know, what we coyly call pseudoincest, but really is non-related, consenting, of age people boning.

They also, for all their current whining, happily pocked 50% of the revenues from publishing said works.  It wasn’t until Paypal smacked them around that they started clutching pearls and bitching about lines being crossed. I would say lines were crossed, but it wasn’t by indies who happily stuck to the rules Bookstrand had in place.

leotamabel (16 Posts)


3 comments

  1. Anjasa says:

    Their moral indignation is amusing to me. The idea that their line is so solid and yet so fine is hilarious.

    Partially shifted animals are okay, but not real animals. M/F/M with two brothers is fine, but M/F with step family is abhorrant.

    It’s a good thing their lines are so finely ingrained in their head that they can spit on the people who provided them income – while following Bookstrand’s rules, nonetheless!

    Nothing about this situation feels good to me.

  2. I absolutely agree with Anjasa – Nothing about this situation feels good to me.

    Its so murky and frustrating.

    The thing that is even more frustrating is all the different twats Paypal has fingers in… If they make a big stink are they going to move authors like:

    Jacqueline Carey
    George R. R. Martin
    Laurell K. Hamilton
    Ayn Rand
    And countless others?

    One of my all time favorite books is Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury. The story is about a society who have taken censorship to extremes, firemen burn books. At the end of the version I have is a letter/coda from Mr. Bradbury explaining that if we don’t stand up against censorship eventually everything will be censored… honestly I think he said it best:

    “The point is obvious. There is more than one way to burn a book. And the world is full of people running about with lit matches. Every minority, be it Baptist / Unitarian, Irish / Italian / Octogenarian / Zen Buddhist, Zionist / Seventh-day Adventist, Women’s Lib / Republican, Mattachine / FourSquareGospel feel it has the will, the right, the duty to douse the kerosene, light the fuse. Every dimwit editor who sees himself as the source of all dreary blanc-mange plain porridge unleavened literature, licks his guillotine and eyes the neck of any author who dares to speak above a whisper or write above a nursery rhyme.” (http://www.rjgeib.com/thoughts/451/451.html)

    I wish there was something we could do. Some “March on Paypal” we could join in.

    What happens when they decide that Pseudo-incest isn’t enough? When any form of “tying wrists” or “restraint” is cut off completely? Will we re-enter the society too conservative that Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz can show THEY OWN ONE BED and don’t sleep in two separate? Personally the idea of going into that repressive society scares the shit out of me.

  3. Disgruntled Indie Author says:

    In a statement made at the SirenAuthors Yahoo! group, which consists primarily of Siren-exclusive authors, Ms. Debalko described how she really feels:

    “In hindsight, the decision to open our BookStrand.com bookstore to self-pubbed authors was a mistake, but only a short-lived one. ”

    Yep. Indie authors were a MISTAKE.

    “We didn’t have time to wade through hundreds of accounts and thousands of titles to determine which self-pubbed authors to keep and which to let go. We did not want to spend anymore resources maintaining self-pubbed titles. So, we let go practically all self-pubbed authors.”

    That’s always nice to hear. I’m sure the few indie authors who were a part of that Yahoo! group who have had their accounts deleted feel GREAT.

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