Censorship Update: Kindle F**ks With Me Again (UPDATED)
EVEN FURTHER UPDATE: 10/30/18: They're back. Their system did this automatically, they claim. Now my books are restored at Amazon & Comixology. (which are now the same)
But I still am having a phone discussion with them tomorrow to make sure this doesn't happen again. I don't care whether it was a mistake. I want to make sure this doesn't ever happen again, to me or anyone else. So I'm not going back and restoring all the links I scrubbed last night until this is not longer an issue.
Still don't trust them, though.
FURTHER UPDATE 10/29/18: You'll notice I've scrubbed all the links to Kindle, Amazon and Comixology. But didn't I just win a censorship battle? I did. I even sacrificed one of my books to do it. And I was playing by their rules. Does this give me safety and peace of mind?
No, they're gone again now. And why?
Somehow MARTHA became active again. Not my doing. And then they told me I needed to prove I owned the rights to my own book. Seriously.
I was very puzzled about this and contacted them about it, and spent a whole day on hold and never got to speak to anyone at all. They promised a callback and that happened before 8 am on a Saturday so of course I wasn't awake to get that. And they do not leave direct phone numbers to call them back.
Two days followed of me trying to talk to someone and an endless chain of reps who had no idea what they were doing . The end of all this?
Due to repeated Content Guideline violations with respect to books you
have submitted through your account, specifically the submission of
pornography or hardcore material that depicts graphic sexual acts, we
are terminating your account and your Agreement effective immediately.
Here is an example of a book that you submitted through your account that falls into this category:
DID(s): 6335358 Martha by Roberson, John (AUTHOR)
As part of the termination process, we will close your KDP account and
remove the books you have uploaded through our channels from sale on
Amazon. Subject to the Terms and Conditions, you will receive any unpaid
royalties you have earned.
Additionally, as per our Terms and Conditions, you are not permitted to open any new KDP accounts.
If you have any questions, please email us at kdp-support+A119CVTPED1JTC@amazon.com.
Your feedback is helping us build Earth's Most Customer-Centric Company."
I assume this last line was a joke. By the way, feel free to complain to them at that email. Just click.
This was the original message that started the whole fight before that you see talked about below.
They made it active again for the excuse to ban me again. I didn't lift a finger to do any of this. It also means my books are zapped at Comixology as that's now part of KDP. KDP has no interest in helping small creators succeed--they're trying to drive them out. Certainly they're targeting me. And I have no idea why. I sacrificed MARTHA. I cut that book's throat to save all the others. I wasn't trying to make it an active publication. Ever. This was settled.
So all my work was for nothing and their previous apologies were meaningless. And no creator, ever, should work with KDP. They act entirely in bad faith, their support team is badly trained and is always a nightmare to work with, and they do things to you like this.
KDP killed Createspace, which was a wonderful, creator-centric operation committed to helping small creators put out a professional product and getting it sold. I have no idea what KDP, by contrast, hopes to achieve by kicking creators in the teeth for any excuse, even manufacturing excuses themselves. But even if you play by the rules, if you work with them, they're going to screw you over. They cannot be trusted and they are not a safe home for your work.
Comics creators: Do not use them. They discriminate against comics by allowing content in prose they won't in comics. They don't care if you follow their policies. They will find any excuse to reduce the numbers of comics creators. They don't care about you, or me.
This is driving me crazy.
I do some comics with R-rated content, they get banned from sale by the loathsome KDP . I post any of my art on Facebook, I get banned. And very quickly. But a NAZI plans MURDER in PUBLIC, and he does not get banned. Is there something intensely awful in America? YES.
If you think this seeming inconsistency of standards is actually an mistaken inconsistency and not deliberate on the part of the tech lords, if you think they only accidentally favor Nazis, you're a fool.
One has to wonder if they even want KDP to handle indie comics, and what their strategy could be here in alienating the very small creators you'd think KDP needs to exist. Perhaps they want it to fail.
Maybe it should.
You can, though, still buy my books in digital at Google Play.
Below: What happened before.
UPDATE 9/8/18: Complete success. All the books that were up, are back where they should be, at Createspace, Kindle(both available via Amazon), AND...Comixology. And they even kindly apologized. Overall I feel their response ended every professionally, though it was extremely frustrating before that.
But yay! I had to sacrifice MARTHA for good, but I had no intention of republishing it.
For once, I beat censors, because I was enraged and did not give up. But far more importantly, they received a barrage of messages on my behalf from all of you. I only wish as many of you were buying them! But thanks mostly to you, I am back, and it is a wonderful feeling to feel as though I have agency in this for once. I have been buffeted about by this crap, and driven crazy about my work, by too many censors for far too long. Comics wins over censors far too rarely.
And we find it far too easy to assume censorship is something we can only cope with or get around, rather than shit, just shit, that we should not have to face at all.
We should not be told what to do by, for god's sake not even publishers, not even the government--booksellers; hypocrites who allow werewolf porn on Kindle in prose, but won't allow even an ordinary sex scene with much detail in a comic. We have to have visuals, so we get targeted. We should be able to explore anything prose can, or else we're an inferior medium, and we should keep fighting these companies to loosen their restrictive content standards for all creators, not just ones shielded by big companies.
So anyway, below is where it stood on Wednesday...
Partial success! My print comics at Amazon are staying right where they are and my KDP account is to be restored. Thank you to everyone who wrote them to pressure them to not do this. It was prevented.
This also means my print titles on Amazon can be bought in Kindle editions too once more, which had been gone for many months before any of the rest of this.
Only Comixology remains--and they're re-reviewing all my titles, that each went through a year of approval before release.
I do not think I should go through that twice for LULU, SUZY SPREADWELL, or THIS SICKNESS #8. They were already approved, and they knew what they were selling. The books should never have been taken down. They should be restored, all of them.
So write them at firstname.lastname@example.org and insist these books be reinstated. Do it now. It works.
And thank you again, to everyone. (especially Donna Barr and Steve Bissette, who've been there so many times for me) I no longer feel like trash.
Labels: censorship, lulu, my comics, suzy spreadwell, this sickness