As usual, I am dumbfounded by reality.
As loyal readers of this lofty blog know so well by now: it doesn't take much to dumbfound me. I basically just have to get out of bed in the morning and that does it. I open my eyes, I encounter reality and I'm dumbfounded by it.
I could take you down the lesser known corridors of my mind and regale you with how dumbfounded I am by the resounding & continuous fallout from some of the unbelievably inexplicable choices I've made in my life. That actually is my full-time job -- staying dumbfounded by all that.
However, what I'm currently mulling over has to do with the post below, from nearly a week ago. Where I announced that Volume One, in a three volume set of my early erotica, was now for sale.
I'll start off by saying that you can buy 99% of my older erotica just about anywhere; in most countries, in a couple different languages, and at anytime of the night or day. A whole lot of it -- thanks to Google-- you can actually "google" (active verb) and then read instantly on the Internet, absolutely free of charge! Without even worrying that I might get some sort of remuneration or royalty out of it.
In fact, if you're worrying that I might be getting any sort of remuneration or royalty out of 99% of the fiction and nonfiction I've written in the past 23 years, rest assured this is not the case. Some of my writing went out there free of charge in the first place, but most of it went out for a flat fee that I received long, long ago. Or, in most cases involving my actual books as opposed to individual stories, any royalties I could receive are instead offset -- or perhaps obliterated by -- people purchasing my books used (primarily on Amazon) rather than new, which would of course cause unseemly royalties to trickle my way...
Whatever. I'm too old, too wise, too tired to fight City Hall. I have learned to just be grateful people want to read my work at all, regardless of how they get their hands & minds on it.
Still, I thought I would just toss some of my older stories and novellas out there onto the pile of it that's already available everywhere, in the event that I might be able to make a sale of my own here and there, over time. (I've got all the time in the world now, btw.) So I put together the first volume, and a friend took a painting that I liked from 1912 (Nude Girl on a Rug, by Lovis-Corinth) and diddled with it in PhotoShop and made a cool cover for me. (The painting is 100 years old and in the public domain -- unlike my own work which is not 100 years old but is, for the most part, in the public domain...)
Well, so up the book went onto Smashwords -- the Universe's greatest gift to writers to come along in a long time (followed closely by LULU if you want great-looking POD versions of your titles). And then a slightly re-formatted version went into the publishing queue at Kindle.
Unlike Smashwords, which publishes you in moments (it takes longer to get approved for the premium catalogue, but the actual publishing takes moments), Kindle puts you in a queue that can take many hours, even up to a day or two.
I was not at all alarmed by this. I have other titles published with Kindle so I'm used to this. What did alarm me was the email I got from them late in the day, saying Kindle would not be publishing my book on the grounds that it was pornographic, obscene, and violated their standards of what was acceptable for publication on Kindle.
Luckily, my mind is resilient. It gets fucked with a lot, but it bounces back. I tried to "be reasonable" with Kindle. I sent an email into the labyrinth of e-formletter emails that is Kindle. I mentioned, politely, that every single one of the stories in Volume One of The Muse Revisited was currently available for sale on Amazon and had been for 8 years already (I cited my anthology, Lust) and some of the stories are available in other anthologies on Amazon that are even older than that.
I also wanted to say that the stories in Dirty Filthy Lovely (a current Kindle title that has been selling for close to a year and half already) had way filthier stories in it than anything in Volume One of The Muse Revisited. But then, unaccustomed as I am to living in a fascist dictatorship, I immediately feared that drawing attention to the filthiness of Dirty Filthy Lovely would only cause Kindle to yank that title from their catalogue posthaste.
Yes, I became PARANOID.
I even went into the Kindle store (this is a purely mental action -- no physical action happens except for typing) and did a search of "erotica" in an effort to assure myself that I wasn't dreaming and that Kindle does in fact publish erotica, as well as "erotica" that perhaps borders on "pornographic" and maybe even a little "obscene". It was with great relief that I encountered a cavalcade of titles that promised gangbangs, slutty wives, sex with babysitters, filthy anal sex, orgies, people who sell their sister for sex, etc., etc.
However, while I was relieved to encounter that I wasn't wrong and that Kindle does indeed publish a wide variety of erotica, I moved from feeling paranoid to feeling PERSECUTED. I lay in bed in the dark, fretting over why Kindle had singled-out me, had blocked me and my award-winning literary erotica from being carried in the precious and much sought after Kindle store...
(Continued tomorrow, gang!!)
About Marilyn Jaye
Causes Marilyn Jaye Lewis Supports
The Film Council of Greater Columbus, Columbus, OH
The Adrienne Shelley Foundation, NY, NY
Paralyzed Veterans of America, Washington, DC...