Good news. We’re now listed on Love Boudoir, a web page that lists, selectively reblogs and links to several hundred erotic and/or spanking and/or kinky blogs and bloggers. For whatever reason we’re on their kinky list. It’s worth looking over the site, you may find things that interest you.
Meanwhile, the big news story of the week is that PayPal is causing a storm of controversy at the moment due to its decision to withdraw transaction processing from some erotic publishers and threaten to do the same to many others. In principle the decision relates only to certain categories of ‘extreme’ erotica, though commentators have been quick to point out that (a) no one is saying the books themselves are actually unlawful, (b) only ‘erotica’ is being targeted, with many of the same themes and descriptions appearing as substantial chunks of horror, crime and general fiction and (c) the enforcement seems spectacularly hamfisted, with some publishers reporting being blindsided by bans when their books don’t in fact contain any of the themes that PayPal is worried about and others are getting away with continuing to publish works on those themes because they have less explicit covers and blurbs.
Companies offering adult-themed material, products and services of all sorts have a tangled relationship with banks and card processing agencies, and have had for years. The new issue, really, is that erotica publishing is suddenly being faced with the same transaction issues as, for example, escort services and massage parlours. And it may follow on from similar actions by credit card companies in the US last year. Those most affected, of course, are the small independents and those who self-publish via sites such as BookStrand and Smashwords, who aren’t in a position to move easily to alternative marketing platforms or payment methods.
There’s a post just up on Fulani’s blog linking to a string of Forbes articles that trace some of the history of the relationship between adult sector and financial institutions, and over at justineelyot.com you’ll see her take on the situation (plus a copy of the email she got from Smashwords about what the PayPal decision meant for them), plus links to other similarly-affected authors and their views. The Huffington Post also has an article setting out what’s going on.
Thus far, at least, our own publishers and titles aren’t affected as far as we know. But given the way the policy’s being implemented nothing seems certain at this point. It will no doubt be a while before new transaction methods (of which, actually, there are quite a few) are taken up by the publishers to get around the problem.