With the launch of Amazon Digital Services, people can create a masterpiece, pen their thoughts, pour out their catharsis, and/or puke a point of view, then fast track whatever it turns out to be by self-publishing. Over at Amazon, by the end of a few keystrokes, the fruit of the writer’s (or poor typist’s, in some cases) labor goes on sale as a Kindle download and takes a ranking at the biggest online retailer of books in the world.
Sometimes this is bad news and sometimes it’s worse than that and today the social media lines are on fire with outrage over Philip R. Greaves’ latest offering, THE PEDOPHILE’S GUIDE TO LOVE AND PLEASURE.
The blogosphere and message boards are clamoring for the book’s removal, but some sources are citing a firm stance by Amazon, defending its position on the nobility of free speech.
Updates as we get them, folks.
Amazon’s Customer Service Department can be reached at 800-201-7575.
Update #1 (2:30 PM CST)
Jason Boog has some news about boycotts, negative reviews and assorted outrage, in addition to a (disgusting) excerpt. (GalleyCat)
Update #2 (3:35 EST)
Here’s Amazon’s response -
Amazon believes it is censorship not to sell certain books simply because we or others believe their message is objectionable. Amazon does not support or promote hatred or criminal acts, however, we do support the right of every individual to make their own purchasing decisions.
arguably at odds with its own Content Guidelines -
Titles sold through the Digital Text Platform Program must follow our content policy and guidelines, detailed below. Publishers are expected to conduct proper research to ensure that the Titles sold through the Digital Text Platform Program are in compliance with all local, state, national, and international laws. If Amazon Digital Services, Inc. determines that the content of a Title is prohibited, we may summarily remove or alter it without returning any fees. Amazon Digital Services, Inc. reserves the right to make judgments about whether or not content is appropriate.Please take a moment to familiarize yourself with some examples of prohibited content:
Pornography and hard-core material that depicts graphic sexual acts.
What we deem offensive is probably about what you would expect. Amazon Digital Services, Inc. reserves the right to determine the appropriateness of Titles sold on our site.
Update #3 (7:00 PM CST)
The author speaks to The Smoking Gun.
Greaves denied ever being arrested, but revealed that his mental troubles “came to a head about three years ago” when he suffered a “mental collapse.” At the time, Greaves said, he had been working as a nursing home aide.
The breakdown was so severe, said Greaves, that he was involuntarily hospitalized for about nine months, and spent some of that time in a state mental facility. When he emerged from that hospitalization, Greaves recalled that he decided to go back to writing, which he first started doing while in eighth grade.
His pedophile’s guide is a byproduct of that recommitment to craft.
Update #4, Thursday 8:00am (EST)
The Amazon page for the book no longer displays, and while some are calling it a victory for decency and the law, others think the heavy traffic may just have knocked the internet sideways. A search of the site still lists the book, but there’s ‘no image available’ and only a 404 error as reward for clicking the link. No official comment from Amazon.com that I can find. CNN spoke with Phillip R. Greaves:
When asked if the self-published e-book was a “how-to manual,” he said, “there are certain parts that are advisory,” which set out lines that should not be crossed.
“Penetration is out. You can’t do that with a child, but kissing and fondling I don’t think is that big of a problem,” he said.
Update #5, Thursday 9:00am (CST)
As reported in this morning’s LitLinks, UPI is reporting that “Amazon.com has apparently removed a Colorado author’s book about pedophilia from its Web site following protests from hundreds of shoppers, officials said.”