Deja vu, anyone? Yes, you’ve seen this post before. But previously it was a plain old re-blogging of the source material – which would be OK if the source material didn’t get changed every 5 minutes. Unfortunately, you get what you pay for with The Write Agenda: a bunch of untrustworthy nobodies who never mean what they say, never say what they mean, and who keep altering their own posts so they can’t be quoted on anything. And they want to be taken seriously, too. I take them for a set of hucksters, scamsters, fraudsters, and bigots. Seriously.
And here’s why.
As you undoubtedly know from elsewhere, various banks are putting pressure on Paypal to dictate terms of service to Smashwords. In effect, Smashwords is being told what it can, and cannot, publish. This is called censorship. Any sane person would call it as such. But The Write Agenda – which, I hardly need remind you, purports to be “independent” and “without prejudicial influence” – was obviously behind the door when common sense got handed out. Well, they are the same people who think that money should flow from the author to the publisher; they probably still believe the world is flat too.
The attempted censorship of Smashwords is worth fighting as a matter of principle, even if you prefer not to read the material that has apparently so offended the banks. And why should it be censored at all if it is, in fact legal fiction? (And it is, y’know.) After all, if erotica falls foul of censorship, what goes next? Political satire? Any kind of political writing? Anything that doesn’t make banks, bankers, politicians etc look like saints and heroes? You know, I think they call this Freedom of Speech.
Speaking of which, here’s the link to Mark Coker’s (Smashwords founder) robust and rational defence of their publishing policy.
The Write Agenda, meanwhile, has decided to use that same freedom of speech to rant about how Smashwords is dealing in smut, and that everybody ought to boycott the site. Rally all librarians, teachers and Christians! Come all ye bible-bashers, book-burners, and white-hooded Klan members! “People with morals”!
Yeah, right. A couple of salient points here:
One: The Write Agenda used to publish on Smashwords. Now they don’t. Why? Because they were kicked off for abusing the service. This is an extreme case of sore losers, sour grapes, and unforgivable tantrums.
Two: The Write Agenda has a history of being stupid. Last year they attempted to justify a campaign of book-burning. When questioned on that, they fell mute. Understandably so: book-burning is unjustifiable. Their morals seem to rest on a misguided belief that they have a god-given right to take money from authors, shove a pile of substandard, poorly-printed books at them, and still call themselves publishers. Odd that any kind of publisher or writer-affiliated site would ever align itself with censorship. Makes you wonder why it would so. Any chance of an answer to that, TWA?
There is one good thing the Wrong Agenda have done, albeit very accidentally: if you want to champion a few Smashwords authors before they are forced to remove their work from the site, scroll down TWA(t)’s ranty page to the list of fruity fiction they have thoughtfully provided. There’s something for everyone on this list. Even, though they won’t admit it in public, The Write Agenda.