Banned in the UK – Or be careful what you wish for!

15 Oct

BannedOn October 2nd, I announced that I had taken the unusual step of banning my own book, The Management Secrets of T. John Dick. Having seen all the hoop-la surrounding Banned Books Week, I saw no reason why I shouldn’t get in on the act too.

Since then, some readers have suggested, rather unkindly, that this was nothing but a cheap publicity stunt. My ban applied to Barnes & Noble (excluding ebooks), and I provided a convenient link to their website for any skeptics to check it out for themselves. They will have seen that I spoke the truth, and the observation by some trouble-makers and haters of great literature that the books had never actually been on sale there in the first place in no way invalidates my claim that they are not on sale there now.

Be that as it may, I am pleased to announce that both The Management Secrets of T. John Dick and The Rise and Fall of T. John Dick have now been banned in the UK, and this time it’s not me doing the banning. The e-book versions of both titles for Kobo e-readers had only recently gone on sale there. Kobo also makes their e-books available to retail partners, such as the UK’s biggest bookstore chain, W.H. Smith. A story in the Daily Mail newspaper pointed out that various loathful pornographic e-books involving rape, incest and more can be purchased from the Kobo store and consequently also from W.H. Smith. In response, Kobo has stopped selling most if not all e-books from small or self-publishers in the UK. We have been banned! For real! Take that, skeptics! If you don’t believe me, check out Kobo’s UK website. The books are no longer there.

Actually, the skeptics will have a bit of a hard time checking it out. You can only get to Kobo’s UK website from a UK IP address. Skeptics from the US* will be redirected to the US website, which will jolly well serve them right. On the other hand, thanks to my extensive network of contacts in the UK**, I was able to access the UK site and confirm the banning. You skeptics will just have to take my word for it, which will also serve you right.

Meanwhile, W. H. Smith has gone further, taking down their whole website! Amazon, on the other hand has simply removed the offending titles and promised to continue their efforts to filter out this kind of stuff, so great literature junkies who simply can’t wait to get their digital fix of my ground-breaking books have only to trash their Kobo in a fit of rage and fork out  a few quid for a Kindle.

For anyone wanting to learn more about the whole story, I recommend a visit to a post on the subject at David Gaughran’s excellent blog

* – There are no skeptics in the UK. They have sceptics instead. Sceptics will have no problem accessing Kobo’s UK website.

** – Thanks, Mum.

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