Kobo suspends self-publishing books 'to protect the industry'

Will temporary censorship entice authors to write more palatable material?

All self-published ebooks hosted by Kobo in the U.K. have been suspended due to the discovery of abuse-themed titles, although books that did not violate its policies would go back on sale soon.

The e-reader and digital book seller said that while it did not intend to censor material submitted by authors, books with elements featuring incest, rape and bestiality have been quietly pulled in order to "protect the reputation of self-publishing."

Books that do not contain this type of material will be back on sale within a week.

The titles provided by Kobo are sold by U.K. retailer WH Smith, whose site is currently offline. A statement on the website reads:

"Last week we were made aware that a number of unacceptable titles were appearing on our website through the Kobo website that has an automated feed to ours. This is an industry wide issue impacting retailers that sell self published eBooks due to the explosion of self publishing, which in the main is good as it gives new authors the opportunity to get their content published.

However we are disgusted by these particular titles, find this unacceptable and we in no way whatsoever condone them."

WH Smith has apologized, and says that the website will be live again once a screening process to remove offending titles -- being undertaken by the retailer and Kobo -- is complete.

Kobo says a "thorough review" of its submission and e-book acceptance is underway.

The U.K. Ministry of Justice says that while WH Smith may have breached the Obscene Publications Act -- legislation that makes sure shoppers are protected from accidentally finding content that "outrages public decency" -- no complaints have been received.

Via: BBC

Image credit: ZDNet | Flickr

This post was originally published on Smartplanet.com