04 March 2012

A Preference Here...A Preference There...

Greetings on this fine Sunday fellow ROW80 friends! 

  This little e-card was posted on Facebook by my cousin, and I thought you'd all get a kick out of it!  I love the Musketeer Man showing off the text like some Vanna White...too funny.  I have cards with words such as your and you're; there, their, they're; which, witch....etc for my boys.  It's a pet peeve of mine to mix up words - although not too long ago I actually (blushes) used the word reign when I should have used rein!  So even an old girl can still mess up!

Author Roz Lee, fellow member of BTS Bookclub, has a new release!  Buy Link for

 Under The Covers...

Special Agent, Bree Stanton has big plans. As soon as she solves her current case, she's moving on, even if it means leaving her heart behind. Falling in love with Drew Whitcomb was never supposed to happen, but she has no intention of giving up her dreams for a guy who's content to spend his days judging lewd contests, and pining for his best friend's wife.

Drew's job providing security for the Lothario's owners is the perfect cover. Keeping an eye on Bree isn't a hardship, but keeping his hands off her is more difficult. And convincing her to give him a chance is proving to be a mission impossible, given that she thinks he's still in love with his former partner, now his best friend’s wife. Drew is looking forward to the day he can show Bree the man under the cover, but until that day, he's going to do all he can to make sure she won't leave him when he does.

Congrats, Roz!  Hope you encounter smooth sailing with your newest title...

Progress on the Writing Front ~

The Third Fate is finished!  I'm reading through to scan for any missed typos, mistakes, guffaws in translation, but this is the final stages!  Betas will receive my book in a few days.  I can't wait!  Exciting, exciting.

I'm weeks away from publishing, and it feels fantastic! 

In The News...

Anyone not aware of the PayPal issue going on should read the following articles... 
The EFF blogged about the issue a few days ago:  https://www.eff.org/deeplinks/2012/02/legal-censorship-paypal-makes-habit-deciding-what-users-can-read
 Today, ABFFE and NCAC issued a press release:  http://www.scribd.com/doc/83549049/NCAC-ABFFE-Letter-To-PayPal-eBay-re-Ebook-Refusal-2012

THE PROBLEM: (in an email from Mark Coker)
PayPal is asking us to censor legal fiction.  Regardless of how one views topics
of rape, bestiality and incest, these topics are pervasive in mainstream fiction.
 We believe this crackdown is really targeting erotica writers.  This is unfair,
and it marks a slippery slope.  We don't want credit card companies or financial
institutions telling our authors what they can write and what readers can read.
 Fiction is fantasy.  It's not real.  It's legal.

My Thoughts...The biggest problem is that PayPal isn't denying authors the right to sell their material, they are simply refusing to be party to it.  This action mostly affects erotica authors.  I am not an erotica author; therefore, this action does not affect my books.  It would be easy to ignore the issue after logical thinking led to the above conclusion, but I don't believe it's that simple.  Who decides what is appropriate for PayPal to 'allow' as a transaction?  Right now it has to do with books that have content such as rape (wouldn't that exclude much of the romance genre from the 1970's - The Flame and the Flower, Kathleen Woodiwiss as one example, which is by the way a great romance even though it has a rape scene and many of Bertrice Small's books?)  Right now, I don't think so, but that doesn't mean PayPal won't include them (or exclude them as perspective dictates) in the future.  I'm not sure I think PayPal should have a hand in how their customers choose to spend their hard earned cash - obviously as long as it's a legal transaction.  

The flip side of the argument is just as difficult to navigate.  PayPal is a company, not a legislative body.  PayPal is not trying to take these books off the market, nor to prevent sales through some other avenue.  Does anyone (including the government) have a right to MAKE PayPal participate in something that violates their principles?  

In the end, I believe that the only way PayPal should be 'influenced' is through consumers.  If people are truly upset and unhappy over this decision, they won't use PayPal, thereby forcing the company to change its policy to remain profitable.  But they would still have a choice in the matter. 

How do you weigh in on this 'weighty' issue?

~ Nadja


  1. PayPal is the middle man. A means of transferring money from one person to another. I can't think what it has to do with them (I haven't read the articles yet, though). Congrats on your book!

    1. It is great to see you Gwen! Your new blog design is lovely. PayPal is claiming that refunds are a large reason for the denials...but..

  2. Love the quote! Looks like we're still on the same page, as I'm finishing up my final proofing today.

    As for PayPal, the way I understand it, it's not PayPal, its the companies they work with such as Visa/Mastercard. Erotica is considered a high risk return item and in turn, costs them $$ when there are return transactions. So it's not so much PayPal as it is the bigger credit companies trying to limit their losses. Or something like that.

    1. You are right, Claudia. But it is PayPal that made the demands as I understand it from Smashwords. The return issue is one of the reasons - but then why name out the rape, incest, and such? Why not simply say they will not sell/transfer monies on novels titled 'erotica'. Not that I agree/disagree with that stance either, but I think that adding the specific exclusions 'muddied the waters'. Sigh. I could go back and forth with myself over this issue. I can see both sides...

  3. Great job on finishing The Third Fate! I'm anxiously awaiting the chance to read it. :)

    The PayPal issue is getting a lot of press on the internet. Mark Coker at Smashwords is talking to PayPal and doing all he can to figure out what can be done. He got a lot of "hate" mail for making authors take down the books that were affected, but what choice did he have? His whole payment system is based on PayPal. I don't necessarily approve of some of the types of books affected (bestiality and incest disturb me), but if these types of books can be censored, what's next? Imagine what would happen if suddenly vampires were censored. Or Christian romances. It could be anything.

    1. That's my concern, too, Lauralynn! Who decides what is 'appropriate'? One post I read brought up some great points concerning paranormal novels - will books featuring 'other' species be next? Werewolves that meet and fall in love with the sexy were-hunter? Hmmm...slippery slope ahead.

  4. I think we should look at who the board of directors is at paypal...that would explane if it is an idelogical or financial decision. This is a sticky issue,and scary! when finincial institutions start throwing their weight arround about social issues we could have serious issues.

    1. Excellent note. And if Visa, Mastercard, and other financial companies are the motivating factor behind this, my next question is will this affect these books' sales on Amazon? At libraries? (I'm sure they don't use cash to buy those books!)

  5. Here is a question for you to ask on your next post: What brought you to this blog in paticulier, and why stay?

    For me it was your profile picture, you have to know your an attractive woman(and no I am not trying to butter you up) I stayed not because of the genre you write (sadly I don't read this genre) but because of the way you put words together on your blog, and it is always good to expand.

  6. Whoo, congrats on finishing The Third Fate! You are such an inspiration when it comes to the speed at which you write - so awesome. :D

    I'm definitely incensed by the PayPal issue, especially since I have an erotica book sitting on the backburner, and have a number of friends who write in the genre. As a reader, Smashwords and other self-pub sites that utilize PayPal are the prime places I use to access those books, and to not be barred from doing so is terrible. I really hope a solution is reached that is satisfactory for all parties.

    1. Thanks, Lena!
      I hope they reach a solution too. How's school/teaching/writing going? You've got a full plate!

  7. Congrats on your latest work, Nadja! Thanks for your advice the other day, I really appreciate it!

    As for the PayPal topic, I totally support their decision, but not because its decision about censorship. Rather it's their right to make decisions based solely on what they choose to have a part in, because nobody has a right to force them otherwise. If it affects their bottom line then they'll either reconsider, or stick to their guns. I totally agree with them; if they want no part in transactions of particular material, whether erotica or recipes on how to make chocolate pudding', it's up to them. There are several colleges that absolutely refuse to take money from the Federal Government because they value not only their autonomy, but their principles. Enjoy the rest of your Sunday!

  8. Nadja, congratulations on finishing The Third Fate! I love the grammar picture at the beginning of your blog. Too funny.

    As for the PayPal issue, that's very sticky. I agree, that as a company, they have the right to do business in the manner they see most fit for their company's mission. On the other hand, it smacks of censorship, in the sense that they are deciding what their customers will be allowed to buy.

    This may be a long, drawn out matter.

  9. I'm pretty much against censorship in any form! That's where I begin and end the subject. Free speech, even if I won't read it, is still a GREAT thing.

    Congrats on finishing The Third Fate! It must feel sooooo good!!!

    1. Agree, Kate. PayPal's actions are in essence an attempt to censor Smashwords - and all the companies that they (PalPay) will do business with.....

  10. Congratulations on completing your novel! You must have a sense of relief about getting it done. I can't wait to read it. :)

    Have a great week!

    1. Thanks, Komal! I am breathing easy today...The Third Fate is off to betas!!! Woo-hoo!

  11. Love that card! Hmm...there may be a post in there somewhere :)

    Congrats on reaching the finish line on The Third Fate!

    Ref: PayPal

    Wow, slippery slope indeed.

    While I agree it is their right to dictate per their mission statement. That they need to focus on the finances and if returns are affecting them that much they have to put whatever in place to protect that bottom line.

    I also think authors and/or publishers, retail sites can help prevent those returns by stating clearly if the work deals with potentially taboo or risky subject matter. I suspect a lot of returns are made because the buyer didn't have a clear idea of the subject matter.

    As much as I love PayPal, I don't use it all that much, opting to use other methods first. And I can clearly see where a site like Smashwords would be in trouble if they can't utilize PayPal. Heck, a number of authors would also be affected as a lot of small presses pay through PayPal.

    Yet there is that censorship issue. Where does it stop? Yeah, this is a hard one. I can see both sides.

    1. It is difficult! While I am concerned with PayPal's move - and the fact that they feel they have the right (and the 'weight') to demand all organizations they do business with, like Smashwords remove products they don't want to transfer money for...I think it is just as slippery a slope when a company can be forced to be party to purchases/sales/whatever that they do not want to.

      Why doesn't PayPal simply write a strict refund policy and be done with it? Or why not create a special set of regulations over labeling books with taboo topics? But to demand that Smashwords (or whatever business) stop offering these products? That's where I see the problem. They aren't just refusing to be party - they are wanting the businesses they do business with to refuse to be party....big difference.

  12. Congrats on your writing progress! And that e-card is hilarious.

    As for the issue, Paypal reeks of censorship, though technically they aren't stopping people from buying and selling those works. My biggest problem is how are they deciding where to draw the line? Can a book have a rape scene if it's done by the big baddie, the victim is not enjoying it, and the BB gets his (or her) comeuppance in the end? There's a rape scene near the end of The Summer Tree, actually a sort of double one, but it wasn't glorified at all, and it played a significant plot role in the rest of the trilogy. But the way I was interpreting Paypal's stance, even that story would not be allowed to be sold via their system. YA has had its share of abhorrent sexual acts as well, but not for gratification, for education. About overcoming such filth. Is Paypal going to stop those too? Sure a company can decide who they want to work with based on company culture, but blanket statements don't work on complex issues. As far as I'm concerned, it's not their place to be judging a legal transaction. They are neither retailer nor customer, simply the handshake in-between.

    When I finish getting my Etsy shop open, I won't be using Paypal even if it means I lose sales from that decision, because I don't like the attitude that I'm not smart enough as a consumer to make my own moral judgements.

    1. I share your concerns, Jaleh....and your pet-peeve about PayPal.

      PayPal is not selling the items, they are only a financial institution moving monies back and forth securely.

      Good for you for taking a stance on your principles. I'm not familiar with Etsy? Help please?

  13. Congrats on your book, and I hope the beta reads go well. Love the quote/card at the beginning.

    The PayPal issue... tough. They have the right to define their business, but it's a slippery slope. It seems to me that people who don't want to buy these items, just shouldn't. Not sure why PayPal really got involved. I need to read some more on it.