Friday, August 12, 2011

Reader's Right To Choose (Smashwords' Adult Filter)

Smashwords.com has upgraded their site and created a more robust "Adult Filter" which is turned on by default. Readers and visitors browsing the site have to turn that filter off to see my work. Since my books contain language (aka cursing) and some explicitness (aka sex scenes), I choose to add an "over 17" warning to every romance I write. Since I think this filter is a necessary choice to offer readers and visitors to the site, I am just going to ask that you either search for me by name or toggle the filter to "off" to find my books.

For the record, I agree and support Smashwords' use of the filter because children and their parents should be able to visit the Smashwords site and search for YA (Young Adult) books and others together without having to be exposed to what they don't want to see and would never buy. I have a 13 year old niece and one day I will want to show her my YA book at Smashwords without having to expose her to all the various kinds of books that are available. Filtering seems like a good solution to me.

Don't get me wrong--I don't support censorship. I have a Master's Degree in English. I read more salacious material in my postmodern classics course in college than any erotica writer could ever dream up. I won't list the books I read in college here because frankly I prefer not to think about them anymore. If you want to know what they were, send me a note at email@donnamcdonaldauthor.com Those postmodern books are a good part of the reason I chose a middle of the road heat level in my sex scenes and that I require emotional involvement of my characters before they get to that point. If you want to read more about my thoughts on the romance genre and the various heat levels, click here to go to that blog post.

Smashwords is my distributor and I still like them as much as I did when I started with them back in March. I just wanted to go on record saying that I support placing control of the browsing of material for sale in the hands of the reader visiting the site, or at least I do for now. To me, the "adult filter" is about empowering readers to choose what they wish to see and be offered for sale. As an avid reader, I want that myself.

When it comes down to it, I wouldn't be an Indie author if I didn't support the reader's right to choose.

Here's a link to the company explanation if you want to read it:   Smashwords blog about the "Adult Filter"


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