Incest, bestiality among the topics as Amazon, B and N take low road with raunchy e-book profits
Now on sale at Amazon and Barnes & Noble: 50 shades of gross.
The nation’s dominant booksellers are peddling a raft of raunchy online books depicting incest, rape and bestiality — and some critics charge the retailers would rather hide the fast-proliferating and profitable filth than get rid of it.
Following the sleeper success of “Fifty Shades of Grey,” smutty e-books have engulfed Amazon and B&N’s sites, many of them crossing a line well beyond the sadomasochism and bondage scenes in E.L. James’s kinky trilogy.
“9 Hot Taboo Family Sex Stories,” an Amazon Kindle book whose author is listed as Lillian Frost, is “jam packed full of steamy sexual encounters between daddies and daughters, mommies and sons, and sisters and brother(s),” according to a blurb on Amazon’s site yesterday afternoon.
“Beastiality,” a Kindle book by Shameek Speight, tells the story of a housewife whose dog becomes the “Man of the House,” according to a publisher’s note, also viewed yesterday.
That’s despite Amazon’s aggressive crackdown on obscene titles in late 2010, when a Kindle book called “The Pedophile’s Guide To Love and Pleasure” sparked an uproar.
Amazon officials didn’t comment yesterday.
Romance and erotic novels are the book industry’s biggest category in fiction, topping $1.4 billion in sales last year. Erotica is growing faster as e-books make it easier to download and read dirty stories discreetly.
While the retailers often ban titles that go too far, some racy writers say the policing is arbitrary and half-hearted.
If sales of a dirty book are strong, it can usually avoid a ban, although its success may get downplayed to the public, writers say.
Lately, B&N has begun to scrub hot-selling smut from the top 125 titles on its bestseller list, according to several authors. This spring, “The Nolan Trilogy” by Selena Kitt, which depicts wayward Catholic school girls in the 1950s, abruptly halted its quick ascent at No. 126, according to Kitt.
That’s despite selling more than 200 copies a day — easily enough to break the top 100 normally, she said.
Getting blocked from the bestseller list is “a relatively new thing” for erotica writers at B&N, she said.
Asked about the alleged scrubbing of the bestseller list, a B&N spokeswoman said erotica titles “as their sales warrant will appear in our top 100 rankings online.”
Amazon likewise has abruptly cut steamy pulp titles from its own bestseller lists — a move that invariably tanks sales, writers complain.
Nevertheless, incest books look so entrenched at Amazon that a search beginning with “Daddy” late yesterday generated the auto-suggestion “Daddy daughter sex.”
Competition has spurred books with increasingly lewd covers and offensive content, said Amanda Young, an erotic author who calls her depictions of group sex “pretty vanilla” by comparison.
“They want all the income they can get that’s coming from erotica of all kinds,” Young said of B&N and Amazon. “But they don’t want to be known for that.” NYPost