Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Banned Yet Again

As promised, an update about my book signing yesterday, and the title of the post should give you an idea on how it ultimately went.

I got there on time and started setting up my table: bookmarks placed on the table, two sets of business cards, the two e-book displays, two displays of books and a small pile of books for people to peruse through. Started promptly at 9a and was my normal jovial self as I was brimming with loads of confidence and self-esteem. Pimped my book pretty good, gave the entire spiel on how it wasn't self-pubbed and it was pubbed the traditional way, gave the brief synopsis (A young lady was in debt to her uncle the loan shark and the only way she can raise enough money was to become an adult movie actress.

Only got grilled by one person (evil harbinger on what was about to happen some twenty minutes later) who asked what my book was about, and who the writer was that wrote the blurb that is prominently featured on the book jacket and bookmark. He also happened to mention what his speciality was at the agency, then wished me good luck before taking his leave.

Twenty minutes later, two people who run our Affirmative Action department stopped by to tell me that they had received a complaint that I was selling PORNOGRAPHY, so they came down to investigate. For the next 15 minutes or so, we had a polite conversation on the following: trials and tribulations of what I personally went through in order to get this vending gig, what I had and didn't have displayed in my cube, and what I showed and didn't show in regards to the following images:

Purchase your autographed copy here!
 The one thing that they did make clear during the conversation, since the first thing out of my mouth when they told me that a complaint was made was, "Should I contact my union steward", was that this wasn't an employee issue, but a vendor issue. After further discussion, in which we both made salient points about our respective positions, it was strongly suggested that my vending gig should end for the day.

I politely said that I would do it one better, and not only would I end the vendor gig for the day, but I would take the rest of the day off, as I was truly upset about this and I didn't want to go back to work and have it poison the rest of my day (which my supervisor agreed to once I had explained to her what had happened).

The end result was that I sold 3 books prior to closing and one afterwards, and had at least four more that wanted to buy it after lunch (word of mouth does indeed work).

So, this is what I'm now forced to do if I want to sell my book: I will keep a small stack stashed in a backpack, which will be stored in my car. I'll take orders from people and will either retrieve right then and there, or mail it to them.

Speaking of mail, as promised, the link to purchase not only an autographed copy of my debut but an autographed copy of my chapbook and a special deal on a two-fer can be found at the last picture listed.

I'm not overly thrilled about my personal reputation taking unwanted body shots from narrow minded tools, but I tell you one thing, I will not back down from a fight. For those of you keeping score, this marks the third time in less than a year that I've gotten severely negative feedback about this book.

For any of you out there who are writers, or if you do things not related to writing, have you ever faced the issues that I'm facing with my book?


  1. Sorry, man. That's unfortunate. On the positive side, though, controversy sells books. Definitely keep some on hand for that kind of sale. Still, I'm sorry you had to go through this kind of experience.

  2. Well, too bad. Workplaces are sensitive areas, though.

  3. Charles: I appreciate the fact that controversy sells, just wish it wouldn't dog me so much.

    I did find out when I went in to work today quite a few people were looking for me after lunch to buy some books, so the word of mouth did the trick.

    Debra: Doubly so when you work for the guv'ment. On the bright side, to a person in my department, every agreed that I did absolutely nothing wrong. I did what was asked, dotted my "i"'s and crossed my "t"'s, and still got into trouble.

    Bearman: You certainly did call it correctly. I was 100% certain that things would be different with me this time around, but alas, it wasn't meant to be.

  4. Lynn: Thanks.

    I think that the collective opinion of a lot of people at work feel the exact same way.

  5. You already know my thoughts about this, but I'll reiterate that there's more skin on the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit issue, and I think what happened was absolutely ridiculous.

    The only time I had done everything right and still gotten into trouble (to date, anyway) was working for a guy who was so moody that he either 1) took drugs or 2) had some kind of undiagnosed mood disorder.

    And the day he got fired was one of the best days of my life.

  6. M: You're absolutely right about the SI swimsuit issue.

    It's a rare thing that I can do everything right and still get into trouble, but I've learned that working for my employer, anything is possible.

  7. Damn I'm sorry too. As you know, and I've made clear before, I may not read this kind of book, but I know many many people who do, and don't quite understand why it would have been banned.

  8. That's tough, mate. Really touhg. I've read the blurb of your book and it doesn't porn at all! Blimey, I wish you luck. I really do.

    Greetings from London.

  9. Joe and A Cuban in London: I want to answer the both of you at the same time because you both make similiar statements.

    I completely understand the point of view of personal taste. If you like it, fine. If you don't, that's fine too. I have likes and dislikes as well and I try very hard not to badmouth what I don't like.

    That being said, the best I've been able to narrow down as to why that person objected was 1) content and 2) book cover.

    And from what I've been told, a lot of it has to do with perception. What someone might perceive as erotica, another will perceive as porn. The problem stems from the fact that the ones that perceive it as porn have a lot more power to create grief as they see fit w/o worrying about the consequences.

    I'm still not overly thrilled about this, and I'll be spending the weekend exploring the idea of talking to my cousin's spouse, who happens to be a lawyer.

  10. Yikes! Very unfortunate, n clear that one complaint can shut you down so fast!
    Don't know what to say besides don't give up, n keep looking for "Adult" venues the prudes will avoid.
    Did you have a disclaimer posted to warn browsers there?

  11. Snaggle: Nope, no disclaimer posted. I told each and every person that I made contact with or stopped by exactly what the book was about.

    I'm still very annoyed over this particular issue and it will be a very long time before I can talk to the people who did me wrong in a civil and polite manner.

    In the meantime, I'll keep searching for places to do my schtick, although I do plan on doing something this summer at our local town festival.

  12. G, I'm sorry you had such a negative experience. That completely sucks.

  13. Talon: It completely does.

    I did everything they wanted me to do and still I got into trouble.

    On the bright side, it may generate a few more sales, as I've been letting everyone know about, both at work and on FB.


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