Apple and the iBookstore – a mistake or homophobic censoring?

I’ve mentioned before that I’ve hooked up with LuLu.com to do my self-publishing for several of my backlist books. They have a partnership with Barnes and Noble and Apple’s iBookstore. They send your completed .epub document to them, it undergoes a review process and then it’s put up for sale.

Right now Out of the Shadows is up for sale on LuLu (both ebook and actual print book), it’s pending review on B&N and was just accepted into the iBookstore. Which kind of surprised me, actually. I’ve heard more than one gay fiction author say their book was rejected by Apple. A bit suspicious, eh?

Needless to say, I clicked on the link from LuLu to take me to the iBookstore and sure enough, there was my book. There’s one small problem though. Guess what category Apple put it under? “Non-Fiction Social Science”.

WTF? Are you serious?? A mistake on Apple’s part or deliberate homophobic censoring? It’s pretty telling that they have no “Gay and Lesbian” book category, or even an “Adult” book category. Why don’t they just come right out and say they will not accept gay and lesbian fiction and be done with it instead of screwing with the authors, making sure people can’t find these kinds of books.

I filed a complaint with LuLu since they’re the ones who sent the book to Apple so they need to contact them and get my book listed in the proper category. I’m waiting to hear back from them. I’ll post here when I get a response.

Anyone else have stories about the iBookstore and problems getting your book listed?

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2 thoughts on “Apple and the iBookstore – a mistake or homophobic censoring?

  1. I’ve heard that each etailer will reject your book if you have a link to another etailer. For example, you can’t have a live link to Amazon in the back of the version you load up on iTunes. Could that be it? However, in the case of the mis-categorization that’s just too stoopid for words. It’s possibly a computer glitch and they’ll fix it right away (we hope). I recently contacted Apple’s customer service department for an unrelated issue and had awesome service (even though it was “user error” in the end). I even got a thank you message for my thank you message. 😉 Good luck!

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    • Hmm, good question. I never heard specific reasons why the books were rejected. LuLu did contact me tonight and said they contacted Apple and told them to change the category to Fiction: Gay Romance. That’s going to be a trick since there is no category like that! Needless to say, I’m going to have to keep checking my listing.

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