A slew of abuse-themed novels featuring rape, incest, and bestiality flooded the self-published e-book marketplace for online sellers like Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and Kobo.
The massive success of 50 Shades of Grey worked to blur the line between mainstream and explicit literature, but these titles in question are unambiguously on the inappropriate side of that line. While searching the self-published section of some online sellers, tech site The Kernel found stories of fantasy abuse heavily featuring rape, incest, and bestiality.
The cringe-worthy book titles are enough to get their points across, with names like Daddy Daughter Sex Stories and Don't Daddy (Forced Virgin Seduction). These awful titles have even more disturbing descriptions along with them, things like, "Full of hot, vigorous sex and is not for the faint of heart." Tech site The Kernel took screenshots of the worst self-published offenders in its "The Smut List," a list that reduced one of its reporters to tears.
The online book retailers had been profiting from these books' sales, as they take a percentage for hosting the smut novels. Many of the books have since been taken down since the media reports appeared, as the stories violated Amazon's and other sellers' terms of condition. British bookseller WHSmith took its entire website offline to clean up the problem, and another site, Kobo, said it was downing its self-publishing platform indefinitely.
As self-publishing continues its rise as a wave of the future of publishing, critical acclaim has been slow to come by. With these X-rated, disturbing, and sexually violent fantasy stories, at least one problem of self-publishing is clear.