I also write under pen names (don’t tell!). One of those pseudonymous titles recently appeared on Smashwords, the one-size-fits-all distributor of ebooks. It’s a mainstream novel about a Catholic priest who undergoes a midlife crisis. No four-X sex. No steamy romance even (though there is some falling in love). Not the sort of story I’d be ashamed to have my mother read.

Imagine my surprise when I went to the Smashwords site and found these two books, also published that day, on either side of my own, harmless title: Ambulance Slut and Spring Break F__k (note how I delete the two middle letters). A quick perusal of the other titles published that day and around that time produced a similar bevy of porno, along with a few books about God.

Why should this not have surprised me?

Answer: Because pornography is always the first and best seller in any media new or old. When Gutenberg got his press working, the first titles were, yes, the Bible but also pornography, because there is never enough of the latter to satisfy the market and because the Bible, especially in the vernacular, had also been out of bounds to the laity. Printers made the rest of their income off indulgence certificates until Luther did his thing and incurred the wrath of the printing industry as a result.

Moral: Don’t be. Or do be, but in a very religious way. Or, maybe, don’t look at distributor websites.

About Thomas J. Hubschman

Thomas J. Hubschman is the author of Look at Me Now, My Bess, Song of the Mockingbird, Billy Boy, Father Walther’s Temptation, The Jew’s Wife & Other Stories and three science fiction novels. His work has appeared in New York Press, The Antigonish Review, Eclectica, The Blue Moon Review and many other publications. Two of his short stories were broadcast on the BBC World Service.

Posted on January 24, 2012, in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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