comScore Porn in Nook Graphic Novel Section | The Mary Sue

What’s in the Graphic Novels Section of the Nook Store? Novels That are Graphic (By Which I Mean Porn)

Elsewhere on the internet

The number of times that I have been asked “Graphic novel? Is that, um, pornography?” is not insignificant. I know it’s something my mother has had to explain a few times after telling people what my hobbies and interests are.

But the Nook apparently has a slightly different problem. Its system that allows writers to self-publish their ebooks to its network also allows them to choose what genre their work is displayed in… apparently without much moderation.

Which means that there’s a ton of porn in the Graphic Novel section. Or so Sascha Segan of PC Magazine found, while trying to pick up for Eric Shanower‘s Oz series.

Worse than finding porn in the general graphic novel section was that most of it wasn’t even comics, but text-only erotica. A quick investigation into the Kindle store turned up the same problem, but to a lesser extent. The number one purchase listed in the Kindle’s Graphic Novel section on the day Segan checked, however, was a text-only erotic story called Chili Peppers.

Beyond a lack of moderation, Segan implies, is that there’s no legitimate place to label stories as porn or erotica.

I’m assuming that there’s porn scattered all around the e-book stores, just like there areĀ porn podcasts hiding in the iTunes Store. But it’s particularly visible in the comics section because Barnes & Noble’s selection of comics is so poor. With relatively few compelling titles, the porn bubbles up to the top. That’s a pity, because the comics-reading experience on the Nook is excellent. There just aren’t many comics to read.

Segan contacted to both Amazon and Barnes & Noble. While B&N seemed to immediately take care of the mislabeled stories, Amazon has not responded.

The e-bookstores could at least enable some check-boxes in the bookstore views, letting readers sort by target age (which would also prevent buyers of grownup comics from having to slog through kiddie stuff) or allowing them to exclude self-published material. But Amazon and Barnes & Noble appear to neither edit their stores aggressively nor empower users to do their own editing.

Of course, porn and erotica (assuming one acknowledges a difference between them) should be allowed to be present on the most popular (or any) ebook publishing platforms. Even Segan isn’t arguing against that. The ironic nexus between mislabled porn and this common confusion about the term “graphic novel” was just too good not to talk about.

(PC Magazine via Bleeding Cool.)

Have a tip we should know? tips@themarysue.com

Filed Under:

Follow The Mary Sue:

Susana Polo thought she'd get her Creative Writing degree from Oberlin, work a crap job, and fake it until she made it into comics. Instead she stumbled into a great job: founding and running this very website (she's Editor at Large now, very fancy). She's spoken at events like Geek Girl Con, New York Comic Con, and Comic Book City Con, wants to get a Batwoman tattoo and write a graphic novel, and one of her canine teeth is in backwards.