Unless you’ve been hiding under a rock (or editing your manuscript, or are on safari in the depths of the DRC) you’ve probably read about the uproar surrounding the Clean Reader App. I’ve read several posts about it and thought I’d share the two I enjoyed most: Charlie Stross and Chuck Wendig.
Gotta say, Ernest Hemingway’s turning in his grave right now. I remember picking up a used copy of For Whom the Bell Tolls years ago and being puzzled by his word choices (unmentionable was used several times in place of his original text. I freely and somewhat sheepishly admit it took me a couple of pages before I realized I had a censored copy as I’d never run across one before.) The replacement words absolutely destroyed Hemingway’s intent, not to mention totally messed with my reading experience. Talk about jarring…
Thankfully, Mark Coker over at Smashwords has requested all SW books be removed from the app. Personally, I’d love for the Clean Reader App to disappear in a flood of legal challenges. I choose the words I use in my work specifically for rhythm and flow and effect, and if that includes profanity, well, then that’s what I’m going to use. If you don’t like it, then PLEASE don’t buy my books.
UPDATE*** Thanks to authors around the world flooding these folks with take down notices and comments against this insidious app, they’ve removed all books from their online store. A small victory, but a victory for literature nonetheless.