Thousands of self-published authors have accused retailers of unfairly punishing them after all indie book sales were suspended amid the hardcore porn scandal.
More than 14,000 writers signed a petition addressed to Amazon boss Jeff Bezos, Barnes & Noble founder Leonard Riggio and Kobo CEO Michael Serbinis asking them to "Leave our erotica and self-published indie authors alone".
The three ebook publishers and sellers were embroiled in controversy last week after it was revealed they stocked self-published books about rape, bestiality and incest.
The other companies removed self-published erotica titles they deemed inappropriate.
In a blog post supporting the petition, indie erotica author Dalia Daudelin wrote: "We're not interested in selling porn to children, or about children. We want to have a safe space to sell our work, and we want traditionally published stories with the same themes as ours to be put on the same level as us."
She called for clear guidelines as to what material should be censored, "even footing" for indie and traditionally-published authors, and a way to keep explicit material from being accessed by children after innocuous keywords brought up abuse-themed ebooks in non-age restricted Amazon search results.
The petition organiser, named only as Mlstress Renee, added on Change.org that erotica should not be banned along with the abuse-themed reads: "Why is [it] okay to sell "adult products" on said websites but not FICTIONAL reads. What happened to freedom of speech?" she wrote.
"There is a LARGE amount of people who read this genre [erotica] as a way to escape their reality. We are all consenting adults, you need to own a credit card to be able to purchase said books, so why all of a sudden start "cracking down" on contolling such?"
Kobo has since defended its actions in the wake of the scandal.
"When this issue arose in the UK, we felt it necessary first, to immediately remove the titles highlighted, and second, to comprehensively review all self-published titles in our catalogue to ensure that everything on the Kobo store meets our content policy," a spokesperson said.