Autopilot Kindle Cash: Spammers Slam Amazon with Bogus E-books

In What's the Buzz by Edward Nawotka

By Edward Nawotka

Spammers have begun flooding with Amazon Kindle bookstore with bogus e-books, Reuters reports. The story quotes one source as saying: “One tactic involves copying an e-book that has started selling well and republishing it with new titles and covers to appeal to a slightly different demographic.” Cynics might joke that this is just “publishing as usual,” but this is potentially injurious to Amazon’s reputation.

At present authors can upload e-books to the Kindle store for free. Many of these “books” are being priced at 99 cents to compete with the most popular titles. Confusion reigns and by the time you download a 99-cent book, you may not even know you have bought into what is essentially a scam.

The end result is that thousands — and potentially tens of thousands — of bogus books are being uploaded, making all the more difficult for readers to discover legitimate and worthy content.

The article goes on to state that “Aspiring spammers can even buy a DVD box set called Autopilot Kindle Cash that claims to teach people how to publish 10 to 20 new Kindle books a day without writing a word.” Many spammers are utilizing Private Label Rights, or PLR content, which “is information that can be bought very cheaply online then reformatted into a digital book.”

Several videos online recommend that if you are going to publish an e-book online just to make money, that this book should be about one thing, and one thing only: how to make money selling e-books online.

Rooting out those who merely copy — that is, pirate — books should be fairly straightforward through automation and, says Amazon, already in place. But what of the rafts of other “content” that is merely collated and presented as a “book.” Policing is the only answer, and that can be tough.

Perhaps the most expedient means for Amazon to stem the flow of bogus books is to simply charge for uploads, something likely to drive out those looking for a free ride.

About the Author

Edward Nawotka

A widely published critic and essayist, Edward Nawotka serves as a speaker, educator and consultant for institutions and businesses involved in the global publishing and content industries. He was also editor-in-chief of Publishing Perspectives since the launch of the publication in 2009 until January 2016.