Spamming and Swindling with E-Books

Spammers and plagiarists target e-books (Kindle, etc.)

Mike Essex, a Search Specialist at UK digital marketing agency Impact Media, believes that ebooks are the next frontier for content farmers and is already noticing an increasing number of spam e-books hitting ebookstores like the Kindle Store. He originally wrote about his discovery on the Impact Media blog.

Amazon does not care.

Many ebook vendors don’t check copyright on works that are submitted, and Essex noticed that people are stealing content from the web, quickly creating ebooks about the same topics from multiple angles in order to target different keyword variants, and publishing them—some Kindle authors have “written” thousands of books in a single year. The domain name gives these books an added boost in search results; royalty payouts are high even when a book is priced at $0.99, and reviews aren’t a surefire solution to combating the problem.

More information at Making Light.

Bad writers, yes. One man’s trash is another man’s pit of voles. But one of the advantages of e-book/Kindle store/et al that we keep hearing from the e-book enthusiasts is that it bypasses the gatekeepers.

“Stolen content and scammers” is another area, and there isn’t any pressure on Amazon to stop ‘em, since they get their cut regardless. Adding acquiring editors would add time and expense, and keep the struggling geniuses whose works no one understand from ever getting published at all.

Ain’t it wonderful? This is what happens when you “bypass the gatekeepers” (all those grumpy editors).


4 thoughts on “Spamming and Swindling with E-Books

  1. It’s the same with any new platform; it’s porn and scams to start.

    It’ll self-correct as the market grows.

    But yes, in the medium term, be prepared for a LOT of spammy ebooks.

  2. harmonyfb

    There is good as well as bad in ‘bypassing the gatekeepers’. I recently bought three or four self-published religious works that never would have seen the light of day if they had to depend on the traditional publishing model. Neos Alexandria has published a whole slew of devotional works, for example, and Sannion has several well-written books which are self-published. With the local bookstores stocking the same 18 beginning Wicca titles, I say thank the Gods that the self-publishing option is available – can you imagine any established, well-distributed publishing house putting out a devotional for Zeus, Artemis, or Ereshkigal?

    I think the market will eventually settle, with most people able to distinguish between blatant spam and genuine content. It’ll allow more freedom for niche authors, and a wider distribution than they’d otherwise be able to obtain, which means more content for us.

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