In this Reuters piece by Alistair Barr, entitled Spam clogging Amazon's Kindle self-publishing, we learn that spammers can even buy a DVD set called Autopilot Kindle Cash that teaches how to publish up to 20 new Kindle books a day without writing a word. They just throw random pieces purchased for pennies (if at all) into e-book form and throw it up for sale. Other groups teach how to take best-selling e-books and putting new covers on them to resell under another name.
In a world where anyone can publish, we'd be naive to think that some innovative yet crooked souls aren't taking advantage of the opportunity. So what can we do about it when purchasing e-books? I mean, besides shopping with an intelligent and informed eye?
= Be careful of unknown authors. Okay, that sounds ugly considering we're all unknown before we become known, and few of us are household names. However, readers can Google authors, read the websites, study the blogs and learn more about who wrote the book under consideration. (Remember all that talk about platform, y'all? Here's where it matters if you're an author, especially a new author.)
= Be careful of the cheap ebook. If you add together an unknown author, no platform and a publisher you never heard of, tread slowly. Yes, I know it could be a new author, but the odds are higher that the book is a scam than if you know the author, the author has a platform, or you recognize a publisher that's released a hundred book titles.
= A heavy hyperlink book. These tend to house those nasty links that lead to viruses, porn, or sales scam sites.
= Self-published e-books. Yes, I'll say it again, new authors have to start somewhere. But self-pubbed books have a higher percentage of tricks and poorly written material, even the copy and past stuff from Wikipedia referenced above. Suggest you Google the author and study the platform.
Readers? Look for a platform before buying ebooks.
Authors? Develop a platform before posting ebooks.
You can't sell an unknown product from an unknown person without some kind of assurance that the experience will be positive. . . and not a scam.