Saturday, August 13, 2011

Amazon removes copycat e-books created by some e-book "publishers"


The New York Times's David Streitfeld reports that Amazon is removing the many duplicate texts passed on as 'published' by copycats using the retail concept known as "private label rights" (P.L.R.)

Streitfeld gives an example of how it works: someone writes a guide to marketing information on Kindle and then sells the rights to any and all others who find it on PLR-focused websites, who then repackage it under their own names and titles.

  Although in theory the 2nd writer is to use the material and rewrite it in their own style, that doesn't happen often.  Instead you get a flood of 'books' using that guide and not rewriting it at all except to put the new "author's" name on it along with a different title, and some were "publishing," in this way, something like 20+ ebooks per day.  Price these at 99c and they'll sell, and a buyer will have no idea they already have the 'book.'  We wind up with a pile of automated e-trash masquerading as original e-books.

  Streifeld found that on Warrior Forum, an Internet marketing site, commenters have been posting that "Amazon was yanking their P.L.R. e-books from the Kindle store.  Amazon tells the offenders that their copycats 'diminish the experience for customers.' "

  That's an understatement.  Too often we were seeing pure landfill and "authors" were charging for these while customers had no way of knowing what was an e-book with useful original information and what was just "more of the same."  Customers had noted that there were fewer e-books in the contemporary section last week.

One Warrior Forum commenter (Brobdingnagian) lamented:
' I had 22 books up, which only took a long weekend to ‘write’ (more like format) and publish … It was one of my first tastes of online success — albeit small — and to have it yanked away is a kick in the pants. '
He partially redeemed himself by following up with an acknowledgement that it was one he entirely deserved.
' He wrote that while he was “formatting these books and slapping em upon Amazon, a nagging little voice” told him he was trying to pull a fast one and would get caught. “Shoulda listened,” he wrote. '

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  1. Amazon should have done this a long time ago. Even better, they should have added a sort of filter, which would compare the words from the book to other books, and if a certain percent of the words were the same, to ban the book automatically.
    Youtube does this with its videos, and there we're talking about frame-by-frame comparison, which takes up huge amounts of resources. Comparing text is much easier.

  2. Most of these PLR books are blatant copyright violations. I had the content of an entire website ripped off and made VERBATIM into a PLR book. With the thing being copied and re-copied so many times, I was never able to track down the original offender. So happy to hear these things are history on Amazon.

  3. Mimi,
    I agree, totally. That is horrific what happened with your website.

    Hope their ongoing curbs are very effective.


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