Folks looking to make a quick buck have turned to selling spammy and stolen e-books on the Kindle Store. A few months after the problem first made the news, it appears that Amazon (NSDQ: AMZN) has started cracking down.
These e-books are either plagiarized copies of copyrighted works by other authors or are thrown together from “private label rights” content, which can be bought very cheaply online and quickly formatted into an e-book. Some software bundles hundreds of thousands of PLR articles together. DVDs like “Autopilot Kindle Cash” makes the process as close to automatic as possible. Spammers have also stolen other authors’ copyrighted e-books and republished them under their own names. I wrote about this problem with Mike Essex in March, when I was the editor of Publishing Trends, and since then, Reuters and others have reported on it as well.
Today Bits reports that commenters on Warrior Forum–the site where those autopilot Kindle cash DVDs are sold–have found Amazon yanking their PLR content. An Amazon spokeswoman told the NYT, “We have worked steadily to build processes to detect and remove undifferentiated or barely differentiated versions of e-books.”
Here’s the e-mail from Amazon that one Kindle spammer pasted into Warrior Forum:
We’re contacting you regarding books you recently submitted via Kindle Direct Publishing.
Certain of these books are either undifferentiated or barely differentiated from an existing title in the Kindle store. We remove such duplicate (or near duplicate) versions of the same book because they diminish the experience for customers. We notify you each time a book is removed, along with the specific book(s) and reason for removal.
In addition to removing duplicate books from the Kindle store, please note that if you attempt to sell multiple copies or undifferentiated versions of the same book from your account, we may terminate your account.
If you have any questions regarding the review process, you can write to email@example.com.
Kindle Direct Publishing
Warrior Forum users seem unsurprised by Amazon’s crackdown. “I was less than a month from hiring a VA [virtual assistant] and scaling this up. I guess I dodged that bullet! Phew!” writes one.
And, another says, “Lol if it didn’t work on Amazon. Try Barnes and Noble (NYSE: BKS), as well as iBooks, maybe they don’t have much content police in their management. :)”