The Kindle Swindle

Now that Google has gone after content farms, the next frontier for spammers is e-books.

This DVD set is $27. Its creator promises it covers “EVERY single step of putting a keyword optimized book on Kindle in such an easy to understand and simple fashion that a 10 year old could do it,” and recommends hiring a virtual assistant to do most of the work for you, and says he’s averaged $4/book/month over the last 2.5 years.

Mike Essex, a Search Specialist at UK digital marketing agency Koozai, 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 Koozai blog.

The Kindle Store allows anybody to upload identical content under multiple user names.


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 Amazon.com 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.

Manuel Ortiz Braschi has published over 3,000 books on the Kindle Store, including public-domain titles like Alice in Wonderland. He has added 20 more in the past day.

In his blog post, Essex pointed out that readers won’t necessarily recognize whether content has been plagiarized. And if an e-book is exposed as plagiarized, the author can simply take it down and resubmit it under a new name. A bad review on one site won’t keep people from buying the same ebook on another site. And these titles are priced so low that unhappy buyers may not bother complain.

Essex carried out an experiment for PT: “I took the lyrics to the song ‘This is the song that never ends’ and repeated them over 700-plus pages. No formatting, just one continuous block of duplicate text. Within 24 hours, it was live on the Amazon Kindle Store and I haven’t received a single message from Amazon about it. Surely an automated process would be able to easily tell I had repeated myself over and over, but this wasn’t flagged up.

“It’s maddening. The logic of ‘the market will decide’ is flawed. How many customers have to be ripped off by shoddy content that adds no value before someone leaves a bad review? There’s no option to report a book as spam, and people can get away with rubbish content which dilutes the offering for good authors. I’ll continue to carry out tests until Amazon looks into this.” (Amazon did not respond to our request for comment.)

We asked Essex a few questions:

When and how did you notice spam content’s move to ebooks?

ME: When I first started writing an ebook, I wanted to see what other authors had written in my niche. Within five minutes, I had seen endless streams of spam that offered little value. Knowing that these other books would appear in searches for my own frustrated me as they make the topic look bad and have a negative effective on me. If someone buys a book in my niche and it’s rubbish, they won’t buy another.

[At Koozai], we became very aware of the penalty Google had issued on content farms in its most recent update. It occurred to me that a lot of content farm writers would no longer have a good stream of income and that ebooks were the natural place for them to progress to.

When I tried to find bad content on Amazon, I had tons of examples within ten minutes. If content holders like Apple and Amazon spent even one hour a day searching, they would save customers a lot of money by removing bad content. In addition, they should be able to build automated systems to filter out the rubbish. That was the main thing I wanted to expose in my article.

Are Amazon or Apple making efforts in this area? What can legitimate publishers do on their end?

ME: Following my previous article, I spoke with Mark Coker at Smashwords, who assured me they have a “zero tolerance policy for content farm garbage” and that they have human and automated systems. Although I haven’t been able to test this, it’s reassuring to know that Smashwords only makes quarterly payments to authors, which presents a wider time period to identify someone as a spammer and cut them off before they get a check.

The approval process for Apple is six weeks, so that’s somewhat reassuring, but as with the App store, the majority of content is still accepted. I’m not saying we should have a totally closed environment that only approves ten to twenty ebooks a week, but I highlighted eight solutions in my original article which would be easy to implement and would work:

  • Integrate a plagiarism detector that compares book content to scans of the web.
  • If content is syndicated from a blog, ask blog holders to upload a verification file to prove they have the rights to the content.
  • Compare hosted ebooks to look for similar/identical content.
  • Add a link on every ebook listing page where people can report the book for stolen content.
  • Ask writers to verify their address before a book is added. This keeps duplicate accounts and “publishers” from selling the same content.
  • Investigate any content creators with more than 50 ebooks to check the quality of their content.
  • Create an independent website where people can store reviews in one place, which will be a better way of spotting bad apples.
  • If you spot someone who is trying to game the system, post bad reviews on every site where their book is listed.
  • Allow search engines to crawl ebook content so they can rank stolen content lower, using their existing checks.

It’s important for legitimate publishers to ensure that they have a presence beyond their titles simply appearing in the stores. At Koozai, we ensure that our clients’ websites talk about their content, so it’s clear that they are human beings, and we recommend they create profiles with information about themselves on ebook sites. The more people get ripped off, the more research they will do about authors and ebooks before they buy.

It’s also important for authors get reviews on websites other than the ones hosting their books. When you’ve got an ebook, it’s very easy to create a password-protected PDF and send it around to people in your industry. When you’re talked about online, customers are more confident when they buy your book in an online store. Get Facebook and Twitter profiles and use them, a lot. The more you talk about your niche in these channels, the more it seems as though your ebook will be worth purchasing.

A lot of this is about search engine optimization. Authors and publishers need to ensure that their work can be found online in as many places as possible. Even big publishers must ensure they rank when people search for their books, and that people can find out as much as possible about these books directly from them.

What feedback did you get on your original story?

The thing that scared me the most was an email promoting a viral ebook Automatic Submitter. Anyone who purchases it gets 149,000 articles that they can use for any purpose, so they can make their own ebooks very quickly.

There are also resale services that let you buy content that you can also quickly spin into content-farmed ebooks.

Bearing in mind that this is a fairly new trend, I have major concerns about the future of ebooks. Things need to change.

Follow Mike Essex on Twitter.

Leave a Comment

46 Comments

  1. Mar 31, 201111:31 am

    Wow, what an eye-opener – I had no idea the Kindle Store and other e-book stores were being targeted in this way by spammers. Unless something is done about this soon, the e-book revolution will be stopped in its tracks.

  2. Mar 31, 20112:14 pm

    There’s really nothing new about this kind of ebook plagiarism and aggregation of material. If I recall correctly, Ebay had to take steps several years ago to get it under control. What’s new is that now these sleaze bags have a much wider market.

  3. Mar 31, 20119:19 pm

    Very well done. Not only do you do some actual investigating, you (unlike most articles on the web which simply gripe) actually offer logical solutions. There is no system that scammers won’t abuse, and flood with their insulting rubbish. Sometimes I try to help clean up an eBay category, but I’ll never make a dent. Every site needs a way to report suspected abuse … and then some poor moderator who has to weed out the real abuse reports from the weirdos who abuse the abuse reporting system (unbelievable!). Thump thump = head hitting desk.

  4. Mar 31, 201110:51 pm

    Good article. Yes, it’s the Wild West out there, for sure.

    Scott Nicholson

  5. Apr 1, 20115:55 am

    Thanks for the comments everyone. Catana and Scott N the eBay comparison is an interesting one as their main strength is really the ratings that go across sellers (rather than just individual items). If eBook stores adopted this across publishers you’d soon spot the bad apples.

    Scott V, although our examples help illustrate the point, the ones we provided were ridiculously easy to find. It took ten minutes to find a spam seller, and duplicate books. As for my The Song That Never Ends experiment, it took another ten minutes to make a spam book and get it accepted. That’s the most worrying part, as if Laura and I could spot these spammers without trying very hard, automated systems should be able to do it too.

  6. Apr 2, 20118:58 am
    Konrad Deire

    I am an e-book writer myself and it takes lots of work to write something original. I wouldn’t like to see my work copyied and resold by others. Unfortunately the new e-book publishing technology and interface gives no control on content or quality. At the end it is the reader who has to decide, but on the other side there is also a fenomenon in the US where KINDLE customers, buy an e-book, read it and then return it, it is about 5% of my sales … 5 in 100 and it is very upsetting.

  7. Apr 2, 201111:09 pm
    Jon Hendry

    The Amazon kindle store has been pretty worthless for browsing, because of this.

    Once I was browsing on my kindle, in the History category, and came across page after page after page of the diary of Samuel Pepys.

    Someone had decided to chop that 10 year diary into individual months, resulting in 120 ebooks. That’s a lot of worthless books to page through.

    This was a year or two ago. I’m sure it’s much worse now. Try browsing the kindle store and sorting by price. Some of the most expensive books (several thousand dollars) are specialist technical matter (nuclear engineering, for example) which are also expensive in print, but I recall seeing some high-priced self-published ebooks that looked wildly overpriced, implausibly small file sizes, etc.

    As a result, I pretty much only buy Amazon ebooks that I’ve discovered elsewhere.

  8. Apr 2, 201111:15 pm
    Jon Hendry

    For example:

    Practical Manifesting In Everyday Life”

    $99.
    67KB.
    The free sample consists of “locations 1-5 of 9″.

  9. Apr 4, 201110:02 am

    I guess I would probably avoid any author with more than 1000 titles…

  10. Apr 4, 201112:36 pm
    Marian Contrarian

    Konrad Diere, perhaps the reason they return your books is that they are misspelled (in addition to being lurid and disgusting, I checked).

  11. Apr 4, 20112:36 pm
    Laura Hazard Owen

    I do think it’s kind of genius that this Manuel Ortiz Braschi guy is selling his own ebook editions of public domain titles like Alice in Wonderland…despite the fact that they’re available free at Project Gutenberg.

  12. Apr 4, 20114:16 pm

    One of my biggest gripes with Amazon is their search is so utterly worthless: there’s no way of filtering books based on something as relatively straightforward as price; you can sort ascending or descending, but not say, “Ignore anything that’s exactly $.99″ or “Don’t show me books under $5.” And, of course, you can’t say, “Don’t show me any books by Manuel Ortiz Braschi.”

    An easy solution would be to have a service which vets authors, sort of Verisign for writers; but, again, that would require support from Amazon, else spammers could simply use the name of an author who has actually been vetted, with the same results as now.

    I think as long as Amazon’s making money off the spammers, they’ve likely no incentive to do anything about it, and trying to browse for new books will remain an effort in futility.

    Anyway, good article. It’s encouraging I’m not the only person who has noticed this spam crud, and is irritated by it. Maybe with enough howling, something’ll change.

  13. Apr 4, 20119:14 pm
    Kathy Ross

    After reading this article and Mr. Essex article I decided to spend some time looking into this matter and the conclusion I came to is a completely different point of view which deserves mentioning at this time.

    Manuel Ortiz Braschi is definitely a genius and he should be commended for what he has accomplished in such a short time in Amazon Kindle, unlike the harsch criticism he is getting for his work as an author and publisher in these two articles. Mr. Braschi is just one of thousands of publishers who are trying to make an honest living by publishing ebooks in Amazon Kindle. The only difference is that he has been able to publish a lot more books and a lot more topics than most of his competitors in a very short period of time. He is definitely a success story waiting to happen. He has also published several books on how you or anyone can imitate his work in this hard times and make a good living working out of your home.

    There is a huge market of ebooks that come with resell rights such as the ones Mr. Braschi sells and they have been selling over the internet for many years now. There is nothing negative or illegal about these ebooks which are of great interest and have a huge demand. There is a tremendous market out there for them. Most of these ebooks are very informative and extremely cheap. Right now there are thousands of websites worldwide and book publishers like Amazon and others selling these ebooks and trying to get a piece of the pie. To state that Mr. Braschi and other publishers like him are destroying the ebook market is ludicrous and to call these authors and publishers “Scammers, Spammers and Swindlers” is completely out of line. Information is power and these people are supplying it at a very reasonable price.

    Since both articles were targeting Mr. Braschi as an example, I decided to go to Amazon Kindle and bought a couple of ebooks from him which were of interest to me. I bought them for only $.99 cents each! I was completely surprised! Both ebooks were extremely informative on the topics I chose and to be honest, they were a bargain at $.99 cents each. I paid a lot more on other books I bought in bookstores for basically the same information I needed. I also had the chance to read some of the reviews from buyers that bought books from Mr. Braschi and other publishers like him and they were happy with the info they got from these ebooks. Like in any business, there is good information and bad information. Any book should stand on it’s own merit by the content it has and you cannot blame anyone for “destroying anything”.

    All in all, thank you for the eye opening articles which lead me to do this research. Now I know where to get great information at rock bottom prices.

  14. Apr 5, 201111:24 am

    Seth’s gripe about Amazon’s search capabilities is not without merit BUT they do offer an advanced search that most people may have overlooked

    http://www.amazon.com/Advanced-Search-Books/b?ie=UTF8&node=241582011

    You still can’t select “Don’t show me any books by Manuel Ortiz Braschi.” but you could narrow your search down to a list of publishers that you know aren’t spammers.

  15. Apr 5, 20114:02 pm

    Martin, that’s most excellent; I didn’t even know it was there!

    You can sort of select, “Don’t show me any books by Manuel Ortiz Braschi”: -manuel -ortiz Well, I thought it did; but that removes a whole lot more. Trying ‘not manuel not ortiz’ doesn’t fly, either.

    Only doing publishers that are known ‘non-spammers’ is a decent idea, but there’s no mechanism to prevent spammers from claiming to be published by a legit one, is there?

    I really am surprised there’s no simple way to filter out results based on expressions, for example: not “Ebooks On” (doesn’t work).

    At the very least, there should be a search category to show only books with non-CreateSpace ISBNs.

  16. Apr 6, 20117:09 pm
    Caleb Spilchen

    Yo,

    It’s caleb here, these aren’t “spammers e-books”.. PLR is called Private Label rights, aka things that you can relabel.

    Which is what the offer in question is:

    http://caleb.im/gSh1ZQ

    You’re kind of classing this offer as crap, that’s not cool..

    Anyway, that’s just my opinion as a buyer of that product, which is as all Mike C products are, ~ good stuff ~.

    Peace,

    Caleb “The Maestro” Spilchen

  17. Apr 7, 201112:36 am

    I love this article. I’ve been researching how to publish on Amazon and have been looking up the niches I wanted to write in… and found this to definitely be true that Mr. Braschi has so many ebooks listed that are nothing more than PLR content.

    Being an internet marketer for the past 13 years I know about the effects on the market of people that sell PLR and tell everyone to use it. This Braschi guy has “rights” to this content that is created very poorly by “ghost writers” and is totally trashing a very good market for self publishing authors like myself.

    I couldn’t believe the garbage that he along with many others are putting into the Kindle Store! I bought one of his “ebooks” to see if my instincts were correct on how he processed these ebooks. He leaves them totally unformatted so they look HORRIBLE on a Kindle!

    It’s a shame that spammers will try to make money from being lazy and annoying!

    I applaud this article bringing this to light is hopefully one step into the right direction of fixing this issue before it gets out of hand worse than it is already!

  18. Apr 7, 20117:55 am
    Caleb

    To whom it may concern,

    “I couldn’t believe the garbage that he along with many others are putting into the Kindle Store! I bought one of his “ebooks” to see if my instincts were correct on how he processed these ebooks. He leaves them totally unformatted so they look HORRIBLE on a Kindle!”

    Do you think that there is something wrong with posting PLR on Kindle? It’s private label rights material, and that doesn’t instantly make it WRONG, its just PLR.

    However, if the author has chosen not to reformat it, in that case there is something totally different…

    But, this has nothing to do with “spamming”, it has to do with publishing books that you have purchased rights to on the Kindle platform.

    Get it right.

    Peace,

    Caleb “The Maestro”

  19. Apr 7, 20113:59 pm
    Everybody

    Hey Caleb – You lack the ability to “get it” because you’re only a teenager, but your PLR material is garbage and a complete waste of everyone’s time. One day hopefully you’ll learn to earn a legitimate living by adding value to society.

  20. Apr 7, 20116:54 pm
    Dennis

    It’s interesting to note the stance on Ghostwritten content.

    Donald Trump doesn’t write his own books. A very nice lady in central Florida ghostwrites his books.

    And she has ZERO experience with real estate investing, yet her books with The Donald’s name on them are NYT best sellers. And it’s not a rare thing for best sellers either.

    The Kindle had made it easier for the everyday person to do what Trump and many others have been doing on a larger scale for a long time now.

    A swindle indeed.

  21. Apr 7, 201110:38 pm

    Good article. A lot of talented, hard working people are watching careers get buried alive.

  22. Apr 8, 20115:16 am

    WE sell a lot of different titles on Amazon – and have been pulled up by them on small formatting errors on the odd occasion any have been made so – I think they are being careful – We sell well there adn teh business is growing so no complaints .

  23. Apr 8, 201111:46 am
    Simon

    Interesting article. I’d argue that it’s not just an e-book problem: this is happening to ‘real’ books too, thanks to print-on-demand.

    The same ‘publishers’ can clog up Amazon search listings with the same poor-quality facsimile print-on-demand ‘editions’ of out-of-copyright books, over and over again, offering little to no information about them. The same titles appear repeatedly, all with different (and irrelevant, and crap) covers, pushing the editions themselves far down search listings.

    I’ve complained to Amazon about it but had no serious response. Selling out-of-print books (the actual editions, rather than print-on-demand copies) is such a tiny fraction of their business now that I guess they just don’t care about the few customers it affects.

    It’s doubly frustrating because there’s a simple solution: just class print-on-demand books as a separate format (like they do hardcover, softcover, kindle) & allow people to remove them from search results. But they won’t even do that.

    What these practices amount to though is spam, pure and simple.

  24. Apr 9, 20114:18 pm
    Caleb Spilchen

    Anonymous Hater,

    ” Hey Caleb – You lack the ability to “get it” because you’re only a teenager, but your PLR material is garbage and a complete waste of everyone’s time. One day hopefully you’ll learn to earn a legitimate living by adding value to society.”

    Now, why would someone think that of me? Hmm.. Interesting, but the funniest part. Is that they will not even say who they are… They run around hating, people.. But are too scared for these people to know who they are?

    For that reason, I am not even going to respond to your pile of BS claims, as you are a waste of my time.

    Peace,

    The Maestro

  25. Apr 16, 201111:32 am

    This sort of fraud has hopped over into the blogosphere, with many “Experts” now offering “ebooks” about “better blogging” that are ripped off from other writers…

    http://dave-lucas.blogspot.com/2011/04/bloggers-better-blogging-ebooks-may-be.html

  26. Apr 23, 20113:27 pm

    There is already an independent website for book reviews. It is called Goodreads.com and both the Sony Reader store and Google Ebooks use reviews from this independent site.

  27. Apr 26, 20114:33 pm

    Just piggy backing on what Nirmala said. Going beyond just Goodreads and the like, there are plenty of other sites that cater to various niches that a buyer can go to for information on these self published titles. Not hard to find them either just use your favorite search engine.

    Honestly there is no excuse for picking up any of the spam products, unless you purchased the item on a whim, in which case it’s your own fault.

    I say this as a creator of self published material (reviewed by Goodreads and quite a few other sites) and as a buyer of self published material.

    Anyway, fun article. I’m glad I stumbled on it.

  28. Apr 26, 20114:36 pm

    Just an addendum, make that c0-creator. Can’t forget my good friend Rob.

  29. Apr 28, 20111:56 am
    Tester

    Just to set the record straight, SPAM is unsolicited commercial email. The guy folks are complaining about is selling Private Label Rights or possibly public domain material, not SPAM, (which, by the way, you need not buy his stuff if you’re not interested in it).

    The argument that somehow some person selling crap on Amazon/Kindle hurts “legitimate” ebook writers is a bit silly, IMHO. The bottom line is that the successful writer can sell his/her products if they are well-written, marketed well, and if they fill a market demand for such products. There has always been written garbage for sale and there always be. This has never interfered with better work being successfully produced, marketed, and sold.

    It would seem to me that most ebook writers (and other creative content producers) could spend their time more productively in creating and marketing, rather than wasting it worrying about other “writers” whose work will never be real competition nor have any real effect in their segment of the market.

  30. May 12, 20113:10 pm
    StefanV

    Tester, SPAM is unsolicited commercial ANYTHING, not just e-mail. Cluttering up the Amazon search results with crap books, so that it makes the legitimate ones hard to find, is SPAM.

    The successful writer can sell his/her products if they are well-written, marketed well, fill a demand for such products, AND CAN BE FOUND AMONG ALL THE TRASH OUT THERE.

  31. Jun 1, 20111:05 pm
    Gold

    You can not have a good thing unless you have a bad thing. Conversely, you can not have a bad thing unless you have a good thing. To have a good book you need a bad book.

  32. Jun 2, 20115:22 pm

    This is a negative effect to be sure. However, with traditional publishers you wouldn’t have Amanda Hocking. You wouldn’t have a lot of creative people who were shut out of traditional publishing. Let the reader decide, because Hocking tried to sign up with a publisher, but YOU GUYS REJECTED HER.

    So, publishing trends are up for ebooks and down for NY real estate. :)

  33. Jun 21, 201110:29 am

    I don’t like PLR. For me to sell the content somebody else have created is just stealing. Doesn’t matter how we call it. Books are about creativity, putting time and effort to create content. PLR is reaping that someone else sow.

  34. Jun 26, 201111:46 am

    I appreciate that if you are searching for a particular book and you find all this spam, that it’d be quite frustrating. At the same time, the reason that they are succesful is because people want things made easier for them. They want convenience and they want to be able to read a certain book, especially for those people who are taking books from PLR sites and then reselling them on(as they are allowed to under the terms), they wouldn’t have a business if people didn’t want the convenience.

    This is not a new thing, of course ebooks are starting out so that is the new part but the taking works in the public domain/available for resale and republishing them is not a new thing. There are some book publishers(of physical books) who make their living just from taking works out of the public domain/from google books and republishing it. This can be frustrating as sometimes Google has to take books down as the new ‘owner’ is staking rights to that book.

  35. Dec 18, 201110:04 am
  36. Dec 21, 20118:57 am

    I completely agree with what your points. I participated in a number of online marketing forums that include the gurus on “making money online” and there are many people promoting the idea of throwing together ebook after ebook on the Kindle with the idea that it costs nothing to add a book and that once you create such a book, you will have a nice stream of passive income.

    There are now folks doing the same thing (“create an app a day”) for applications. Of your suggestions, the ones I’d most like to see, are:

    Add a link on every ebook listing page where people can report the book for stolen content.

    And monitoring accounts with more than 50 titles.

    I also think they would be wise to charge a small amount for adding a title. It wouldn’t have to be much — perhaps $10 a title. This would be nothing for the quality ebook authors, but would stop those proliferating junk.

    I wish that Amazon would take such steps, but haven’t heard of them doing anything to maintain quality.

  37. Jun 18, 201211:15 am

    It’s actually a nice and helpful piece of information. I’m happy that you simply shared this useful information with us. Please stay us informed like this. Thanks for sharing.

  38. Oct 24, 20121:01 pm

    what chance in hell does an author have then…???
    I have my sci-fiction romance fantasy book
    [ see website] that I’ve been writing for 18 months… put my heart and blood and soul into this…
    I’d love to find an publisher, because I believe this book series [ 3 books] would be as big as ‘harry potter’ books.

    iuniverse publishing wants 1000$ and i don’t even get one free copy of the book for me.???

    peter eckels..
    still looking for a honest publisher.

  39. Dec 29, 20126:02 pm

    What an interesting experiment. I recently started using iBooks and had a look at some free ones. They were basically 20 pages or less with a strong call to action at the end. There also seems to be a new influx of “FREE” Daily deals eBooks trying the same thing. I think the saying you can’t get something for nothing is very true.

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45 Trackbacks

  1. […] The first type of fraud stems from content farm behavior moving onto Kindle – with scammers sucking up content across the internet, uploading the content as Kindle eBooks to Amazon and then using fake accounts to review the books to obtain a good rating. Unsuspecting readers discover these books via search (because they are stuffed with keywords) and end up buying dud content. This is discussed in more detail over on Publishing Trends. […]

  2. […] guess what – it’s already happened. Check out this guy/girl/team, which I found on Publishing Trends the other day. The greaat Kindle Swindle is their headline. Three thousand-plus titles and they all […]

  3. […] Our story and Mike Essex’s original post have sparked discussion across the Web (oh yeah, and the spammers weighed in too). […]

  4. […] http://www.publishingtrends.com/2011/03/the-kindle-swindle/ Posted in Cyber Crime | No Comments » Leave a Comment […]

  5. By New frontiers in spam: the Kindle Swindle on April 6, 2011 at 9:10 am

    […] in spam: the Kindle Swindle Tim Finin, 8:10am 6 April 2011 TweetSharePublishing trends has a good post describing a new variation on spam: creating low-quality ebooks from plagiarized or public-domain […]

  6. […] plaide pour la mise en place d’un minimum de contrôle de la part des plateformes de livres […]

  7. […] Publishing Trends’ article and interview with Essex: Essex carried out an experiment for PT: “I took the lyrics to the song ‘This is the song […]

  8. […] Details here. […]

  9. By The Website Platform Advantage | Ditchwalk on April 8, 2011 at 8:18 pm

    […] excellent Infographic about content farms. No sooner did I decide against it than I ran across this excellent post on Publishing Trends about content farms. Then, a day later, a good friend sent me an unbidden and […]

  10. […] The Kindle Swindle — Publishing Trends […]

  11. […] which curates the content of every project submitted to them. Mike Essex has a handy list of nine changes Amazon can make to its Kindle platform right now that will fix the problem and boost its own […]

  12. […] which curates the content of every project submitted to them. Mike Essex has a handy list of nine changes Amazon can make to its Kindle platform right now that will fix the problem and boost its own image. […]

  13. […] which curates the content of every project submitted to them. Mike Essex has a handy list of nine changes Amazon can make to its Kindle platform right now that will fix the problem and boost its own image. […]

  14. By The Kindle Swindle at techandsoc.com on April 19, 2011 at 9:51 am

    […] To Read More… « iPad Resellers Now Camp Overnight at Apple Stores […]

  15. […] excellent Infographic about content farms. No sooner did I decide against it than I ran across this excellent post on Publishing Trends about content farms. Then, a day later, a good friend sent me an unbidden and […]

  16. […] would like to point my readers to a wonderfully written article on Publishing Trends called “The Kindle Swindle” by Laura Hazard Owen reporting on an article originated by Mike Essex.  In his article, Essex […]

  17. […] great article on the great  “Kindle Swindle” by Laura Hazard Owen at […]

  18. […] which curates the content of every project submitted to them. Mike Essex has a handy list of nine changes Amazon can make to its Kindle platform right now that will fix the problem and boost its own image. […]

  19. […] To Read More… « A very Christlike kiss’n’tell […]

  20. […] them in Kindle versions. Laura Hazard Owen in her March, 2011 article The Kindle Swindle at Publishing Trends.com […]

  21. […] them in Kindle versions. Laura Hazard Owen in her March, 2011 article The Kindle Swindle at Publishing Trends.com […]

  22. […] stolen content. Mike Essex, a search specialist at digital marketing firm Koozai, copied and pasted the lyrics to “This is the Song That Never […]

  23. By Was The Kindle Store Really Slammed With Spam? on June 17, 2011 at 6:21 pm

    […] recycled, even stolen content. Mike Essex, a search specialist at digital marketing firm Koozai, copied and pasted the lyrics to “This Is The Song That Never Ends” over 700 pages, ended the song […]

  24. By The Kindle Chronicles - TKC 152 Jon Cog on June 17, 2011 at 7:54 pm

    […] – 1) The worrisome blight of Kindle spam is in the news here and here. Laura Hazard Owen had the story first three months ago, with help from Mike Essex. 2) Does this […]

  25. […] recycled, even stolen content. Mike Essex, a search specialist at digital marketing firm Koozai, copied and pasted the lyrics to “This Is The Song That Never Ends” over 700 pages, ended the song […]

  26. By Kindle e-book store slammed by spam "authors" on June 17, 2011 at 9:30 pm

    […] recycled, even stolen content. Mike Essex, a search specialist at digital marketing firm Koozai, copied and pasted the lyrics to “This Is The Song That Never Ends” over 700 pages, ended the song […]

  27. […] recycled, even stolen content. Mike Essex, a search specialist at digital marketing firm Koozai, copied and pasted the lyrics to “This Is The Song That Never Ends” over 700 pages, ended the song […]

  28. […] even stolen content. Mike Essex, a search specialist at digital marketing firm Koozai, copied and pasted the lyrics to “This Is the Song That […]

  29. […] Albert Greco interviewed Mike Essex on his blog, where Essex added this worrisome point about what else he’s found out about book spammers: The thing that scared me the most was an email promoting a viral ebook Automatic Submitter. Anyone who purchases it gets 149,000 articles that they can use for any purpose, so they can make their own ebooks very quickly. […]

  30. […] Publishing Trends interviews Mike Essex on “the Kindle swindle” and conveys the result of his experiment in junk publishing. […]

  31. […] stolen content. Mike Essex, a search specialist at digital marketing firm Koozai, copied and pasted the lyrics to “This is The Song that […]

  32. […] Owen in her March, 2011 article the Kindle Swindle at Publishing Trends.com […]

  33. […] stolen content. Mike Essex, a search specialist at digital marketing firm Koozai, copied and pasted the lyrics to “This is the Song […]

  34. […] The Kindle Swindle: How Spammers Have Moved from Content Farms to Ebooks […]

  35. […] 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 […]

  36. By Stealing Books » Oisín McGann's Blog on August 17, 2011 at 8:22 am

    […] armed with spinners and PLR and all manner of other dastardly devices. Filtering them out will mean proper detection systems (that’s a link to the best article I’ve seen so far on this subject), but also human […]

  37. By Recommended reading « They Stole My Book! on August 23, 2011 at 11:52 am

    […] Hazard Owen develops the theme in the Publishing Trends blog with The Kindle Swindle. She interviews Mike Essex, who suggests eight solutions which could be implemented by companies […]

  38. By Amazon’s Plagiarism Problem | Kindle News Center on January 12, 2012 at 9:02 am

    […] the only category ebook pirates have set their sights on. Manuel Ortiz Braschi has published thousands of ebooks on Amazon, often claiming as his own works in the public domain, including Alice in Wonderland. […]

  39. By Amazon’s plagiarism problem | on January 12, 2012 at 3:58 pm

    […] customarily difficulty ebook pirates have set their sights on. Manuel Ortiz Braschi has published thousands of ebooks on Amazon, mostly claiming as his possess works in a open domain, including Alice in Wonderland. […]

  40. […] 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 […]

  41. […] other words, Amazon appears to be officially banning private-label rights content — articles that can be bought cheaply online and quickly formatted into an e-book — as well as public-domain works like “Alice in Wonderland” that many users are […]

  42. […] Read Laura’s full article at Publishing Trends here. […]

  43. […] Or you could take the lyrics from “this is the song that never ends”, paste 700 pages worth of them into a Kindle file and sell that. […]

  44. […] Or you could take the lyrics from “this is the song that never ends”, paste 700 pages worth of them into a Kindle file and sell that. […]

  45. […] Or you could take the lyrics from “this is the song that never ends”, paste 700 pages worth of them into a Kindle file and sell that. […]

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