You can find thousands of top-notch books on the Kindle from best-selling authors such as Kathryn Stockett or Erik Larson. But Amazon.com is facing a growing problem with its popular electronic reading device: spam books.
Reuters notes this “dark side” of digital publishing, reporting that thousands of bogus books are now filling the shelves of the Kindle store.
In some cases, the books are created with instructions from a program called Autopilot Kindle Cash, which Reuters says allows users to publish as many as 20 new Kindle books a day. There are also, ironically, e-books which teach users how to game the Kindle system for financial reward.
UPDATE: Mike Caraway, the creator of Autopilot Kindle cash, said in a statement that news media reports mischaracterized the product. His statement reads in part:
“When someone writes their own book but doesn’t want to go through all the hassles of publishing it, they can sell the rights to it and allow someone else to publish it under their name. This is called giving the buyer “Private Label Rights” and allows the buyer to put their own name as the author, change the title, or anything else they want to do to it. In fact, even past Presidents of the United states hire ghostwriters to write books for them, pay the ghostwriter for the rights to the book, and then publish the book as if it’s their own – in essence, another form of private label rights.”
Other emerging platforms have dealt with spam offerings. Some, like Apple, police their mobile app store in order to make sure high-quality content appears.
But Reuters says the problem is a new one for electronic reading devices, and it is one that Amazon will have to address in order to maintain its lead in e-readers.
Full story here.