If you are a regular customer of Amazon’s Kindle store, you could already be aware of the fact that spammers are using it to fleece customers out of their hard-earned cash by tricking them into buying bogus e-books.
The scam is made possible by the fact that anyone can publish an e-book on Amazon and offer it for sale. Unfortunately, there is no barrier to publishing as many e-book as one wants, and scammers have jumped at the opportunity.
The scammers can either use an already published e-book, change the title, author and cover and pass it off as a completely different book, or they can use a piece of software that packages public domain content, equips it with a cover and title and submits it for sale.
All in all, the process is very fast and allows scammers to churn out dozens or even more titles a day. Since Amazon doesn’t charge for the publishing of e-books or making it available in the store, if the bogus titles are bought even a couple of times, the scammer has earned enough money to justify the time spent on it.
Amazon does try to weed out these books, but a 48-hour approval process obviously allows quite a few of them to slip through unnoticed, mixed with the legitimate titles.
According to Eric Mack, a longer checking process might help with weeding out the offending e-books. Another simple but likely effective solution would be to institute a charge for everyone who wants to publish an e-book on Amazon.
“Charging authors $50, $20 or even just $10 to publish to Amazon would drastically cut back potential profits for spammers, and any author that spent months or years crafting a quality work should have no problem shelling out a small amount to access a global market and ensure that there’s fewer titles to weed through,” he believes.