Robin Hobb Shouts a Warning

Folks, Robin Hobb has shouted out a warning about a major scam publisher that many others have been also been shouting out lately in numbers of blogs. Robin explains it well and read the comments following her blog as well.

Then be cautious on buying. Samples should stop some of this, but so many readers do not sample.

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6 Responses to Robin Hobb Shouts a Warning

  1. Nancy Beck says:

    $12 for articles?!!!! Sheesh, there are full-blown novels for much less than that.

    Talk about deceptive advertising. :-(

  2. I hate to say this: but that repackaging junk material into ebooks has been a full blown (and profitable) industry for many years. (If you include cheezy booklets, for much longer than that.)

    However, I think this is the first time that the junk book industry has overlapped with regular publishing. In the very old days it was direct sales via ads in the backs of comic books and magazines (right next to the ads for x-ray glasses and sea monkeys), and more recently it was direct sales via website — usually via SEO tricks.

    There are thousands of sites out there which sell books on how to do this. (“Make money at home selling ebooks!”) And I’m sure they’ve been doing it since the beginning of Kindle on Amazon. But you only see this when the producer of such a work chooses a living author’s name as a high ranking keyword.

    It’s out there with the rest of the junk, and only really an issue if they use your name. And even then, you have to decide if doing anything about it would be worse than leaving it alone. Putting bad reviews on it and calling attention to it raises the SEO ranks (the page registers “interest”) — and that’s what these sleaze-balls want most.

  3. DeAnna says:

    With as bad as some of the formatting is on some ebooks, I’m not sure HOW you can buy an ebook without sampling. Maybe they haven’t been bitten yet.

  4. Lyn Perry says:

    I think it’s possible to “return” an ebook, right? If someone mistakenly buys a bogus book I think Amazon will cancel the sale within a certain time period if requested. Corrections? Clarifications?

  5. The same scam is being used to plagiarize copyrighted material. Some other authors have reported discovering ebooks for sale that happen to just be compilations of copyrighted material available elsewhere on the web (such as free stories by other authors). So far, Amazon’s response to ‘cease and desist’ has been slow….

  6. While it is easy to return an ebook within a week, this particular scam is counting on the fact that the book, as described, would be attractive to people who may not want to read it right away. (I.e. longtime fans of Robin who may have all her books in paper, but see an opportunity to get a bunch of the books in electronic form for “whenever” reading later.)

    I often buy my old favorites “opportunistically” when they become available or go on sale, even though I don’t plan to read them right away.

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