The Kindle Spam Problem

As my regular readers will know, at present I am on a campaign to get our free books removed from the Kindle site. The reason is quite simple: they were never designed for the Kindle, they were designed for the PC ever before the Kindle was thought of, let alone invented. As a consequence, neither the covers nor the content look right when converted to Kindle format.

As the original publisher of these materials, I am very concerned; not so much about the fact that people are making a few bucks by selling our free books on the Kindle, but more about the user experience. Poor formatting and poor graphic conversions make for a poor user experience. I am also concerned that, so far, Amazon/Kindle do not seem to want to address the issue. I have now written to them six times and have not yet had a sensible reply. They keep trying to fob me off with standard answers and this, of course, is not a run-of-the-mill issue.

Let me illustrate the difficulty. First, take a look (Edit: the offending book was eventually removed by Amazon). You can see that is a book which was written by ME and it is provided in our Gold Membership as one of our many bonuses. Now we included Master Resale Rights with this book, so the people who are publishing it to Kindle and making money in the process may not be doing anything illegal. However, as I said, this book was written about 5 years before the Kindle became available.

It is a great book, if I do say so myself. It deals with how to write a good sales letter and the advice is all discerned from one of the hottest internet marketing sales campaigns to have ever hit the internet: The Rich Jerk, by Kelly Felix. So it’s not the legality or the quality of the content that is at issue here. It is people effectively spamming the Kindle site with duplicate content and Kindle has no quality control mechanism in place to stop it at present.

We first broke the news about this issue here. This post was made only after three emails to the Amazon/Kindle site asking them to take action. The replies were all, as I have said previously, both courteous and prompt, but they did not even begin to address the real problem. My last three email have not yet received a response other that the standard autoresponse acknowledgement.

Why does all of this matter? I have asked myself this question repeatedly. If Amazon/Kindle don’t care, then why should I? After all, you could take the view that these people, whilst they may be making a bit of money, are also promoting my site. Well , the reason I care is that I care about the readers who buy those books. Not only are they getting a very bad deal in many cases, they are also getting a very poor reading experience. Now that is my case – plain and simple. It is not hard to understand. Come one Kindle – it’s time to get your act together!

POSTSCIPT: By the way, by Manuel Ortiz Braschi, whoever you are, you are doing something illegal. By claiming to have written a book that was, in fact written by me, you are breaking the law. You should not be so stupid to do this and if Amazon/Kindle don’t take action against you, then we may pursue this matter via legal means. You should definitely remove that book from your account immediately.

One thought on “The Kindle Spam Problem

  1. Maggie Gee

    I totally agree with your article The Kindle Spam Problem, Will.
    This guy Manuel Ortiz Braschi has no right to sell your books on Kindle – let alone at the prices he is charging.

    I hope you do prosecute him. It’s just not right.

    Maggie Gee

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