updated 08:15 am EDT, Fri June 17, 2011
Kindle Direct Publishing facing serious issues
Amazon's Kindle Direct Publishing service is under threat of being swamped by spam. The service exists to offer aspiring authors an easy way to self-publish their own work and potentially monetize it. However, it is not working this way in practice. Many of the ebooks being published are constructed using Private Label Rights (PLR), which is content that can be purchased cheaply online and then converted into an ebook and is published for sale.
These 'ebooks' are then published cheaply, typically 99 cents each, alongside legitimate titles. PLR content has become so prevalent, that authentic content is getting buried and lost in amongst the spam. A DVD boxset titled Autopilot Kindle Cash has become available that purports to offer show users how to publish 10 to 20 titles a day without even penning a single word. In the worst case, at least one author had their work plagiarized in full and re-published under someone else's name.
The ebook business is taking off around the world, so much so that the more dire predictions purport that traditional books stores may become consigned to history in the next five to ten years. In the US last year, 2.8 million non-traditional books, including ebooks, were published in the US. This compared with only 316,000 traditional books being published during the same period.
Three possible solutions have been put forward for Amazon to address the issue. One is to begin curating submissions. Another is to add a social dimension to the service, allowing users to recommend quality ebooks to others. The third probably has the most potential - charge users a fee for uploads to the Kindle publishing system. [via Reuters]