Recently there has been a lot of news about spam flooding Kindle Store. Unfortunately no tips were given how to protect yourself from buying books published by spammers. This post is designed to address it.
Bad quality, useless content is not the only disadvantage of spam books. Such books can also contain malicious links. What’s more important – those links can be placed at the beginning of the book. That means you’ll be exposed to them also when you download a free sample.
Below you’ll find tips which can help you identify a spam book. They are not definite indications, use them wisely as you may qualify as spam a book which was published by a legitimate author.
A long title, full of search keywords. Uppercase is used very often, sometimes to highlight certain words in a title.
The author is very prolific and publishes lots of ebooks on several topics. Also, if you’ll see instead of author’s name a general phrase, like “ebook publisher”. And eventually – if you’ll notice that the book doesn’t have the author but the editor (see picture below).
3. Book cover
Very bad design, titles in distinct and sometimes completely irrelevant colors, basic fonts used (Arial, Times). You can also make a quick check of the cover’s resolution. If you click on See larger image and notice that the quality is dramatically poor, it indicates that images used in a cover were taken from the web.
Many spam books are sold for $0.99. With such a price tag readers are more eager to buy them without downloading a free sample. But it’s not a rule. If you are in a business category, you may find a lot of much more expensive spam books which address your personal finance matters.
5. Reviews & ratings
There are no reviews or very bad reviews. Same with ratings.
6. Product description
It’s very short, very often contains spelling or grammar mistakes. It may be a table of content or a random excerpt from a book.
7. Available editions
It doesn’t have any other editions (print, audio).
8. File size
The file size is small – this indicates that the book is short.
9. Amazon Bestseller Rank
This is really sad, but readers actually buy spam books, therefore a low position in the Amazon Bestseller Rank is not an indication. You may find a spam book which is ranked very high in Kindle Store.
Fortunately there are two other ways to use Amazon Bestseller Rank to spot a spam:
– the book is placed in many unrelated categories
– the book is listed not only in Kindle Store, but also in Books
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Many legitimate authors, who sell their books for $0.99, are suffering from spammers, who not only make it harder to find a good quality content, but in many cases – steal that content. As a result you can find several editions of a single book.
If you’ll face a situation like this, make sure to go through this checklist in order to exclude spam and purchase the edition published by the legitimate author.