An Open Letter To Jeff Bezos – CEO Of Amazon.com
Even though I don’t own a Kindle device, I love everything about the Kindle. I love the way you can download a sample of a book, decide to buy it and be reading the full book within a few minutes
How cool is that?
And Amazon could have taken the ‘Apple’ route of ‘protecting’ the Kindle, and made Kindle books only available on Kindle. Instead you had Apps developed that allowed people who don’t own a Kindle (like me ) to access Kindle books on other devices. For me, I read my Kindle books on either my Macbook or my iPad. But if I had an iPhone (ummm….never) I could read them there. Or if I had a PC (ummmm…also never) I could download the Kindle for PC app.
So for that you have my utmost respect and admiration.
And if that wasn’t enough, you’ve then made the Kindle Publishing Platform available for just about anyone with a word processor program and in Internet connection to publish on.
Now that is seriously cool. Please publish the name of the person who came up with that idea, because it is genius. And whoever that person is, we should all know so that we can thank him personally via tweets, emails and Wikipaedia pages.
However – there’s something wrong in paradise.
Because just about anybody is now free to publish on the Kindle, just about anybody does. And I’ve seen courses and eBooks advertised on how to create books for Kindle.
The teaching method that these course take is to advise creating books for Kindle by using PLR content – either written or rewritten – and uploading that. And these courses are responsible for a surge of Kindle Spam.
Another ‘method’ I’ve seen advised is that when someone gets a few sales for a Kindle book created in this manner, that they should change the title, change the cover and repurpose it for a slightly different audience.
For example, if you created a Kindle cookbook called Meals For Students in 15 Minutes, and that book sold a few copies, then you should create a “new’ Kindle book with the same content but perhaps aimed at busy housewives. (Meals for Busy Housewives in 15 Minutes.)
Or create a version for busy divorced husbands – Meals For Busy Divorced Husbands in 15 Minutes. And so on.
The ability to publish to the Kindle platform is an awesome step forward in the history of publishing – but its effectiveness is being diminished by the proliferation of Kindle Spam. Some of these course suggest that you should be creating a new Kindle book every single day.
I’m a full supporter of freedom of speech and non-censorship – but I’m writing to you to register my concerns about the rise in Kindle Spam.
In my opinion there’s a simple way to stamp out the vast majority of this Kindle Spam – ban PLR content from being used in books uploaded to Kindle. And anyone found guilty of using PLR content would suffer a lifetime ban from the Kindle Store.
Now that might sound severe – but I don’t believe this is censorship. Because the ‘authors’ of such books are not actually writing anything new, or expressing new thoughts.
They are simply trying to game the Kindle system for a quick buck. If they want to use PLR content to help create their books, then insist that they rewrite it.
Another way of filtering out some of the Kindle spammers from more genuine authors might be to insist on the use of an ISBN number, which I believe iBooks does. And although the iBooks platform is inferior IMO to Kindle (and I’m a diehard MacHard, so that’s saying something!), the one advantage it holds is that there is no iBook spam. And no courses on how to create a book a day for iBooks.
It would be a black day in the history of publishing if the proliferation of this Kindle spam adversely affected the ability of genuine authors to publish on the platform. Amazon is a company I highly respect – with your resources I’m sure you can find ways to diminish the amount of Kindle Spam that’s out there and ensure that the Kindle publishing platform will always be available for authors who want to share their information.
Thank you in advance.