One of the biggest challenges facing the e-published or self-published author is getting your book into the consciousness of the international reading public. Unfortunately, aside from the huge boom in self-publishing over the past few years as well as trade publishers turning to electronic versions of their new releases and backlists, there's another threat to the average author: spammers and content farmers are creating e-books and releasing them in the thousands.
For example, some spammers (I refuse to call them writers) are using PLR (Private Label Rights) to buy information inexpensively, format them into ebooks and then releasing them in Kindle versions. Laura Hazard Owen in her March, 2011 article The Kindle Swindle at Publishing Trends.com stated:
"Many ebook vendors don’t check copyright on works that are submitted, and Essex noticed that people are stealing content from the web, quickly creating ebooks about the same topics from multiple angles in order to target different keyword variants, and publishing them—some Kindle authors have “written” thousands of books in a single year."
In that article, Ms. Owen showed a screen shot of "books" by Manuel Ortiz Brachi. At that time, he had "published" 3,000 books on Kindle — including (to my horror) Through the Looking Glass and What Alice Found There. Following Owen's lead, I searched Kindle's store today. I discovered 72 titles (apparently recycled e-content selling for 99 cents each) and the following comment on a sales page:
"We are dedicated to providing our customers with cutting edge information with the latest and most popular ebooks and hot topics at very affordable prices. Our mission is to create positive change in your life. We carry hundreds of unique titles including 'Literary Classics' under many categories for your convenience. Please click on the name 'Manuel Ortiz Braschi' at the top of the page, next to the title, or write 'Manuel Ortiz Braschi' at the search box and you will be taken to our main page in Amazon, where you will be able to check all the interesting, unique and informative titles that we carry at Amazon Kindle."
I am thrilled to announce that I found no "literary classics" listed under "Manuel Ortiz Braschi." However, that made me interested. Had anyone else "published" Alice in Wonderland?
So, I did a search for Alice in Wonderland, and discovered not only a free version for Kindle, along with various other Kindle versions selling for anywhere from 1.99 to 4.99, but one (Alice in Wonderland & Through The Looking Glass; A Lewis Carroll Collection) that listed Lewis Carroll as the author and The WrightAngles.com as author and editor on a .99 cent version.