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January 16, 2012

Amazon has a huge plagiarism problem in its Kindle store

Especially in the erotica and horror sections. Authors--to use the word loosely--are copying stories from internet archives or Gutenberg and selling them under misleading titles. Amazon needs to fix this not just because authors are having their work stolen, but also because it greatly dilutes the trust people have for the Kindle store. Amazon's Plagiarism Problem | Fast Company
After checking the author page for Maria Cruz, who that day had the top-selling erotica book in Amazon's U.K. Kindle store, she counted 40 erotica ebook titles, including Sister Pretty Little Mouth, My Step Mom and Me, Wicked Desires Steamy Stories and Domenating [sic] Her, plus one called Dracula's Amazing Adventure. Most erotica authors stay within the genre, so Sharazade was surprised Cruz had ventured into horror. Amazon lets customers click inside a book for a sample of text and Sharazade was impressed with how literate it was. She extracted a sentence fragment, googled it, and found that Cruz had copy and pasted the text from Bram Stoker's Dracula. Curious, Sharazade keyed in phrases from other Cruz ebooks and discovered that every book she checked was stolen. It turns out Cruz isn't the only self-published plagiarist. Amazon is rife with fake authors selling erotica ripped word-for-word from stories posted on Literotica, a popular and free erotic fiction site that according to Quantcast attracts more than 4.5 million users a month, as well as from other free online story troves. As recently as early January, Robin Scott had 31 books in the Kindle store, and a down-and-dirty textual analysis revealed that each one was plagiarized. Rachel M. Haven, a purveyor of incest, group sex, and cheating bride stories, was selling 11 pilfered tales from a variety of story sites. Eve Welliver had eight titles in the Kindle store copied from Literotica and elsewhere, and she had even thought to plagiarize some five-star reviews. Luke Ethan's author page listed four works with titles like My Step Mom Loves Me and OMG My Step-Brother in Bisexual, and it doesn't appear he wrote any of them. Maria Cruz had 19 ebooks and two paperbacks, all of which were created by other authors and republished without their consent, while her typo-addled alter ego Mariz Cruz was hawking Wicked Desire: Steamy bondage picture volume 1. 

 Writers I contacted through Literotica, who do not profit from the stories they post, expressed different reactions to being plagiarized, ranging from abject anger to flattery that someone thought their work worth stealing to fear I might reveal their real identity. A highly prolific scribe with the pen name Boston Fiction Writer, whose story, "Boston Halloween Massacre" had been transposed into an ebook titled Massacre on Halloween and sold under Robin Scott's name, threatened to hurt the person who stole her work, "even more than they hurt me, so that they'd think twice about stealing another story from me. I dare say, she'd have no more fingers left to steal anyone's stories, ever again." David Springer, a security guard whose "nom de naughty" is Oediplex, recently learned that his story, "I Remember Mother" was repackaged for the Kindle as My Step Mom Loves Me by Luke Ethan, and wondered how well the book was selling. "I never did expect to get wealthy from writing," he says, "though I wish I had a penny for every orgasm my stories have produced." . . .

Guest blogging at Man Made DIY is *GOOOOO!!!*

I'm guest blogging all this week at Man Made DIY...

January 13, 2012

Get a Kindle copy of Dave-o's Nebula-nominated novella for just $3!

With all-new, original art by Chad Sell, the illustrated ebook...

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