Technology has its own perks. The autonomous bots are employed to keep a check upon scams; but they are, in the end, machines and robots, not humans. Humans, with their intellectual abilities and intelligence, find a way to break through them and do what they intend to do. May it be a scam, but they see an opening and barge right through it to make it legal. This time, these cunning individuals have targeted Amazon’s Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP). The poor programming of Amazon has done a lot of harm to the company as well as users.
Scammers have been publishing large novels in the store which have been created with the help of ghostwriters. On the first page, they give an instruction to jump to the last page to get a free giveaway. As KDP pays based on the number of downloads and pages read, these books have made the uploader a lot of money. The bots employed by Amazon do not determine the reading speed, but the highest number of pages flipped. The book-stuffing con has worked and helped scammers make a lot of money than those genuine, hardworking authors bleeding words every day and dedicating their lives to create a masterpiece.
Recently, Amazon has taken a small step in curbing such activity. The company has banned the books written by the name “Chance Carter” from Kindle Store. In addition, the tech giant has banned books written by Carter under the pseudo name “Abby Weaks” from the store. Though no official statement has been released by the giant, this small step is appreciable. Carter used to publish books written by Fiverr ghostwriters and stuffed multiple novels in a single book which was so large. The latter novels were given as a bonus content. These novels were published as individual novels along with publishing in the large file.
According to the post about book-stuffing con published on The Digital Reader, the problem has been there for past few years in Kindle Unlimited (KU). First, scammers uploaded short ebooks and got paid after readers read few pages. Then, the system was dismissed by Amazon in 2015 and the system which paid based on the number of pages read was brought into the picture. From that time, the book-stuffing con began to take shape.
According to another post by the Digital Reader, “KU users were then tricked into flipping to the end of an ebook by a freebie offer. Due to a bug in the Kindle platform, Amazon can track your location, but not what pages you have actually read. As a result, this paid Carter the same as if the reader had actually read an ebook all the way through.”
Carter used to trick readers to jump on to the last page and got paid nearly $14 to $15 per user. Though the scammer claimed everything he did was according to the rules, which may be true, it is not at all ethical. Amazon needs to change algorithms along with banning such accounts. The change in algorithms and human inventions in such cases is a need of the hour. This is an injustice for writers and novelists who have been putting all the efforts to make a good art and trying to earn money in ethical ways.