Monday, August 29, 2011

Amazon Yanking Private Label Rights

Currently reading - Baby, Drive South bu Stephanie Bond (MMPB)

I don't know how many of you saw this New York Times article a couple of weeks ago, but Amazon is allegedly removing private label rights (PLR) e-books from their Kindle store.

What are PLR e-books?  Generally, articles that are work for hire are sold to a "writer", who then puts the various articles together into an e-book format and uploads them to Amazon. (These e-books can also be uploaded to other e-book retailers as well.)  In most instances, PLR books are non-fiction.  The pieces that form the PLR e-books are sold in much the same way that royalty-free photos are sold at places like

The problem comes when fifty people put the same three articles together to form what is essentially the same e-book.  Say you're a gardener looking for a resource on how to get of tomato horn worms.  (By the way, I'm big advocate of smashing the suckers with a rock or brick.)  There can be fifty books on Amazon that all have the same information.  You're thinking, "Did somebody rip off some biologist's book? I don't want to buy a fake."  And then you don't buy anything, which means Amazon or any other retailer doesn't make money.

So if you're an indie writer, whether it be fiction or non-fiction, don't take shortcuts.  You might get some short-term sales, but the news will get out and folks won't buy your product if they're questioning your integrity.