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The kindle self-publishing craze has taken many by surprise.  It seems that practically everyone wants to be an author.  There’s certainly a bit of cache to be had in being published – even self-published.  And the dream of passive income that would results from a popular bestseller is alluring to many.

But what is all this self-publishing on the kindle (which seems to me where most authors get started) doing to quality?  I’ve certainly downloaded my fair share of very poorly written kindle ebooks.  Luckily I did so on free-promotions (a service called Kindle Select that Amazon offers to authors wanting to generate some buzz for their book).

The fact that these same books have subsequently attracted quite a few negative reviews is good news I think.  The book reading community on the kindle seems to be working relatively well as an inbuilt quality control process.  Maybe Amazon does not have to do too much itself on policing quality?  Perhaps it can be left to the community?

I have also found some gems on the kindle.  Here’s a style book that I enjoyed reading for example.   I’ve also picked up a few of these Amazon bestsellers.  All highly recommended.

One area that I think should be the focus of review and oversight however is content stealing and re-packaging.  I can’t point to any examples but as soon as a new money making niche opens up you can be sure that the spammers will enter with a vengeance looking for a quick way to make money.  And the quickest way of all is to find a book that is selling well and copy it.  Change the cover, maybe tweak the content a bit, and get it onto the Amazon bookstore.  I think it would be a mistake to leave the policing of this kind of activity to the community alone.