One of my more obsessive habits is to check out the freebies on Amazon every so often. Sometimes I actually find something I'd like to try and download it.
Tonight, I checked out a book called Black Silk by Jan Gordon and found myself in the midst of a kerfluffle.
Various friends and fans had posted reviews stating that this book was pirated, that it had originally been offered for $2.99, been taken down when the author contacted Amazon and then it reappeared as a freebie.
The author stated: "If you want to read this story please download Black Silk from one of the legitimate sources: Feedbooks, Smashwords, B&N, Sony, Apple, Diesel, or Kobo."
I was horrified, because Lori has several books free on Smashwords and what if the same thing happened to her? Then I started thinking and some questions arose.
First of all, why would a pirate put up a pirated book with the original author's name still on it? That seems sort of dumb.
Second of all, does anyone know how these free books get there? Lori wanted to put her stories on Amazon as freebies and the program wouldn't let her. When she called Amazon, she was told that Direct Publishing wasn't eligible for the free book program, or whatever you want to call it. So, how did this book, which has no publisher listed, but does list Amazon Services as distributor get on the freebie board?
The author posted it free everywhere BUT Amazon, which makes sense if it's directly published (like what happened to Lori), but then damn! There it is anyway. Strange ...
All these people, posting reviews to urge people to get the book at an author approved site, gave a 5 star rating to a pirated version. O.o
So I have to ask myself - is this all legitimate or merely a publicity ploy?
I don't think I want to read the book anymore, lol.
Carolyn and I have The Bodice Rippers up on Amazon through KDP, Kindle Direct Publishing. When I asked how to place a free book on Amazon as a writer I was told by two different Amazon representatives, that authors cannot.
Let me say that again: authors cannot place their books on Amazon as free books.
So what bullshit is this woman pulling?