Amazon has announced that it will begin cracking down on authors who upload so-called "private label rights" e-books via the Kindle Direct Publishing service. According to an email sent to the authors of titles that were removed, Amazon is now filtering and deleting "undifferentiated or barely differentiated" e-books submitted for publishing on the Kindle store because they "diminish the experience for customers.
It seems that the Kindle store has been filled with what are essentially duplicate e-books that were written and sold under "private label rights" (PLR). The text of the book is sold by the original author or copyright holder for a flat fee, and is then taken by authors or publishers to customize and sell under their own names. Most of the supposed authors uploading the books, however, simply format the text, create a new cover and upload them in an attempt at a get-rich-quick scheme.
Even worse is that many of these PLR books are little more than a pyramid scheme, designed to get users to buy a book promising to teach them how to make lots of money publishing those exact same books through the Kindle store, through the republishing scheme. The derivations are then sold on the store to more people, who fall for the same trick and continue the cycle. It's very nearly parasitic.
Amazon, then, has decided to take countermeasures against the spamming of these books, in order to keep buyers from being overloaded with "duplicate (or near duplicate) versions of the same book." In addition to finding and killing duplicate content among existing and new titles submitted for publishing, Amazon will also be terminating the accounts that propagate the spam.