Amazon’s Plague of Fake Books


Amazon Is Overrun With a Plague of Bestseller KnockoffsIf you search for popular books on Amazon, it turns out you’ll turn up intentionally misleading knockoffs. Publishers obviously aren’t happy about about it, but some of these titles are hilarious. I Am The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo, anybody? Seriously, who falls for that? Apparently, a lot of people.

Fortune found a slew of these ripoffs on Amazon. Currently, the online retailer’s bestselling book Fifty Shades of Grey by E.L. James. If you’d been searching for the popular romance novel would you have been fooled by the very similar Thirty-Five Shades of Grey by J.D. Lyte? Maybe, actually!

Not only are the people who are putting these books up for sale reaping profits and ripping people off, Amazon is complicit in the whole affair:

It’s perhaps more shocking that Amazon (AMZN) not only sells the books, it’s also helping their authors create them. All of the apparent copycat books that Fortune found on Amazon were made through CreateSpace, which is a division of Amazon. Authors can use CreateSpace’s system to design and self-publish their own books. The books then go on sale on Amazon and other sites. Amazon splits the proceeds with authors. It’s a different relationship than most publishers have with their authors, but there is no way for consumers to know that. On Amazon and other sites, CreateSpace is listed as the publisher of the books.

Amazon Is Overrun With a Plague of Bestseller KnockoffsUnfortunately some of the best knockoffs are no longer available as far as we can tell. According to Fortune, Steve Jobs by Isaac Worthington was tearing up the charts on Amazon at one point, but we haven’t been able to find it.

Obviously, book publishers have wised up to the scam and are getting some books pulled down when they’re discovered. But this problem isn’t going anywhere fast. Amazon is just too big. Next time you’re searching for a book, be careful which one you buy. [Fortune]

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Monday, April 16th, 2012 digital No Comments

Viral videos are cool and all, but most of them don’t drive sales.

Samsung LED Sheep – how do I even buy an LED from Samsung, if I wanted one?

T-Mobile Dance – not sure exactly what it means or how it is related to cell phone service, but it SURE was cool!

Cadbury Eyebrows – cool, and forwardable video. but what does Cadbury make again? So I can go buy some of whatever they make?  😉

etc. etc.  you get the point…

the only videos (below) that actually have anything to do with the product are Filet-O-fish, condom bunnies doing their thing, and Denny’s banana on pancakes.


Last Week Brand Campaign Agency Current Week Views* % Change in Views** Watch the Spot
1 1 Samsung Extreme Sheep LED Art The Viral Factory 2,866,364 +39% Samsung: Extreme Sheep LED Art
2 2 T-Mobile T-Mobile Dance Saatchi & Saatchi, MediaCom 876,946 -15% T-Mobile: Dance
3 4 Cadbury Eyebrow Dance Fallon 636,418 +27% Cadbury: Eyebrow Dance
4 New Geico It’s the Gecko/ Numa Numa The Martin Agency, Horizon Media 442,653 New Geico: It's the Gecko/Numa Numa
5 5 McDonald’s Talking Filet-O-Fish Arnold 378,488 -2% McDonald's: Talking Filet-O-Fish
6 9 E-Trade E-Trade Baby Grey, New York 323,100 +17% E-Trade: Baby
7 New Ray-Ban Never Hide Cutwater 304,970 New Ray-Ban: Never Hide
8 8 Durex Get It On Fitzgerald & Co., SuperFad 235,290 -18% Durex: Kama Balloon Animal Sutra
9 Back on chart Denny’s Nannerpuss Goodby, Silverstein & Partners 178,359 -3% Denny's: Nannerpuss
10 6 Vodafone Lewis Hamilton and the RC Office Grand Prix Outsider 171,123 -49% Vodafone: Lewis Hamilton and the RC Office Grand Prix

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Monday, July 6th, 2009 digital No Comments

Dr. Augustine Fou is Digital Consigliere to marketing executives, advising them on digital strategy and Unified Marketing(tm). Dr Fou has over 17 years of in-the-trenches, hands-on experience, which enables him to provide objective, in-depth assessments of their current marketing programs and recommendations for improving business impact and ROI using digital insights.

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