Sunday, July 13, 2014

E-Book Buyer Beware

Not to damn Amazon with faint praise, but Amazon is good for one thing: establishing the lowest legal rung of the e-book pricing ladder.

As a general rule of thumb, if someone is selling an e-book for less than Amazon, that someone is probably either a credit card scammer, an identity thief, or a copyright infringer. That's my opinion. There are exceptions.... for instance, currently, some Hachette titles.

If one does an internet search engine search for "E-Book Scam" or "E-Book Credit Card Scams" you will find some information, but not as much as one might expect given the number of sites that apparently offer thousands of ebooks for sale, often, all for $1.50. They may even offer e-books that do not exist, and never have existed.

If the price looks too good to be true, do not give the purveyor your credit card information without doing a great deal of due diligence.

What due diligence? you may ask.
Well, try googling the name of the TGTBT site.
Try a "WhoIs" search, for instance "" and if you find that the e-book seller is using Privacy Protect services, you might wonder why anyone would give their name, address and credit card information to someone who does not want their identity known.

Personally, I am offended that identity thieves and credit card scammers use authors' names and book titles as bait. I am astounded that the scam works, and that there are people honest enough to pay for ebooks who nevertheless are drawn to sites that do not post the name and contact information of their copyright agent.... and that warn customers that it might take 12 hours before the e-book can be delivered, or that promise to "Take Requests" for ebooks that are not listed in their inventory.

Happy summer reading.
Rowena Cherry

1 comment:

  1. Amazon's contract has a legal clause that an author/publisher can't sell their book cheaper anywhere else.

    They have a search engine that checks to make sure authors/publishers don't break this clause, and, if they do, the price on Amazon will change to be equal or lower.

    I'm surprised that the scam sites haven't caused a massive change in Amazon prices, but I guess that means Amazon CAN recognize a scam site.