After hearing recent news about Amazon selling counterfeit books, how can I find out if I’m a victim?
This is a very good question and, unfortunately, figuring this out might be expensive. First, have any of your readers complained about the quality of your book? Have any of them notified you that the book they received didn’t look quite like the one featured on your website? If you can answer yes to either of these questions, you might be a victim of counterfeiters.
Some counterfeiters might list books directly on Amazon, for sale through Amazon. Search on Amazon for your book’s title in quotes, and look for two or more listings. Click on the “read inside” option (if available) to see if it’s really your book or not. Is the cover exactly like yours or are there subtle (or not so subtle) differences?
The only way to confirm your book has been counterfeited is to order copies from some Amazon resellers that appear suspicious. Look for ones that are low-balling your book’s list price.
Unfortunately, Amazon, nor any of the articles I’ve seen on this troubling topic, have listed the resellers or “publishers” that are selling counterfeit copies.
If you do find counterfeit copies of your book, immediately notify Amazon’s copyright infringement division. DEMAND they remove the counterfeit copies and that they terminate that seller’s account.
Also, please send me information you gather in the process, including the names of the counterfeiting sellers so we can share that information with our readers and authors. We would all appreciate it! And, we might be able to help you figure out which company is actually printing those counterfeit copies.
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Keep in mind that it’d be incredibly easy for Amazon to exercise due diligence and spot these counterfeiters when its a Kindle book. All they need to do is look for the same or near similar content and pass the titles along to a human checker. That would catch ebooks even if the author and title were changed.
Unfortunately, I’m not sure Amazon cares since Amazon profits whether the book is legit or counterfeit. We need a class-action lawsuit to force Amazon to pay publishers and authors for failing to practice ‘due diligence’ in this matter.
Due diligence— n. law, business. Reasonable care and caution exercised by a person who is buying, selling, giving professional advice, etc., especially as required by law to protect against incurring liability.
Any lawyers out there looking for what could prove to be a massive class action lawsuit?