Posts Tagged ‘Webster’s Digital Services’

Is Webster’s Digital Services The New Hephaestus Books?

Tuesday, July 10th, 2012

You may remember my piece on Hephaestus Books, the “publisher” who automatically packages up free digital content (like Wikipedia articles) and slaps them together as a Print on Demand book with a deceptive title available through Amazon and Barnes & Noble.

Well it appears that a company called Webster’s Digital Service is doing the same thing. Here’s a volume on Octavia Butler that appears to be put together the same way, though the title doesn’t look quite as misleading as those Hephaestus Books used. The first line of the description reads “Please note that the content of this book primarily consists of articles available from Wikipedia or other free sources online.”

The “author,” one “Elizabeth Dummel,” appears to be quite the busy bee, being listed as the author of no less than 907 books on Amazon, including this one on Jo Walton. I wonder if she know about it. I suspect not. I’ll send her email after I post this.

I wonder just how many other content scrapers are assembling such books?

Like Hephaestus Books, these books are complete ripoffs, but not technically illegal. As always, let the buyer beware.