It would appear as though Amazon has a problem with author accounts being used to steal books and resell them under another name, as Kindle Direct Publishing users discover a single author with 37 titles under their belt. The one thing they all seem to have in common is that the author labeled as the creator of the ebook had absolutely nothing to do with its creation.
Digital content publishers have to strike a fairly delicate balance when using anti-piracy software. Overly aggressive systems, like what we see on YouTube, has a tendency to issue “strikes” against users even when inappropriate. On the other hand, if this system is too lax or if there isn’t one in place at all, it can cause other problems. This seems to be the situation several authors have found themselves in over the weekend, as a new author popped up with a huge list of books for sale that did not belong to them.
There doesn’t seem to be any pattern to the books that have been published under the name Jay Cute, with titles ranging from the obscure that are available for free on Amazon to the first in Cassandra Clare’s The Mortal Instruments series. The prices range the spectrum that Amazon allows for Kindle Direct Publishing accounts, and in some cases the publisher hasn’t even bothered to change the cover of the book when publishing under this new name. The books that do have different cover art seem to have either a random image or a cover from another book entirely.
For whatever reason, Amazon has yet to respond to the dozen angry authors and the 310 One Star reviews calling out these books as being published illegally. This is especially worrisome since most of the books that have been published are also enrolled in Kindle Unlimited, Amazon’s Netflix for Books service that is supposed to be heavily policed for exactly this kind of behavior. Curiously, what would have taken competing services like Google and Apple mere minutes to resolve has already taken Amazon days, and in fact several authors have reported a total lack of reply from Amazon since this account was discovered a couple of days ago.