Coronavirus: Amazon flooded with plagiarised, self-published e-books


As the deadly coronavirus continues to spread throughout the world, Amazon has seen a huge increase in self-published digital books about the virus.

Dozens of the books are guides, less than 100 pages in length, offering advice on how to avoid catching coronavirus.

Many of these are directly plagiarised from online news articles.

Not all of the books are infection prevention guides, however. Other books hoping to cash in on the coronavirus news include Amanda King’s guide to making your own hand sanitiser, and a book about conspiracy theories called Coronavirus Covid-19 Controversy: Conspiracy Theories Around the Demon Virus From China, which has already been removed from the store by Amazon.

There’s also a zombie-themed thriller called Coronavirus Zombies Volume 1: The Living Dead Apocalypse​ by Maximus Williams.

Amazon have strict guidelines in their e-book self-publishing section, but the sheer scale of content added means they are struggling to keep on top of the influx of coronavirus titles.

The company said in a statement: “We have always required sellers, authors, and publishers to provide accurate information on product detail pages, and we remove those that violate our policies.”

“In addition, at the top of relevant search results pages we are linking to UK government advice where customers can learn more about the virus and protective measures.”