I’m going to sound overly harsh, probably, since you guys are used to seeing such positive reviews from me. Sometimes, however, there are books like this where somebody does not ask “does there need to be a book about XYZ” but instead they ask “can I make do a cash-grab and get in on the XYZ market?” That is exactly what this book looked like (from its non-industry-standard cover, to the poor language in the first few pages of the book).
First of all, it’s clear from early on in the book that the author doesn’t know much about the publishing industry except what he may have lifted from vanity publishers’ websites. As I read, it kept seeming like he’d just copied and pasted pieces from adverts posted by those kinds of places (text made to get you fired up and put your trust in the agency/advice they were about to give you/sell you even though it’s not really how the industry works.)
I had some problems with the editing and very poor language. As a native English speaker it was almost painful to read. It felt like an obvious “cash grab,” meant to insert a book into the market stream and earn some kind of passive income off of sales—despite having no publishing credentials/talents in that area (i.e. make money for nothing. It’s actually in the author’s bio on Amazon and the book’s backmatter.)
The book itself makes great observations like, “Once you click Publish, your eBook can be for sale within 24 hours, sometimes it’s up in less than 4 hours. So, you can publish and have a book earning you money before lunch.” As Jeff Goldblum’s character says in Jurassic Park, “they were so preoccupied with whether or not they could, they didn’t stop to think if they should.”
This works out the same way. Remember the giant dinosaur turds from the film? That’s what we get… but in print. (This is the kind of language pushed by vanity publishers.)
The first fifteen pages simply describe the Kindle upload steps. It literally says things like, “The Book Title box. This is where you put the book title.” And then it goes from there about what books are and how to market them, but in highly detailed English and with suspiciously familiar prose that appears to come from a native English speaker. I googled passages. The author has committed forgery. Mayank Saxena stole them wholesale from good blogs like mine. Taking what I’ve learned or even said and crediting me with it is great, or saying the same things in different words is also cool, but Copy+Paste and then publishing pages and pages? Totally not cool.
There is no excuse for plagiarism and I’m not quite certain how Mayank Saxena thinks he’ll get away with it.
If you want an actual book on this topic, check out the Indie Author’s Bible, which I wrote as a collection of articles that I published on my blog, Inside the Inkwell. Mr Saxena sent me a free copy for review. Don’t pay him a cent for this; not only did he steal his work, but my blog is free.
I did locate the original author and notify him of the plagiarism so that he can open a dispute with Amazon… and for some reason, Saxena keeps trying to get me to drop my bad review. My responses were brief… and then I simply blocked him. There is no excuse for that kind of behavior.
Story development. After some conversating about this guy I peeked at his other book using the Look Inside Feature. The fact that he puts his name on it certifies him as an F grade A-hole, the book is about how to be unethical for profit by “life-hacking”. Hack#1 is to go to High School parties and offer to buy booze for kids and then steal all their money. “What are they going to do… call the cops?” He goes on to mention that sometimes he does this but doesn’t steal it if the chance for recurring profit is there. He also claims to write papers for university students for cash… and get this page:
Dick move. I did a quick Google search based on the text from this page. Saxena didn’t write this either. He stole it from Reddit (along with the rest of the book) and claims that he wrote it.
Now I have a moral quandary… he stole something teaching how to profit by being evil/unethical in order to profit by doing something evil/unethical… do I bother reporting it or sit back and let this cosmic irony play out?
Regardless… plagiarism is still wrong.
…please share this post and drop your personal plagiarism stories in the comments! I promise not to steal em…