There are a lot of truly excellent books available on e-readers. From current best sellers to the classics, you can broaden your intellectual horizons, learn new things, enjoy brilliant literature… and slog through that bane of our online existence: spam. Yes, spam has come to ebooks, in particular Amazon’s Kindle e-reader. It was inevitable, really, especially given that the companies behind e-readers have gone out of their way to make the platforms accessible to independent authors and self-publishers.

Using what’s known as Private Label Rights or PLR, the literary infiltrators take cheap information and reformat it into something vaguely resembling a book. There are even kits you can buy that let you create “books” without actually writing a single word, which perpetuate the ebook spam. Other even less-scrupulous ebook creators are simply copying and pasting text from someone else’s book and selling it as their own.

Amazon is aware of the issue, but has yet to come up with a good way to keep the spammers off the Kindle. Interestingly, Barnes and Noble’s Nook e-reader doesn’t seem to have nearly as big a problem with spammers, presumably because their audience isn’t quite as large and their system not quite as friendly to self-publishers.

It should be noted that not all independent authors and publishers are creating this ebook spam; far from it. There are thousands of very well-written and produced independent books out there, and the industry should be applauded for enabling that functionality. Unfortunately, there is quite a bit of dross that must be sifted through to find the gold.