Author Topic: Good heavens above - the flood of rubbish little books about COVID-19  (Read 1035 times)

lea_owens

Someone mentioned something to me on FB about the number of books on Amazon about COVID-19 - a veritable flood of badly written, rubbish books promising knowledge, protection, and treatments. I just searched Kindle books for 'COVID-19' and there are 315 of them, mostly very short, pretty much cut-and-pastes of information readily available on websites and Google. For instance, a 22 page book on how to make medical masks was published a couple of days ago - it is $2.99 and is at #620 overall in store. There are 10 page 'books' for $2.99 and more and they are ranked under 20,000. Clearly, the world has gone mad as there is nothing I can see in any of them that you couldn't get for free with twenty seconds of Googling.

Am I a literary snob/dweeb/nerd for thinking that writing this stuff to cash in on people's worries is something Amazon should try to stop? Or should it just be open slather, and make money however you can with self-publishing. I find it distasteful. Or maybe it's just sour grapes that my 180,000 word book with 90% five-star reviews is being outsold by all these 20 page articles that are calling themselves books.  Some of the information I saw on the 'look inside' features was incorrect, and it is frightening to think people might believe the notion that a home-made gauze mask will give them protection from COVID-19.
 

Anarchist

Re: Good heavens above - the flood of rubbish little books about COVID-19
« Reply #1 on: March 14, 2020, 11:49:54 PM »
From ASIN B085QM6R49...

Chapter 1: What is a coronavirus?

Chapter 2: Why is it called like that?

As the kids say, bruh.
"The first lesson of economics is scarcity: there is never enough of anything to fully satisfy all those who want it. The first lesson of politics is to disregard the first lesson of economics.” – Thomas Sowell

"The State is an institution run by gangs of murderers, plunderers and thieves, surrounded by willing executioners, propagandists, sycophants, crooks, liars, clowns, charlatans, dupes and useful idiots—an institution that dirties and taints everything it touches.” - Hans Hoppe

Nothing that requires the labor of others is a basic human right.

I keep a stiff upper lip and shoot from the hip. - AC/DC
 
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Post-Crisis D

Re: Good heavens above - the flood of rubbish little books about COVID-19
« Reply #2 on: March 15, 2020, 12:45:01 AM »
. . . there is nothing I can see in any of them that you couldn't get for free with twenty seconds of Googling.

The same is true for any number of topics.  The benefit of a book is that you have all the information in one handy place.

Of course, the rest of your point stands.  There is a plethora of garbage books for the coronavirus, likely put together by marketers looking for quick cash.  A number consist of content scraped from various websites.  I imagine there's probably a guide selling for $7, $17, $27 or even $37 on how to put together books on the coronavirus for fast money.
Mulder: "If you're distracted by fear of those around you, it keeps you from seeing the actions of those above."
The X-Files: "Blood"
 

Jeff Tanyard

Re: Good heavens above - the flood of rubbish little books about COVID-19
« Reply #3 on: March 15, 2020, 06:21:46 AM »
I imagine there's probably a guide selling for $7, $17, $27 or even $37 on how to put together books on the coronavirus for fast money.


Maybe I should publish a guide to the guides.   :icon_think:


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Vijaya

Re: Good heavens above - the flood of rubbish little books about COVID-19
« Reply #4 on: March 15, 2020, 07:19:04 AM »
Lol, Jeff.

But good grief! Why am I sewing a dress when I should be throwing out a little booklet on virology?

It's funny, I get so many ideas for what I call near sci-fi (imagining what's now only slightly into the future) but my heart's in family dramas. Perhaps one day, I'll develop some of those ideas. I tend to have long percolating periods. Or maybe I'm just lazy.


Author of over 100 books and magazine pieces, primarily for children
Vijaya Bodach | Personal Blog | Bodach Books
 

Jeff Tanyard

Re: Good heavens above - the flood of rubbish little books about COVID-19
« Reply #5 on: March 15, 2020, 12:19:28 PM »
It's funny, I get so many ideas for what I call near sci-fi (imagining what's now only slightly into the future) but my heart's in family dramas.


Write a story that's both.  My short story Mr. Wilson is one such story.  It's futuristic SF, but at its heart, it's a sentimental story about family.  So is Buddy, in a way, though it's not quite so sentimental.

In my opinion, the best SF has a nice blend of science/tech/futurism and the human element.
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Vijaya

Re: Good heavens above - the flood of rubbish little books about COVID-19
« Reply #6 on: March 16, 2020, 01:59:26 AM »
"In my opinion, the best SF has a nice blend of science/tech/futurism and the human element."

I agree, Jeff. One of my favorite novels is The Adoration of Jenna Fox by Mary Pearson. It's cool that you 

I'm still a novice novelist so have much to learn. Maybe I'll follow in your footsteps and write a short story first--thanks for reminding me--it is how I cut my writing teeth.


Author of over 100 books and magazine pieces, primarily for children
Vijaya Bodach | Personal Blog | Bodach Books
 

Jeff Tanyard

Re: Good heavens above - the flood of rubbish little books about COVID-19
« Reply #7 on: March 16, 2020, 08:08:03 AM »
Maybe I'll follow in your footsteps and write a short story first--thanks for reminding me--it is how I cut my writing teeth.


Go for it!   :littleclap

You're a microbiologist, so you've got the educational background to write plausible science-y stuff.  Use what you know.  Who knows?  You might find you really like writing SF.  You could be the next Andre Norton or Leigh Brackett.   :icon_mrgreen:
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Vijaya

Re: Good heavens above - the flood of rubbish little books about COVID-19
« Reply #8 on: March 17, 2020, 02:27:49 AM »
Thank you for the encouragement, Jeff!


Author of over 100 books and magazine pieces, primarily for children
Vijaya Bodach | Personal Blog | Bodach Books
 

The Bass Bagwhan

Re: Good heavens above - the flood of rubbish little books about COVID-19
« Reply #9 on: November 22, 2021, 11:29:34 PM »
Amazon utterly does not care what is published, the credibility or accuracy of any books, or the content beyond extreme offence. It simply doesn't monitor or check new books apart from algorithms weeding out blatant issues.

It could be a very different, exciting and effective platform if it did, but books are a drop in the Bezos ocean.