After author Jane Friedman protested that five books listed as being written by her on Amazon were actually not written by her, Amazon pulled the titles from sale. The books were also listed on Goodreads which is owned by Amazon. Friedman believes that the books were written by AI.
Friedman said, “It feels like a violation since it’s extremely poor material with my name on it.” The author, who is from Ohio, has written a number of books about the publishing industry, and the fake titles imitated her legitimate work.
How to Write and Publish an eBook Quickly and Make Money and A Step-by-Step Guide to Crafting Compelling eBooks, Building a Thriving Author Platform, and Maximizing Profitability were some of the listed books. Friedman’s real books include Publishing 101 and The Business of Being a Writer.
A reader discovered the book listings on Amazon and emailed Friedman after thinking the listings were fake, which is how she first learned about the phony titles. After reading the first few pages, Friedman assumed the books were produced by AI since she had familiarity with AI technologies like ChatGPT.
According to Friedman, the books were “if not entirely generated by AI, then at least mostly generated by AI.” She immediately started looking for ways to have the books removed from Amazon and filled out a claim form. Friedman claims that Amazon informed her it would not take the books down because she had not registered a trademark for her identity.
By Tuesday, however, the books had been removed from both Amazon and Goodreads, and Friedman believes this was as a result of her addressing the problem on social media.
Friedman said, “This will continue; it won’t end with me, unless Amazon puts some sort of policy in place to stop anyone from just uploading whatever book they want and applying whatever name they want. They don’t have a process in place for reporting this kind of conduct, where someone is trying to cash in on someone else’s name.” She urged the websites to create a way to verify authorship.