Self-Publishing Leads to Plagiarism


Self-publishing has never been easier, and that means plagiarism has never been easier. Thieves are using self-publishing services like Amazon to republish back catalog or out-of-print books to sell for a profit. In some case these “authors” change minor things like character names, but not always. The thieves are able to sell titles on Amazon for months, usually only caught when astute readers notice the similarities. The Atlantic takes a look at the scam, and at several writers who’ve had their work copied.

Ian MacAllen is the author of Red Sauce: How Italian Food Became American (Rowman & Littlefield, April 2022). His writing has appeared in Chicago Review of Books, Southern Review of Books, The Offing, 45th Parallel Magazine, Little Fiction, Vol 1. Brooklyn, and elsewhere. He tweets @IanMacAllen and is online at More from this author →