There’s a great deal of “If you liked…” recommendations for romance readers. And most of the time those recommendations are much appreciated – especially when they come from the online community, which is hellaciously well-read.
But thanks to Amazon, we have a new category: If You Didn’t Like This, How About Plagiarism Instead?
Conveniently, since the reviewer linked to the book, every time the reviews for Slow Hands are loaded, that book is also on the page in a sidebar titled “Items Mentioned in These Reviews.”
Well, now, that’s a nifty feature… except that Sirens is allegedly a plagiarized version of Catherine Creel’s Wildsong, published by Ivy Books, a division of Random House, in September 1996.
On 24 July, 2009, Creel filed a copyright infringement lawsuit against Amazon, Lulu, iUniverse, and a host of others, including the author of the book, one Tino Georgiou, aka K.G. Glaub.
Want to read more? Enterprising web-savvy folks make that easy for the curious. Inside another book by Georgiou, a website URL is mentioned – and someone who’s mighty peeved at the continued plagiarism and the author’s success at marketing the book using the Amazon “also mentioned” sidebar has put up an entire website detailing the long and bizarre history of this particular book, complete with accusations that Amazon is somehow connected to this individual:
Does Tino work for Amazon?
It is also likely that he either works for Amazon or has a close contact there. His ease of having reviews utterly vaped (which Amazon customer service claim is impossible) and his multiple identities and the mere fact that Amazon still allow his books on site are some of the more obvious indicators.
Also, he seems to have hacked the internal filters on the discussion forums, such that if you try and post his name fully, “Georgiou”, the Amazon system reports: “Your message will not be posted. Please see our Guidelines regarding objectionable content”
Currently “Sirens” is still for sale at Amazon, under multiple title listings like S is for Sirens while other versions are not currently available.
There are several community threads on the topic,
The majority of this person’s promotion, however, appears from posting reviews for popular books, and then recommending the book so it appears in the sidebar any time a shopper looks at the reviews.
Books like Only Pleasure by Lora Leigh (Oops, forgot the link there, spamreviewer!); Deception by Sharon Cullen; Nora Roberts’ Black Hills (now THAT is some chutzpah); His Lady Mistress by Elizabeth Rolls; Loving a Lost Lord by Mary Jo Putney; and Finger Lickin’ Fifteen by Janet Evanovich.
Unlike some other reviewers on Amazon, the reviewer actually appears to have read the books, but each one ends with a link to his own title – a title that according to the comparisons listed in this discussion bear a smacking amount of similarity to Creel’s “Wildsong.” Plus, seems this person has making the fake-review-link rounds for years now. The “ZOMG this book is WOW” squeefest even made its way to the RT forums.
Amazon and the other vendors named in Creel’s suit aren’t going to stop selling Geo Tin’s book until they’re told to do so, and I’m curious how the suit turns out. Have you ever noticed the “Also mentioned” feature on the Amazon reviews page? Have you ever shopped there and clicked on a book listed in that panel? If you’ve ever reviewed a book, would you recommend another book in the text? A whole posse of folks could all round-robin circle-jerk each other’s books in a placement extravaganza. Except, ew. That would be even more meaningless than Amazon reviews are already.