Care to join me in a publishing mystery? See whether you can figure out what's going on--so far, I can't!
In an article I ran across a reference to a book called "Cruising Attitude: Tales of Crashpads, Crew Drama, and Crazy Passengers at 35,000 Feet" written by blogger and flight attendant Heather Poole. Thinking it might make a good present for a friend, I looked for it on Amazon. Sure enough, it's there and available in various formats.
Listed right below it in the Amazon.co.uk search results is a book called "Never Sleep Again! The Most Dangerous Facts about 'Cruising Atittude: Tales of Crashpads, Crew Drama, and Crazy Passengers at 35,000 Feet'" by Sarah Brock. The price is £9.99 (about $15).
That didn't make a lot of sense--"dangerous facts" about a book written by somebody else? Here's the description:
In this book, we have hand-picked the most sophisticated, unanticipated, absorbing (if not at times crackpot!), original and musing book reviews of "Cruising Attitude: Tales of Crashpads, Crew Drama, and Crazy Passengers at 35,000 Feet". Don't say we didn't warn you: these reviews are known to shock with their unconventionality or intimacy. Some may be startled by their biting sincerity; others may be spellbound by their unbridled flights of fantasy. Don't buy this book if: 1. You don't have nerves of steel. 2. You expect to get pregnant in the next five minutes. 3. You've heard it all.
So this is a collection of reviews of the book? I checked the length. 44 pages. For a price higher than that of the book the reviews are about.
I'm guessing that "Sarah Brock" copied the reviews of the original book on Amazon, spread them out over 44 pages and is trying to sell them in this format. On the cover it says "New! High Quality Content!"
Wait, there's more. Sarah Brock has also "written" "100 Common Misconceptions About 'Fearless: Imagine Your Life Without Fear'" (a book written by Max Lucado). Here's the description:
In this book, we have hand-picked the most sophisticated, unanticipated, absorbing (if not at times crackpot!), original and musing book reviews of "Fearless: Imagine Your Life Without Fear". Don't say we didn't warn you: these reviews are known to shock... (etc.--as above).
How long? 44 pages. Price: £9.99.
There are nine more. All with the same description, except for the title of the book that is the subject of the reviews.
On Amazon.com, there are more "books" like this--by the same publisher (Lennex) but different authors, or at least different names of authors: Charlotte Darting (six similar titles, all out of print) and Sophia Rell (5 titles, all out of print)..
42 PAGES OF AMAZON LISTINGS--AND OUR OLD FAVORITE WITH A NEW NAME
And there are 42 pages of "books" with the title "Women Love Girth" but each with a diferent subtitle, like "The Fattest 100 Facts on 'Heart of Darkness: Classic Edition."
Yep, same description indicating these are reviews, same length, price, etc. Including one with the subtitle: "The Fattest 100 Facts on 'Cruising Attitude..." But this one is listed as being by "Chris Coring."
LENNEX IN THE NEWS
The only reference I could find to a Lennex publishing company is in a news story dated June 12, 2013, on the site www.NewsChannel9.com that said several of the books it published were about how to seduce children with special needs. (Yes, unfortunately you read that right..it makes me sick even to type it.) Several parents objected to Amazon and the books were taken down. For legal reasons, I should point out that I don't know whether this is the same Lennex that published the books I'm discussing here.
WHAT'S GOING ON?
I can't believe they expect anybody to pay £9.99 for a bunch of reviews you can see for free on Amazon, so I'm guessing there's another angle.
Some of the Amazon pages for these have links to the books being reviewed, so I thought maybe those are Amazon Associates links and if you happen to get to one of these pages first and then click on the link to the reviewed book and buy it, the Amazon Associate gets a commission. However, many of the pages don't have those kinds of links.
I admit it--I'm stumped! Any ideas? You can leave them in the comments below or email me at jurgenwolff (at) gmail.com.