If there’s one thing I absolutely despise, its a thief. Grifters fall into this category for me as well and that extends well into products being offered that don’t quite measure up. I’ve been pretty silent about it up until now but something needs to be said really more for the good of the greater community than myself. Having been ripped off a time or two, there’s few things that piss me off faster than giving my hard earned money to something that’s no what it purports to be. Especially when it comes to books.
I published The Guerrilla’s Guide to the Baofeng back in early December and wasn’t prepared for the level of success it garnered. That was wholly due to this community and one that I appreciate very, very much. It became a launching pad for a number of exciting projects we’ve got underway, but that’s another story for another day. The book, as put by a close friend of mine, created a niche that didn’t previously exist and filled a gap. And little did I know the inner workings of Amazon would make it easy to create ripoff products. This is about those.
Within a couple months similar titles began appearing; same cover designs, same keywords in search, packed with phony reviews and sponsored ads. Fictitious authors with no other books, no social media presence, no blogs, nothing. Sure, I use a pen name, but I think everyone knows I’m a real and quite visible person. Hey – its a free country and I’m a Capitalist, but at least create something worth reading. There’s plenty of books out there about radio, and plenty more to be written. But most of all, its important that they’re written by actual people and their intellectual property is their own.
I purchased each of the titles in question.
Baofeng Radio 3 in 1 by “Rowan Griffin” claiming to be a retired Colonel. Sure you are, maybe in some third world shithole army. 700 reviews in 5 days. Bull shit. I’ve been a #1 bestseller since December and have 414. These reviews are phony and although Amazon has been notified, they seem disinterested in doing anything about it.
“The Survivor’s Field Guide to the Baofeng Radio: A Guerrilla’s Handbook on How To Program Amateur Radios For Beginners“. This is one of the original offenders and was removed by Amazon based on an IP complaint only to be republished. They kindly let me know they were not going to take this new version down despite the fact it still has lifted entire sections of text from my book. No images, however.
My favorite one: “The Frequencies Of Survival: Prepare For War With The Baofeng Radio. (The Guerrilla’s Handbook And Guide)” by “JB Iron Fist!” who claims to be a former Marine but nothing can be found about this guy. The book instantly had 400+ reviews despite the sales not matching the review numbers.
Curiously, each of these books have a few things in common. For starters, there’s no images. None. A diagram here or there is a requirement for a manual. But they all also lean heavily on data sourced exclusively from wikipedia – frequency lists being the big tell. What that tells me and should be obvious to anyone with a functional brain is that AI wrote each of these.
If you buy these books, you’re buying into the fraud scheme. I have pdfs of each of them and part of me wants to simply post them for public review to show the world. But I’m not going to do that, at least at this time. Because you can take my word for it, they’re not worth anyone’s time. They are however aimed solely at ripping two people off – me and you. And I feel pretty strongly about letting the world know it.
Here’s a link to my book and if you’re reading this and don’t own it yet, I’d appreciate the sales. If you do have it, I sincerely thank you:
Here’s a link to the Brushbeater Store, where you’ll get genuine products directly from me and enroll in training courses:
15 thoughts on “Avoiding Ripoff Imitations of My Book – A Short Rant”
Hi Matt! This is Ernie, Lorane’s hubby from Missouri again. Great rant and very justified. Had issues when i published in 2015 with them. I suspect their intention from day one was an AI content creating platform formed by stealing from the humans. AI creates nothing from scratch. Been putting your radio talks out on Gab, Getting great likes and reposts. Received your range card for the 5.56. Excellent tool! Any chance of the same for other calibers? .308? 6.5 Creedmore? 30.06? Thanks for all you do!!!
Hey bro! Something you’re going to really like is in the works. 🙂
I hate this for ya, but will always love and appreciate your posts, podcasts, and tweets.
Watching carefully – publishing my blog into book format has been on my mind for a while now, so it will be interesting and educational to see how this pans out.
Thanks for all the thought food…
Scout, i only buy from you, period. If i pay more, so be it. I am a supporter of you, and have been since knowing about you, and your endeavor. I have your back. You showed me in TN that you have mine.
Very best to you and yours,
The pennies or few bucks i might save…aint worth it.
I will not support the enemy.
Love your stuff, across the board btw
There are attorneys who specialize in copyright infringement. They have more power to enforce!
None I’ve talked to have been much help thus far.
This is going to get promptly ignored. You might’ve experienced this no matter who you published through. Simple solution: stop publishing through Amazon. We all know their politics, and their monopolistic like influence on various markets. Yes, it’s easy to publish through Amazon but when does easy ever produce desirable results. They offer all kinds of free resources for publishing but there’s always a free hair cuts, free potato soup and all the free gas you can stand in the concentration camp. Their control and influence on online publishing is frighteningly vast. It’s probably time people stop feeding the beast.
You’re right, and I think you’ll really like what’s on the horizon for the Brushbeater Store.
I’m glad you put this post up. I bought your book a couple of months ago. Yesterday or something I was looking for something else on Amazon and up pops up one of the fictitious books you refer to, and I thought, “That’s odd.” I don’t blame you for being angry about it, you have every right to be. Anyway, now I know. If it makes any difference, I’ve recommended Your book to a couple other people, even today actually. It’s very well done. Over my head in some ways, but I’m a slow learner lol…
Thank you very much for sending out this to all of use that follow you and get these posts in an email. I will continue to purchase from your site where i know I’m getting the real deal. And by doing so, support you the best way i know how.
I wish there could be an alternative to Amazon … a serious alternative that holds our sacred Constitutional values in the highest of regards and doesn’t let this kind of bovine fecal content happen.
I’m working on it!