Has Wattpad's Book Thief Returned?
Last month, an author under the name Serdar Kan copied dozens of Wattpad stories to resell on Amazon. Now, a new player has appeared with dozens of new stolen books for sale.
On February 17th, 2021, dozens of stolen Wattpad books by different authors were found listed for sale on Amazon's Kindle store. The same author claimed to have written them all: Serdar Kan.
At that time, we were able to find over 30 books listed under Kan's name, all of which seemed to be high-profile with a few million each. They were mostly genre romances like mafia and werewolf stories.
After complaints surfaced, Amazon removed all content from Serdar Kan from its store. Kan continues to be listed on Goodreads as the author of many of the Wattpad books they stole.
Has Serdar Kan Come Back Again?
A new book thief has recently popped up on Amazon under the name Mohan Sha. This person also copied books from Wattpad to post for sale on Amazon. However, their strategy seems to be a bit different.
They've targeted books with fewer reads (many under 500k) and instead of selling on Kindle only, they are also offering the books in print. These books are being posted with completely new covers, most of which are straight from Canva templates. Most of their targets were chick-lit and contemporary romance, with a few gang and werewolf romances. This theft is similar in scale, with about 25 books copied.
So are they the same person? We're honestly not sure. While it's certainly possible that the person behind Serdar Kan is back with a new name and a new and improved strategy, it's also possible that a separate person is attempting the same scam.
It's also hard to say exactly when these titles first showed up on Amazon, only that they were recently discovered. Goodreads lists the publishing dates of the books as quite a range, from October 2020 to February 2021.
Amazon has yet to remove any of the books stolen by Mohan Sha. Some readers have left negative reviews on Goodreads and Amazon complaining about the stolen content. Amazon does have an option to report illegal listings, but nothing seems to have come of that yet.
Ultimately, Wattpad and Amazon both share responsibility for this issue. Wattpad has a notoriously terrible reporting system and a lackluster support team. They've consistently failed to protect user content in the past. Amazon, meanwhile, has been drowning in plagiarised books on the subject of coronavirus and despite many easy, available solutions, they seem to be in no hurry to combat plagiarism on their platform.
After a barrage of plagiarism scandals for both Amazon and Wattpad, one would hope they'd be inclined to finally address the situation. Unfortunately, we don't see anyone doing much more here than deleting the listing, leaving the door open for the next scammer.
Has your writing ever been stolen or copied? Share your story in the comments...