Aspiring spammers can even buy a DVD box set called Autopilot Kindle Cash that claims to teach people how to publish 10 to 20 new Kindle books a day without writing a word. This new phenomenon represents the dark side of an online revolution that's turning the traditional publishing industry on its head by giving authors new ways to access readers directly. In 2010, almost 2.8 million nontraditional books, including ebooks, were published in the United States, while just more than 316,000 traditional books came out. That compares with 1.33 million nontraditional books and 302,000 conventional books in 2009, according to Albert Greco, a publishing-industry expert at Fordham University's business school. In 2002, fewer than 33,000 nontraditional books were published, while over 215,000 traditional books came out in the United States, Greco noted.
"This is a staggering increase. It's mind boggling," Greco said. "On the positive side, this is helping an awful lot of people who wrote books and could not get them published in the traditional way through agents," Greco added. But Greco listed downsides. One problem is that authors must compete for readers with a lot more books -- many of which "probably never should have seen the light of day," he said. Some of these books appear to be outright copies of other work. Earlier this year, Shayne Parkinson, a New Zealander who writes historical novels, discovered her debut "Sentence of Marriage" was on sale on Amazon under another author's name.