A warning on "Alphascript" & "Betascript" publishing


#1

This is a little lengthy, but I think it will eventually benefit some collectors who might do what I did and stumble across a book title on Google on an obscure ammunition topic and almost be taken in by what is essentially a sham.

What I am referring to is a “publishing company” called Alphascript, or sometimes Betascript publishing. This company puts out books which appear as titles with reference-book sounding names that might entice a collector to buy a book, as I considered doing. The book I found was called “Armor piercing shot and shell”, with a lengthy subtitle to go along with that. It looked sort of strange, and after looking into it, I discovered that this so-called publisher is just an automated program which analyzes Wikpedia articles, and then litteraly plucks an article from the website which it designates as the book’s main title, and then it uses all of the linked-to and linked-from sources on that article page from Wikipedia to use as subtitles for the “book”. The books don’t really exist anywhere, they are just saved as files by this publisher and are then printed on-demand for anyone wanting to buy one. Even Amazon shows many of these on their site since publishers like this phony one can just upload their catalog to Amazon! The way the sources are thrown together to create subtitles makes for strange chapter compiling whereas a main topic on “ammunition” might have the “U.S. Navy” as a part of the subtitle, and thus its own chapter, which would result in a 20-odd page chapter copied from Wikipedia’s article on the Navy (which has nothing to do with ammo). Apparently people buy these things!! and the books aren’t cheap either at around $50 in most cases. You can see a blog article about it here which explains in more detail how bizarre this whole thing is:
http://www.chrisrand.com/blog/index.php/2010/02/27/odd-tale-alphascript-publishing-betascript-publishing/

It is apparently legal because Wikipedia articles are public-domain so to speak??, and the publishing company claims to be reprinting “research articles”. If you read the blog post above about the whole thing you can understand how this might be a relevant warning since some really strangely specific book titles are published which certain collectors of obscure fields might jump on if they notice a book title matching what they collect.

Here is the book I mentioned, shown listed on Ebay, from an automated selling bot which has over 1,000,000 book titles for sale on Ebay and which are probably just redirects with slight mark-ups in price from Amazon (bizarre):
http://www.ebay.com/itm/150888299458?_trksid=p5197.c0.m619