• WTF is Othniel Hermes???

    by  • December 2, 2012 • Uncategorized • 4 Comments

    OK, WTF is this? Search Amazon for Othniel Hermes and you get an index with page after page of “books” that sell for $40 to $60 and contain Wikipedia content. Some are “in stock” some are on back order. Many are available from other Amazon sellers, both new and used. These are NOT e-books / Kindle books. It’s got to be some kind of Amazon-spam/fraud (they all feature a “books for Africa” logo), but I’m at a loss to figure it out. Best I can figure is that some guy who works at a library in Africa has a budget to buy books and is publishing them to purchase for the library, pocketing the money. What’s your guess?
    FYI here is a typical description for one of these books, about a calculator that came out 25 years ago: “Please note that the content of this book primarily consists of articles available from Wikipedia or other free sources online. The HP-42S is a programmable RPN Scientific hand held calculator introduced by Hewlett Packard in 1988. It has advanced functions suitable …”

    Books By Othniel Hermes on Amazon.com


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    4 Responses to WTF is Othniel Hermes???

    1. Phil Rimer
      February 3, 2013 at 8:54 am

      The description of Hermes book re Mamo Clark appears to be content stolen from my ebay listing regarding the historical Hawaiian spear.

    2. Diana Bryant-Friedman
      March 11, 2013 at 1:42 pm

      Is Othniel Hermes the same as Lambert Surhone???

    3. March 11, 2013 at 2:37 pm

      Hey Diana – looks like they’re related, doesn’t it? I’m wondering about the relationship to “books for Africa.”

    4. April 29, 2013 at 3:08 am

      Othniel Hermes is one of the many editorial names used by VDW, the German publishing company that produces print on demand books based on Wikipedia articles (produced largely by software and mostly in Mauritius). Lambert Surhorne is another of their many names. You can read about it here:


      Or you can spend $50 and have VDW send you a book version of the same article.