Heart of the Jedi, buyer beware
Heart of the Jedi, for those that still are not aware was a cancelled Star Wars book from the 90s that was brought to life in 2015 on Starwarstimeline.net. It was released for free with a few edits to fit within the modern EU timeline. And it will always be available for free at the link above if you every want to read it. However, there were a couple of bootleg copies that were briefly made available at cost for people that wanted a physical copy. At cost of course means that the price of the book was no more than the price it took to print, ensuring no one was making money off of the book. The first of these bootlegs was available on Lulu for about three days in 2016 before it was taken off, the second was available for about 2 months on Amazon, though the wider community only knew about it for those final 10 days.
You can read that full story about the saga of this book here, but after it was taken down I saw the initial prices that the 2021 edition was going for on ebay and as there were many people that missed the 2021 run, wanted to try and help people not get ripped off. I created a public google sheet to track what copies were actually selling for that people could use as a resource and wrote what I thought would be my final article on the subject, explaining how to use it.
(note highlighted entries on the google sheet belong to the topic of discussion in this article) I have been updating that sheet every time there is a new sale ever since, but in updating it I noticed something peculiar.
A lot of the listings show the same image. So I clicked on a few and noticed they were all from the same seller. When I checked that seller I saw one current auction that ends in 3 days at the time of writing this and 20 sold listings dating back to June 29th (on average one copy was sold every three days). Not only that but the seller had positive feedback with many people saying they received the book, so clearly they had the books and were sending them out. (note I am linking to the wayback machine in case this user either deletes their account or it gets removed for reasons that will be obvious later)
Now someone having 21 copies of the 2021 Amazon edition is odd but not surprising, as I know of many people that bought a lot to give away or sell. But if you look closely you’ll notice that it isn’t the 2021 Amazon edition.
You can compare the two here.
(Top copy in question, Bottom 2021 Amazon edition)
The 2021 Amazon edition has a gold bar at the bottom where the author's name is, and at the top in the Star wars logo, the 2021 is lighter, and the 2021 has the author Kenneth C. Flint in gold. The copy in question has a darker color, no gold bars, and the author's name is in black. In fact it looks like the 2016 Lulu edition. Here's a side by side with my copy for comparison.
In fact the most recent listing says as much in the description. While stating it is "Brand new, out of print" The starting bid for the auction is $19.99
But that wouldn't make sense either. The 2016 edition was available on Lulu for 3 days, with less than 100 copies estimated as being bought before it was taken down. How does this person have at least 21 copies if it is the 2016 edition? The answer is that it isn't. You can tell because the copy in the listing has a crease along the spine that doesn't exist on the 2016 lulu printing. Which leads me to only one conclusion...
This person is printing their own copies using the 2016 files and putting them on ebay for way more than it costs to print the book. They've been doing this since at least June 29th, probably longer as I can't see ebay history past the last 90 days. And they've been listing them one at a time to try and keep anyone from noticing. (The current listing states one available) Had I not tracked this since the beginning we might not have ever known they were doing this. The previous two bootlegs have both been made available at cost, meaning no one was making money off of the printings. The story is available for free on Starwarstimeline.net. You can argue the ethics of those people scalping legitimate bootlegs from the 2016 Lulu or 2021 Amazon printings, but at least in those cases the sellers took a risk to buy it, hold it, and sell it later. The profit they make is essentially a holding or finding fee for having the foresight to get a copy for those that would miss it. That is just how the secondary market of any product is. And the original was of course printed at cost. But this person is printing them and selling them for far more than what it cost to print them. A story that is available for free. In doing so taking advantage of people that missed out on one of the craziest and exciting times for Legends fans post 2014, who think they are getting a piece of that history. If you are one of those people that bought from this seller, then I hate to break it to you, but you don't have a 2021 Amazon run copy, or a 2016 Lulu copy. I know posting this will just draw more attention to this person and will probably get them more sales. But I talked with the other contributors and we thought it was best to inform you all of this individual to shame them and to warn any potential buyers that they aren't getting a piece of history when purchasing from them. If you are curious this is what a legitimate 2021 Amazon copy looks like.
If you want your own copy you can find legitimate 2021 Amazon copies on ebay, or print your own with the right files. I don't want to link the files here just to not make it too easy for any copycats but you can get the files to self publish your own copies if you ask the right people. And you can do it for far cheaper than what this person would charge you for. And if you just want to read the story you can always find it here for free. I will continue tracking the sales for the ebay copies but I am unsure if I should count these as I don't know how many of the earlier sales are theirs or not. Let me know if you think I should keep counting them or not but If I find any more fakes, or people selling their own printings for higher than the price to produce the book I will be here to name and shame them. I know these articles will probably lead to more sales for them but all that I can ask of you is to avoid these people and please don't buy from the scammers. This article is part of a series of articles, click here for the previous article in the series.
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