Amanda Kay I find seven days to return an ebook extreme. Also there should be a way for amazon to block returns on books fully read even if you hated the book you read it. I think anything past the 20% free sample shouldn't be returned. leave a review that you couldn't finish or whatever but don't steal from the author. If you feel the books are getting too pricey because your one click finger can't stop try Kindle unlimited for 9.99 read the book return it and get another but doing that allows the author some form of payment.
Courtney Whittamore I think that you shouldn't be able to return ebooks unless it was an accidental purchase, but that should only take a day to notice (this has happened to me before). I am remiss as to why this is not something that is heavily monitored. Amazon is spending so much time on policies that hurt it's vendors, making their business plan appear counter-intuitive. Banning reviews from people who appear to be friends. Removing reviews that are a part of blog tours because Amazon views them as "paid for reviews", when really the author pays for the organization of an event, not the reviews themselves. Now they are allowing ebooks to he returned even after they have been completely read. This just seems like they are pushing authors farther and farther away.
Renee Murphy It's BS. I've had so many books returned. Make no money from books because they're returned all the time. A grace period for accidental or duplicate purchases is okay, but still leaves people free to abuse the system. I think everyone should have to call an 1-800 number to return stuff. Make it a hassle. Piss them off. Maybe they'll feel an ounce of the frustration we do.
But, you would think that a company that wants to make all the money would not be okay with people ripping them off - at the very least.
Maybe they can do a partial refund? If you hit a certain % of the book, you don't get the full refund. Like, half for 50% up to if you read the whole thing then you get no refund. That alone would stop many people from doing it. (...which is kinda what KU is with their page number payments...)
Amanda Kay I think KU has helped some i can't really tell one way or the other
Shannon L. Dearing And what about not being in KU?
Amanda Kay That's where the issue is I think but if they can track for those in KU they should be able to check books not in KU. At least it seems like it should be that.
Shannon L. Dearing Agreed :)
J. Hooligan Which is why I still think the author should get paid based on how much of the book was read, and the person doing it shouldn't receive a full refund.
Sadie Grubor KU was an attempt to 'help', but it doesn't since you are paid an average amount of $0.03 per page read, you have to give Amazon exclusive rights to the ebook (can't put it on any other outlets), & You're never actually SURE where they are pulling these numbers from (or what the page rate will be each month).
In the end, it's not always worth being a KU/ KDP exclusive author with Amazon
Valarie Kinney Right. My son once bought a video game (he was little ) that required a monthly subscription to Xbox live that we couldn't afford. I read it when we got home and realized the problem. Took it back the next day, still in wrapping, with a receipt. Nope. Games cannot be returned. But a read book can be.
Martine Lewis I totally agree with Neeny! Music cannot be returned. Why can books, especially when there is a sample available? My book has a total of 7 chapters in preview. If you read the preview and do not like it, you shouldn't buy it. If you click by inadvertence, you should have one hour to return (mind you, they don't even allow that with music). Here is Amazon policies, directly from the Amazon website. Books should be the same as music. Oh and you can't return audio book either unless you are a subscriber or something of the sort!
-Unless otherwise specified, games, software downloads, and purchases from the Amazon Appstore for Android, the Amazon Digital Music store or the Amazon Video store are not returnable after purchase.
-Books purchased from the Kindle Store can be returned within seven days of purchase. Once a refund is issued, you'll no longer have access to the book. To request a refund and return content, visit Manage Your Content and Devices, select the Actions button next to the title you'd like to return, and select Return for Refund.
Neeny Boucher #Truth Martine! I think the reason why Amazon does this to authors and ebooks is because they're not frightened of any lawsuits. I'm pretty sure they don't do the other digital products out of the goodness of their hearts. I think it's more out of fear for their wallets. Maybe we need a union. #Downwiththeman
Martine Lewis Neeny Boucher It is entirely possible. After all, they did have Lars Ulrich take on Napster and that brought a lot of visibility to music pirating. I wonder if we couldn't have someone like James Patterson or JK Rowling rally to the cause... mmmmhhhhh... not likely...
But even if Amazon wants to allow 7 days for returns, they seem to be able to track pages read for KU, so why not do the same for purchased books? If a book has been read past the free sample, don't allow it to be returned. Seems pretty simple to me.
Amanda Kay That is something I've argued somewhere before and was told they don't actually track pages read on KU but clearly when I log onto my KDP account I can see pages read with KU as well as sales and returns
Katie Harder-Schauer Before Amazon changed the KU payout to pages read, they required a percentage of the book be read before payout...For as long as KU has been a thing, Amazon has at least implied that they can track how much people are actually reading from the books. So either they're just pulling numbers out of their asses for your KDP reports, or they can track it...I really think the latter seems more plausible.
Amanda Kay Exactly it was what 10% right?
Katie Harder-Schauer I believe so.
Amanda Kay this only May which is only two days old but like you said either the numbers are coming out of their asses or they can track it.
Michelle Irwin The word I've heard on pages tracked is they can't actually track pages, BUT they can check the last read point in a book (the same way they do when you have a book on two devices). So if someone borrowed a book from KU, read it offline, set the point back to the start of the book and then jumped back online, it wouldn't regard the pages read. That's how these scammy books are earning their money, they look like a real book, get people to download, have a "WIN A KINDLE" hyperlink that takes the reader to the back of the (thousands of pages long) book and bammo they've had thousands of pages of book read. There are people who take take take on both sides of the fence frown emoticon
Amanda Kay Yeah i would never do that it's awful
Michelle Irwin Lisa to me that is just so rude to ask for a refund on food just because they didn't like it. I agree with your stance. It's your choice to try something new, how is that the restaurant's fault that it wasn't to your taste? I've had a friend have to do this, but it was because they have an onion allergy and were told it didn't have onions in the patty, only to get the burger and low and behold...onions. It was inedible for them and they would have known if they'd been told the truth.
1. The editing/formatting is crap and makes it impossible to read the book.
2. Accidental click, we've all done it.
And that's about it!
Reasons that are crap:
1. It costs too much: Then don't buy the book. But by all means enjoy that $5+ coffee or specialty drink you had while reading it.
2. I read it and didn't like it: That's what the book sample is for, to try the book and determine if the writing is for you.
3. Because I can return it, I will: You're a dick.
Seriously, though, if Amazon can track how many pages are read to determine the amount they will pay me, well then they should be able to determine who has read past the 15% sample part.
At 15% read, it should void the return option and the reader should have to 'submit a request for return' and show a specific reason. (Maybe at 25% the book formatting got completely wonky or messed up. It's been known to happen, so... sure give them a request option, but require a specific reason and even a 'place' in the book demonstrating the issue).
I feel I'm being generous with a 24hr return policy suggestion for ebooks, but I think there should be a 24hr (to maybe 48hr) return time.
Amazon likes to state they pride themselves on 'satisfaction of the customer', FINE, give them the request a refund option, BUT make them work for it after the 15% reading mark and/or 24hr period after purchase.
EDITED TO ADD: On a side note... if they can 'filter' and remove the 'biased' reviews, then they should also be able to track the repeat returners and take away the return ebook option all together.
IF they can 'ban' reviewers, they can 'ban' repeat returners.
Katie Harder-Schauer I personally wouldn't do it, but I can see how it could appeal to both bloggers and even authors to an extent. Verified reviews are viewed more favorably because the book was purchased.
Amanda Kay I don't really like this. A return is a return and i sort of feel that if you enjoyed the book you should want to support the author. At the same time given the way Amazon has been deleting reviews and stuff I can't say I blame bloggers too much. But money wise it stings
Sadie Grubor In 'idea' this seems like a good idea, but in application it's not a big help to the author.
And with the way Amazon is pulling reviews (especially when they are discovered to be a review blog) it gets pulled down.
Michelle Irwin I get the advantages, but a book with significant returns will get flagged for poor content so if a bunch of blogs did it, they could end up having a good book pulled inadvertently.
Martine Lewis I think if someone review a book, it just proved they read it and why would Amazon allow it. I do understand where those bloggers are coming from but if Amazon had an ounce of intelligence, someone reviewing the book would be a dead giveaway they read it and should not be allowed to return it.
Tonya Ridener If I want to review a book on Amazon I received an ARC of forever ago, I purchase that sucker to make it verified because that's just me.
I've purchased plenty of books that straight up SUCKED, but I didn't return them because A) I should have read the sample (if it's available), and it's my own dumb fault if I didn't >_< (which I didn't -sigh-).
Some people are just crappy. The end. :p
Gabbs Warner The policy sucks. Ebooks are digital media, just like games and music. I don't understand why Amazon treats them differently. I accidentally purchased a book once, but I immediately returned after hitting the one-click button. I realized it wasn't the right one, so I returned without even opening it. You definitely don't need 7 days to figure that out. I like the idea of a prorated refund based on percentage read. It makes perfect sense.
Curly Carla Waluck I don't think it is fair to return a book that you have already read. If you open an electronic from the store you cannot return it, unless its in exchange for the exact same item. These are (in essence) electronics, how can you return them once you have opened them? Unless they are defective, but I have yet to purchase a book that was defective from Amazon.
Aubrey Diamant If the book is defective it should be returned . You can't return an MP3 because you listened to the song enough the novelty wore off, you shouldn't return a book. I read bad books but I don't return them.
Valarie Kinney This has been truly distressing me lately. I could say a lot of things things everyone else has said, and they are all right. Instead I will say that I feel like the real problem is that some readers do not think of authors as actual humans, who need to get paid in order to pay bills and feed their kids, just like everyone else does. There is an overwhelming attitude that creative work is not real work, thus it ought to be free. If an author chooses to make their work free, that's a gift. If a reader fraudulently purchases a book with the intent of returning it, that is stealing.
Lisa Royal To me it is the same as eating at a restaurant. If I order something I've never had before and I hate it, it was my selection so I still pay for it. I will only send food back to the kitchen if it is spoilt. However, I have friends that say they shouldn't pay for food they don't like and they ask for a refund.
Chip Davis If there is a free peek inside option for a book, there is no reason to ever return a book. If there isn't, I won't criticize people who return a book within the first 2 chapters, however I would never think of doing such a thing. Books are a product, purchase it. If it is a paperback, it's easy for people to understand there are costs involved, if it is an ebook...there are still costs and the author still deserves to make money on their work. The same goes for music and photography, it has value, it is someone's property, don't be a thief.
Leigh Ann Lunsford Here's my thoughts. It sucks but we aren't going to change their minds. There has been countless petitions, plenty of b***hing, and most agree 7-14 days is a long time. But I don't get worked up over something I have no control over. Same as pirating. I hate it but you can't stop it!
Sofia the Great Amazon isn't gonna change their policy unless they lose their source. Everyday more and more people upload their manuscripts. So they have a never ending source material. The minute you agreed to their TOS you agreed to what they can do with your book.
If you want real change. Then call and write your congressman. Call and write to Amazon (not emailing ) Protest outside their building. Maybe set up a gofundme to hire a lawyer.
Maybe what I'm saying sounds naive but I think signing yet another petition is in the same category.
Cheryl Mackey I've been lucky to only have maybe 2 or 3 copies of my books returned. I honestly hate that e- books can be returned but I see both sides of an argument for some type of policy (my son ordered crazy stuff when he was 4 once without my knowledge... But those weren't books) and I honestly think buyers/returners of digital books should get a 3 item return limit per year. Period.
Martine Lewis I think Amazon policy is facilitating pirating.
Mich Feeney I've been lucky as an author. I've never had any returns (but not had a huge amount of sales either), but as many others have said, accidental clicks do not need 7 days return window.
As a reader, I have only ever returned one book and that was because the author uploaded the wrong file and her extensive editing was visible and she asked people to do it.
I pulled my books out of KU because of the exclusivity thing. I want my books available of multiple platforms and also, I was barely making any money via KU because the majority of my books are short.
I signed the petition even though I KNOW if won't make a bit of difference.
I have seen a meme in response saying for authors to use platforms such as Smashwords, but I will never use them because they allow a reader to download a book in word format. This is a huge red flag for me. Also, boycotting Amazon will do nothing because of the huge monopoly they have on the self publishing market.
It feels that everything Amazon do undercuts the authors in one way or another, but they know that authors won't stop using KDP because it's the biggest market for ebooks
Jennifer King Ortiz I think it's a ridiculously lenient policy, which is par for the course for Amazon customers. They have the tech to track page reads (I know they do - the Zon knows all) so they should use it. Maybe allow another 5-10% (perhaps as high as 15%) after the free sample to be read - but after that, you bought it for good.
I've read free samples, bought a book, gotten past the sample and wondered what the hell happened to the book I thought I was getting. I didn't return it (the only books I've returned have been ones purchased from those outed as probably plagiarists after I bought) and chalked it up to Buyer's Remorse.
If Amazon is unwilling to stop allowing ebook returns after a specific percentage is read then serial returners should lose one-click ability on e-books and should not only have to call a number but they should only get Amazon credit , not money back....and that credit should be based on the percentage of the book that wasn't finished (i.e. if there's 25% left in the book, you get 25% of the purchase price back in credit). And the authors should STILL get their 70% (or whatever their royalty rate is) of whatever wasn't refunded back.
Rebecca Pollard I don't think i have ever returned a book, never accidently brought one mind you. But even if I didn't like the book, i still made the purchase. Amazon has basically created a library of itself, people 'rent' the books read them and send them back for a refund. It is daylight robbery, and all perfectly legal
Stefanie Pratt Amazon's eBook return policy is nothing more than aiding and abetting theft. It's disgusting. If they can tell how many pages/what percentage of the book you've read on KU then they can certainly tell when the eBook has been read beyond 15%. If the reader has gone beyond 15% they should not be allowed to return it.
Last month, the number of my books that were purchases and returned was more than the number of books kept. I watched as one was bought then returned a day or so later then another bought and the same cycle. It pissed me off, which was why I was staying away from FB more and more last month. I even wrote a fairly long diatribe about Amazon's legalized theft policy in my newsletter last month (April's). It completely fries my temper...
Julie Wetzel It's asinine to allow a book to be returned if it's read over 50% or over a few days. I know people that read slowly and may spend 7 days getting into a novel, but letting it be returned once complete is little more than piracy. If you want to not buy a book, there are tons of online libraries that have great books you can borrow.
Elaine Barris Amazon is the biggest pirate out there with their return policy.
I agree with everything Valarie said.