Warning! This blog post is a rant!
Which I don't do very often, just sayin'.
But is it just me or do any other authors out there feel like a doormat?
I’m talking about Amazon’s e-book return policy. It is seven freaking days long!
Most people can read a book in seven days and that’s exactly what they do. They buy the book, read it, and return it. And then don’t even say thank you or leave a review about it. I’m sure there are a few people who accidentally click the buy button when they meant to click the sample button, and those are legitimate returns and usually happen within minutes of the purchase. But why do we need seven days to return a digital book?
I’ve heard about people even bragging about doing this. They’ve admitted it on blogs and claim that it is the only way they get to read so many books that they wouldn’t necessarily get to read. People, believe it or not this is just another form of stealing. You talk about all the pirate sites offering e-books for free without the author’s consent and here we have a legitimate site that we all trust and use practically doing the same thing.
This goes along with the current trend of FREE E-BOOKS. Another fellow author friend of mine has an awesome post about this and I’m going to direct you there in a minute, but before you go, I just want to put in my two cents here for it seems they may be worth more than my books. It seems like people just wait for books to become free so they don’t have to purchase them. Am I guilty of downloading a free book offered by an author? Yes. But to tell you the truth, I think I’d feel better about them if I had actually paid at least .99 cents for them. In fact, I have recently changed my opinion on this whole free e-book idea. BTW – If you’re waiting for mine to be free again, you can stop right now because I won’t be offering my books for free anymore. I did in the past, thinking it was helping my book’s ranking but it didn’t because the minute the free promo was over, my ranking went right back where it started. I think I must have had about 30,000 free downloads of my book when I offered one for free way back in December 2012 or there about. That’s a lot of readers who should have put some sort of review up on Amazon by now. But unfortunately, I do not have 30,000 reviews. Not even close. Which tells me, not many of those downloads resulted in someone actually reading my book.
I do offer some for .99 cents though, this does count toward the ranking. In fact, some are only .99 cents right now, can't say for how long though. And KDP has the borrow program for prime members which amounts to more $$ per borrow than an actual sale does, so there is an up side to the KDP select program.
But getting back to Amazon’s return policy, allowing readers to read an entire book and return it, essentially means that they are getting our books for free that way too. It seems like the publishing world has a way of sticking it to the “off list” authors one way or another. Before we had a difficult time finding agents and publishers unless we had an in or a super book, which I'm sure a lot were and overlooked. Now we can’t make a dime whether we are published or not. Oh sure, there are tons of success stories out there, but still this current trend of free e-books and Amazon’s return policy worries me and in all honesty is it really that good of a thing? You tell me and if you have a success story because of offering your book for free or you have thoughts about return policies, I'd love to hear them.
Here is the link to that other awesome blog post I mentioned about free books.
Just to clear the air a bit, I love Amazon and the KDP program, and this little rant of mine is in no way meant to slander Amazon or insult any of my fellow author friends who continue to offer their books for free.
Thanks for reading.