It’s May 1st and a beautiful day in the Pacific Northwest. We hope you all are enjoying the weather, wherever you are.
Today, we’d like to talk about a petition circulating on Change.org regarding Amazon’s policy on ebook refunds. As Amazon authors, this is a subject that concerns us directly. We have only had a few ebook returns in the last two years, so we weren’t really well-informed on the current Amazon refund policy. This is how the policy reads now:
Books you purchase from the Kindle Store are eligible for return and refund if we receive your request within seven days of the date 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 Kindle, Click the Actions button next to the title you’d like to return, and select Return for refund, or contact customer service.
The petition’s authors argue that, in essence, the return policy gives a reader more than enough time to read the entire book and then return it for a full refund and no refunds should be allowed after 15% of the ebook has been read. From the Petition website:
I’m a blogger in the indie book community. It’s no secret that there would be no indie book community without our authors. They’re the glue that holds it all together. In recent months, I’ve read multiple complaints from authors that people are reading and returning their books. Some of these people even have the nerve to tell these authors that they did it because they felt .99/2.99 was too much for ebooks.
This insanity has to stop! They’re blatantly stealing from authors and Amazon is sitting on the sidelines pretending it isn’t happening. This is a huge problem when these indie authors are depending on these sales to pay their bills, or using them to fund other books. We need to prevent the return of books read past 15% along with refusing returns after a few days. We can’t allow this theft to continue.
This is not a new issue and this is not the first petition to try and change the refund policy. Since Amazon claims to be able to track number of pages read through their Kindle Unlimited Program, and pay authors according to that number, it seems completely reasonable to expect them to do the same for all ebooks in their inventory. Help us change this lopsided policy.
We have signed the petition and we ask you to join us.
Anne, Nancy, and Eric