Returning e-books, a trick that is expensive for authors

A TikTok trend draws attention to Amazon’s Kindle return policy. This trend encourages people to read and return e-books within the appropriate time to get their money back.

People buy books, read them and return them within two weekssays freelance writer Trevor Wiltzen. So what’s happening is they’re treating Amazon like a library.

Trevor Wiltzen is the author of the mystery series Mabel Davison and self-publishes on Amazon. He says he recently noticed a change in his sales.

In Canada and the United States, customers have seven days to cancel a Kindle book order and get a full refund, whether the book has been read or not. In other countries, customers have up to 14 days. The policy includes audiobooks.

But this possibility is detrimental to independent and self-published authors, explains Trevor Wiltzen.

They think Amazon is a big conglomerate, but Amazon made it big that way by reducing its risk and shifting that risk to the artist. »

A quote from Trevor Wiltzen, author

An international audience thanks to Amazon

If an author chooses to self-publish on Amazon, depending on the format of the book, they can get anywhere from 30-75% of the royalties. With every book return, even on digital copies, authors forfeit royalties and shipping costs.

Authors must also pay download fees for Amazon. Costs are not refunded to the author if their book is returned.

Initially, Trevor Wiltzen says he chose Amazon to self-publish because of the company’s international audience.

I have 17,000 readers as far away as India or the United Arab Emirates, or Europe or South America. The reach is fantastic for us to spread our works there. »

A quote from Trevor Wiltzen, author

While the author credits Amazon for helping independent authors get published, he still thinks authors need more support. to continue and publish more books.

It encourages readers to support independent authors by promoting them through reviews or word of mouth.

A flaw in the system

Returning books isn’t a new trend, it’s a challenge publishers have faced for years. When booksellers are unable to sell books, they return them to the publisher. This system was introduced during the Great Depression and was a way to support bookstores.

I don’t think it’s fair to read a book and then return it and hope to get your money back because that basically means publishers and authors don’t get paid for their workconsiders Kieran Leblanc, general manager of the Book Publishers Association of Alberta.

Alexander Finbow, an editor at Renegade Arts Canmore Ltd.ensures that the book returns highlight a flaw in the system.

It’s a system that can be and often is abused by the bigger players, and there can be unintended consequences of some of the decisions involved., explains the editor. For him, Amazon is a major player in the publishing industry and it can be difficult to get them to change their policies.

In a statement, an Amazon spokesperson said: Amazon aims to provide the best possible experience for customers and authors. We have policies and mechanisms in place to prevent our eBook return policy from being abused. We always listen to feedback and investigate any concerns we receive.

According to information from Ishita Verma and the broadcast Active Radio

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