Today I found out that Amazon will be changing its much abused return policy for ebooks.
What was happening?
Readers would ‘purchase’ an ebook. Then they’d read it. Then they’d return it. Amazon would reimburse them if it was within 7 days of the purchase.
Fine so far but how do Authors get hurt?
If you, as an author, are in the Kindle pipeline then when the initial purchase is made you got a royalty fee. Then the return hits. Amazon deducts the fee from your account.
Some authors are seeing their accounts go negative . . . Plus Amazon tracks every interaction customers have with a product and vendor. It’s algorithm uses that data for a number of things. Like placement in the lineup when people are shopping for instance. So your standing with Amazon gets tainted and that can affect future dealings with them.
How pervasive could this be?
It’s being passed around the internet as one of those Life Hacks. How to get books for free from Amazon. People don’t have a problem thinking they are getting one over on Amazon but almost none know the real victim is the author whose books they liked so much. Just not enough to pay for them. It has been growing fast in 2022.
But Amazon is changing their policy in a way that.might help. Read more about that at the Authors Guild site.