Friday, April 12, 2013

Kindle Ebook Returns

            There’s been something going on in the ebook world that some authors have been unhappy about. Let me tell you about Kindle book returns on Amazon.
            I can understand why they allow returns – if you click the wrong button shopping online, you could accidentally buy a book when you might have been trying to download the free sample instead. Or you realize the next day that you already have that book on your shelf. No problem. But Amazon allows a full week for you to return an ebook. I can easily read a book in less than a week. If I wanted to, I could use Amazon as an ebook lending site.
            There are ways to borrow ebooks – my library lends tons of ebooks, and I check them out all the time. But I’ve never bought an ebook on Amazon with the intention of reading it and returning it for a refund later.
            I’ve also heard readers complain that they didn’t like the book, hence the return. Most ebooks have a free sample to try before you buy. I think that’s more than fair to determine if you like the general style and tone of the book. Is it really fair, then, to return it because you don’t like it?
            My opinion is that seven days is too long. One or two days maybe would allow accidental purchases to be returned. Longer than that and Amazon can expect some people to use it as a lending library. I do understand that people don’t have tons of cash, but the bottom line is if you like an author’s work, buy it! Or at least borrow it from the library or a friend who has already bought the book. It’s hard to make a living as an author, so if you’d like them to keep writing, support their work.
            What do you think? Should Amazon change their ebook return policy? Or do you think seven days is fair?


  1. I agree, a week is much too long. If I'm invested (and I have the time) I can finish a book in a couple of days. Which means if I had a kindle I could get books for free from Amazon all the time and all those authors would never get a dime for me. Which is basically like stealing imo. I say 24 hours.

    1. It seems suspiciously like stealing to me too! I'd never do that sort of thing with a paper book, so what makes it okay to do with an ebook?

  2. I think a week is way too long. I agree with mshatch; 24 hours is enough time to figure out if you like a book, or if you've ordered it by accident. Everyone gets notifications in their email instantly when they buy something. But seriously...caveat emptor.

    Besides, authors are already under pressure to give away lots of content--awesome blogs such as this one go in that categorgy--so anything more than 24 hours screws the author.

  3. I agree! I could finish a book in four hours, however, I would never return a book I've just read. Hopefully they have some way of monitoring for repeat offenders. Having books on Kindle is a Godsend and I'd hate to lose that access to my favs because of this!
    - Heather The Evil Twin with Love From the A to Z Challenge