Monday, November 11, 2013

Are readers playing the system of e-book refunds?

I’m usually pretty bad at keeping track of my book sales, but these last few weeks I’ve made a conscious effort to take a look. When it comes to the books published through Desert Breeze Publishing I don’t really know, but when it comes to my self-pubbed stuff I have access to good reports.

Actively monitoring this is making me annoyed. That's an awful thing to say, I know, but hear me out.

Amazon has a refund policy for e-books. "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."

This is generally a good thing. If you buy something that you don’t like, you should have the opportunity to return it and get your money back.

There is, however, no limit to how much of the book you can read before requesting your refund.

I currently have two self published series: Embarkment 2577 and The Goddess’s Saga. The books in each series are being bought and refunded in order.

If people really returned Brand New World because they hated it, I doubt they’d go on to buy High Gravity, hate it, get Adam and Eve, and hate that one too. Same thing with The Goddess's Saga.

The first time I saw this I thought it was a coincidence. Different people might have stumbled in and bought the books in a short period of time, discovered they were in the middle of a series, and returned them. But, it happens over and over again.

I appreciate that people want to read my books, I really do.

I understand that many people have very little money.

I give a lot of books away happily and willingly.

Seriously, though, writers have to live too. If you read three or even six books I wrote you probably liked them. It would be nice if you’d let me keep the payment for one of them. The novellas are only $1.99. Of that, I get to keep 30%. That is almost 60 cents per book. If you read all three without refunding I'd almost get enough money for a cup of coffee.

If you think I don't need coffee and insist on stealing all of them, please compensate me through leaving a positive review, or posting about how you loved the books on social media.

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