Amazon’s updated eBook return policy looks like a big win for authors
Anyone who has taken advantage of Amazon’s liberal return policy for e-books may soon be in for a shock. Indeed, following discussions with the Authors Guild, Amazon has agreed to block automatic returns on digital books read more than 10%.
Currently, the problem for authors on Amazon is that customers can return eBooks online anytime within seven days of purchase, regardless of the amount of content consumed. This means that if you can read a book in less than a week, you can simply return it for free when you’re done, resulting in lost profits for the author.
However, under the new policy which is expected to go into effect before the end of the year, Amazon will begin blocking automatic returns on eBooks that are read more than 10, which will then need to be reviewed by a representative for s ensure that the return is genuine. The Authors Guild says the goal is to deter people who abuse Amazon’s current policy and prevent people from treating Amazon’s e-book marketplace as an ersatz library.
Problems with Amazon’s e-book return policy date back more than a decade, but recently came under fire again after tips about the company’s guidelines began circulating online. And according to NPR, in some cases, abuse of the company’s return policy even resulted in some authors having negative revenue balances, which typically happened when customers returned an eBook after the creator was paid by Amazon.
Fortunately, after concerns were raised by both the Authors Guild and the Authors Society in the UK earlier this year, it appears that Amazon has finally decided to update its policy, the Authors Guild issuing a statement thanking the company for “acting in good faith”. “against abusive returns.
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