Dreaded Returns…


As an author, the thing I hate to see most, more than even a 1-star review, is that someone has returned my book.  That says more to me than a 1-star review ever could.  It says something about the book that no review could ever say: I hated this so much, I decided I had to have my money back.

Ouch…

Although, I heard something worse than this the other day.  I overheard two women talking while I was shopping.  And I admit that I was eavesdropping.  But one of the women said she buys ebooks and then returns them when she’s finished because she never reads the same book twice.

I don’t care if the author is indie or traditional, that just seems wrong.  The author has spent months or years perfecting their novel, for you to enjoy, and regardless of whether you did or did not enjoy it, you can’t give them their dues (or in this case, royalties)?  As an author, I’m appalled.  As a reader, I’m horrified.

Now, I realize that ebooks have no resale value.  You can’t take it to a used store and trade it for other books, yet (I foresee this in the future though), but that’s part of the reason ebooks are so cheap.  If you buy Tortured Dreams and hate it, you’re out a cup of coffee (actually, less than that, since I don’t know many places with coffee for a dollar).  However, if you keep it, I make a whopping $0.35.  To think that you spent the $0.99 and liked it enough to buy Elysium Dreams, but then returned it because you never read the same book twice… Well, I just don’t have words for that.  Especially since you are then going to do the same thing with Elysium Dreams.

As a reader, I can sympathize with buying crappy books.  I’ve done it.  I can’t tell you how many crappy books I’ve bought for $0.99 or $3.99.  I can tell you that I have returned 1… just 1, of the hundreds of books in my Cloud Kindle Library.  The reason I returned it, it was supposed to be a historical fact book and was filled with the opinions of the author.  It was poorly researched and even more poorly written.  However, a grossly inaccurate history book is far different than a work of fiction.  Fiction is meant to entertain, not inform.  And if you like it, meaning you are entertained by it, why are you begrudging the author who entertained you their $0.35 or whatever they make off of it?

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1 Comment

  1. Maria D.

     /  November 24, 2013

    That is just wrong – no matter how you want to disguise it – it’s theft. Ebooks are a completely different venue than print books and everyone knows that going in. The only ebooks I have ever returned are the ones that I purchased in error by clicking on the wrong link – I’ve returned them within seconds of buying them and they have never even had a chance to be downloaded to my Kindle. If you want to read a book and then don’t want to read it again – use the public library. Most libraries are spending a lot of money on ebooks that they lend out – and that’s what they are for – read once and not purchasing. Or if your library doesn’t have ebooks – sign up to become a book reviewer – most book review sites are looking for people all of the time – and many of them will even teach you how to review a book. There is no need for this to be taking place and it just burns my butt when I hear about this – most authors are not Nora Roberts (who I love and would never think of taking one of her books and returning it), James Patterson or Nicholas Sparks – who get large advances up front and make a lot of money – most are struggling to support themselves, support their families and heaven forbid help their kids through school. …Getting off my soapbox now.

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