In July 2022, we reported that several authors were protesting Amazon’s e-book return policy; Authors protesting Amazon’s e-book return policy.
At that time, Amazon was allowing customers to return e-books up to a full week after purchasing. For many readers, a week is a more than enough time to finish a book, and return it after reading. When that happens, authors lose out on sales.
Authors such as Lisa Kessler, Kristy Bromberg, and E.G.Creel were very public about their dismay over this policy. Kessel shared in an NPR interview “It really rattled me, she said. ‘You think, Can I still make a living if this continues?’ and that’s very disheartening.”
A petition started by Reah Foxx, “Change Amazon Return Policies for Completed E-books: Protect Authors from Theft!” received almost 80,000 signatures, and it seems Amazon was listening.
On September 21, Amazon announced an important change to its return policy; buyers who have read more than 10 percent of an e-book on Amazon’s Kindle system will no longer be able to return it for a full refund. The Society of Authors union and the Authors Guild, are praising Amazon for this decision; “a major improvement for authors of books available on Kindle,” (Society of Authors).
As reported by Publishing Perspectives, the Society writes, “Amazon has confirmed plans to change its systems to address complaints about its long returns windows which have negatively affected authors’ profits. Amazon’s returns policy for ebooks currently allows readers to receive a full refund for up to 14 days, even if they have read the full work. The use of this refund loophole has been encouraged by users on TikTok, with videos on how to return books being viewed over 17 million times.”
The Authors Guild also made an announcement:
“Amazon informed us of its plans to change its ebook return policy to restrict automatic returns to purchases where no more than 10 percent of the book has been read… Any customer who wishes to return an ebook after reading more than 10 percent will need to send in a customer service request, which will be reviewed by a representative to ensure that the return request is genuine and complies with Amazon’s policies against abuse. This process will create a strong deterrent against buying, reading, and returning ebooks within seven days, and readers who attempt to abuse the return policy will be penalized under Amazon’s policies.”
The planned changes go into effect at the end of the year.
An avid book reader and proud library card holder, Angela is new to the world of e-Readers. She has a background in education, emergency response, fitness, loves to be in nature, travelling and exploring. With an honours science degree in anthropology, Angela also studied writing after graduation. She has contributed work to The London Free Press, The Gazette, The Londoner, Best Version Media, Lifeliner, and Citymedia.ca.