Point of No Return
“I’ve come here to sell you my body
I can show you some good merchandise
I’ll pull you and I’ll pill you
I’ll Cruela Deville you
And to thrill you I’ll use any device”
~”Let Me Entertain You,” Queen
Since this blog’s inception on September 7, 2013, I have asked you for a couple of favors. Post comments. Like my Facebook page. Today, I’m asking you to do something more meaningful. Please sign this petition at change.org.
Alisha Webster of The Bohemian Housewife started the petition with the following blurb:
I’m a blogger in the indie book community. It’s no secret that there would be no indie book community without our authors. They’re the glue that holds it all together. In recent months, I’ve read multiple complaints from authors that people are reading and returning their books. Some of these people even have the nerve to tell these authors that they did it because they felt .99/2.99 was too much for ebooks.This insanity has to stop! They’re blatantly stealing from authors and Amazon is sitting on the sidelines pretending it isn’t happening. This is a huge problem when these indie authors are depending on these sales to pay their bills, or using them to fund other books. We need to prevent the return of books read past 15% along with refusing returns after a few days. We can’t allow this theft to continue. By signing this petition you are not only supporting the indie book community but preventing the theft from more of our wonderful author’s pockets.
You know what I do when I can’t afford a book? I save my money until I can afford it. Returning an ebook to Amazon after you’ve read it, declaring price the only problem, is fucking ridiculous. Books aren’t free. People sacrificed to bring that book to you and they deserve to be paid.
Authors are entertainers. Books are a form of entertainment. You aren’t paying for a product, you are paying for a service. You are paying for an avenue of escape from your daily life. Once you’ve read that book, you have been rendered the service the author intended. You had communion with that author. You sampled the goods, so to speak. You witnessed the climax, and you experienced all the feels and thrills the author intended.
Don’t shit on that holy experience by shortchanging the author.
“But Amazon allows it,” some people have said. “It must be okay.”
Amazon isn’t a civil authority. Amazon is a big fucking company, and we need to show them that indie authors matter. It matters that Suzy Q. Author and other small fish like her are getting screwed over and over by serial “fans” returning their hard work. Fans who write later to tell them how great their stories are, but could they please make them available for free so cheap assholes won’t have to return them…
The answer is no. Ebooks are not products you can return when you dislike them, or feel they don’t warrant what you paid. They are services to be experienced. Amazon knows damn well how far readers have gotten before they return the book. There should be a shorter time limit and a percentage or page limit cutoff (15%) so the experience cannot be shortchanged. Even if you fucking hated a book, you EXPERIENCED it.
How often do you really get your money back in the service industry? The customer is always right, but rarely compensated. Even if you felt the experience wasn’t worthy of your hard-earned money, how often is an experience worth what you pay? The McDonald’s order that gave you heartburn, for example. Or the haircut that made you look like the offspring of a poodle and a nuclear cloud. You paid a hell of a lot more for those services than you did an indie ebook, which range from $0.99 to $6.99. They are worth every penny. Something drew you to purchase that book. Even if you hated it, you experienced it. Services rendered have value. Authors deserve to be paid.
Don’t even get me started on Huffington Post and their “real news is free” bullshit.