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 Refund for Kindle stories

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Betty Fasig
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PostSubject: Refund for Kindle stories   Sun Jan 11, 2015 3:43 pm

This is not the first time it has happened.  Someone buys one of the Wooffer stories for .99 cents and then returns it for a refund within the hour.  This week it has happened twice.  Once for Moe's Hallowed Eve and once for Basil, Kung Fu Rabbit.  I think someone is having a rip off game.  It does not matter to me about the .35 cent royalty, but I wonder about the mental process that makes the person (I can only think it is one) doing this, has in their mind.  I mean, you can buy the whole print book for less than 10 dollars and the whole Kindle edition for 2.99. 

I feel sad if this person cannot afford to spend the 1.00 and wants to read all the stories.  I would send it to them free.  Perhaps I should put that somewhere in the description or on Facebook or somewhere.  My poor mind is at a loss.  What should I do? 
Love,
Betty
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dkchristi
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PostSubject: Re: Refund for Kindle stories   Sun Jan 11, 2015 4:11 pm

I think you have a brainstorm, Betty.  There's a discussion at the bottom of the Author Page.  In that discussion say how much you want people to enjoy your books and if their finances at the moment cannot afford the book that you will notify them when you do a no cost special if they send you an email.  Then, when you run a free story on Kindle, you can send them an email.

You will also have the email address if you wish to send them a pdf copy at no cost.

We both understand the pressures of stretching income to meet expenses and still trying to enjoy a few things too.

I do hope that's all it is and just not a person cheating the system.
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Betty Fasig
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PostSubject: Re: Refund for Kindle stories   Sun Jan 11, 2015 5:07 pm

Oh! DK, Where do I find that?  I cannot imagine someone trying to cheat for the .99 cents.  What a kind heart you have!

Love,

betty
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alice
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PostSubject: Re: Refund for Kindle stories   Sun Jan 11, 2015 7:57 pm

People cheat for many reasons.  Sometimes they are just trying to see if they can do it.

Let it go.  Show them you are bigger than they are.
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Shelagh
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PostSubject: Re: Refund for Kindle stories   Mon Jan 12, 2015 2:58 am

I think we have to rationalise Amazon's returns policy. You can't have a returns policy for ebooks and have 100% no returns. At some stage, we all see returns in our KDP reports. This is to be expected. Maybe buyers decide it was not for them and want to swap it for something else; this happens with books as well as other goods. Maybe, the reader read the story in twenty minutes and decided to return it for a refund to buy another 99c book; this will only work a few times -- Amazon's policy only allows a number of returns before they freeze the reader's account. If the KDP reports did not update as soon as a sale was made, instead delayed for 24 hours and then reported only actual sales, we would be blissfully unaware of whether any of our books had been returned or not!

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Last edited by Shelagh on Mon Jan 12, 2015 10:30 am; edited 1 time in total
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Betty Fasig
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PostSubject: Re: Refund for Kindle stories   Mon Jan 12, 2015 9:16 am

I will let it go and let Amazon deal with it.  Today, they bought and returned Meet The Stankers.
At least someone is reading them.
Love,
Betty
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alj
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PostSubject: Re: Refund for Kindle stories   Mon Jan 12, 2015 10:04 am

I've seen maybe 4 or 5 returns on RV.  I'm not selling the single stories anymore, only the anthology with all of them in one book.  It upset me at first, but I decided that there could be many reasons for the returns, and to just assume there was a valid one and let it go.  That way, selfishly, I don't have to think they were disappointed.
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dkchristi
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PostSubject: Re: Refund for Kindle stories   Mon Jan 12, 2015 2:24 pm

I find it disconcerting that the free reads seem to get the negative reviews, too.  No one to whom I have given a book has ever written a review.  Only my good-hearted author colleagues to whom I send a pdf - they write lovely reviews. 

A friend today was talking a lot about my new novel, Bamboo Ring, asking lots of questions and how she could get a book, hint - hint.  I said in the kindest way, "I'm really honored that you are interested in reading Bamboo Ring.  So far, it's available at Black Rose Writing, Smashwords and Barnes and Noble.  Smashwords is an eBook."  She didn't say much after that.
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alj
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PostSubject: Re: Refund for Kindle stories   Mon Jan 12, 2015 3:06 pm


DK, let me know what parts of the blurb you would like to see as a review and I will post it.
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Betty Fasig
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PostSubject: Re: Refund for Kindle stories   Tue Jan 13, 2015 6:39 am

Today, the bought and refunded book is Mr. A. A. Corn.
They must be enjoying the stories!
Love,
Betty
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dkchristi
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PostSubject: Re: Refund for Kindle stories   Tue Jan 13, 2015 9:34 am

I didn't mean to sound "snarky" about giving away my books.  I pay $10 to $11 for each copy; the publisher doesn't give free ones to authors.  Arirang cost $35 a copy retail when published in 2006 - I gave away many copies because I went crazy buying them on the "deals" from the publisher and the retail price was ridiculous.  However, few friends and relatives wrote reviews or even mentioned reading the book. Two friends helped with reading the manuscript and making corrections and they appreciated the books.

I don't sell millions of books.  My income is limited.  I can't give away books I pay $10 for at will.  I just can't.  I will provide a pdf. to anyone kind enough to read and review my books - and I am very grateful.  Those who buy my books, thank you.  Selling books leads to selling more books and gaining clout as an author.  Especially at Amazon.com, it helps ratings.  Ratings sell books.  I have purchased many ebooks from fellow authors and thoroughly enjoyed reading them.  I no longer buy print books as Florida is not a good climate for a book collection, and my home has no space.

I sold four Bamboo Ring books in pre-order mode.  My total royalty from that is $6.96. To make it as a published author, you need many published books with lots of sales or one blockbuster often enough to pay the rent.  Most of us just work hard and squeak by because writing is what we do - and must do.

Libraries are my friend.
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dkchristi
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PostSubject: Re: Refund for Kindle stories   Tue Jan 13, 2015 9:35 am

Thanks, Ann, I'll look.
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dkchristi
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PostSubject: Re: Refund for Kindle stories   Tue Jan 13, 2015 9:36 am

By the way, Ann, I mentioned you in the intro material for Bamboo Ring since your blurb didn't make the cover - only two fit.
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Victor D. Lopez
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PostSubject: Re: Refund for Kindle stories   Tue Jan 13, 2015 11:20 pm

People gaming the system is a real problem. Only one person has ever returned one of my Kindle books to my knowledge, with a corresponding sale of the paperback version of the book. I suspect they ordered the eBook by mistake and returned it and ordered the paperback version as that book sells few paperback copies through Amazon. I certainly would not object to readers returning a book they found disappointing within, say, 48 hours of buying it--especially since they do not legally get to keep and access the book again or illegally give it to others. I have a much greater problem with Audible--an Amazon company--allowing returns of audiobooks without limit or need of an explanation. There I have had at least five returns that I am aware of--perhaps more as it is difficult to tell unless there are no sales in any given day when a return is made.  Audible does not report returns--so you only catch them when sales go down on a given day. (e.g., you have 50 sales today and 49 tomorrow). The reason Audible returns bothers me more is that, unlike with a Kindle return, unscrupulous readers can order a book, burn it to CD-R disks, return it and still keep the book (or, worse, sell it illegally).

It's not about the money. Its about the principle of standing up for writers' rights to profit from their work and to not have their intellectual property stolen. Readers who cannot afford a book and want it simply have to ask their library to carry it--something that takes about ten seconds online with regard to audiobooks and eBooks for libraries who use the Livebrary system, as most do today. Only unprincipled, lazy ones need to resort to stealing a book, which is precisely what it is if the reader has read the book prior to returning it for a refund or, worse, burned a copy and then returned it. 

At the very least, Amazon, Audible and any other seller that allows "no questions asked returns" should strictly limit the number of times any customer can do this AND limit the return period to not more than 48 hours.


Last edited by Victor D. Lopez on Wed Jan 14, 2015 10:07 am; edited 2 times in total
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dkchristi
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PostSubject: Re: Refund for Kindle stories   Wed Jan 14, 2015 8:08 am

I am a member of Authors Guild.  They advocate for authors - and sometimes lose.  This sounds like an issue for them to pursue.
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Shelagh
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PostSubject: Re: Refund for Kindle stories   Thu Jan 15, 2015 4:57 am

From Amazon Discussions:

"I've never had to return because of formatting problems, but I did return 4 books all in one day. I was quietly reading on my iPad when I noticed a series of order confirmation emails from Amazon. Strange, I thought. Even stranger when I saw the book titles.

Sure enough, my 3 year old grandson had found my Paperwhite and was 'exploring'.

I was glad that after starting that Amazon account, i had removed the credit card and funded it with gift cards. He had used up all of the credit in the account. ( all of which was immediately restored by Amazon upon the return of the books -- which hadn't even been downloaded)

The Amazon return policy and procedure was quick, easy, and painless. What more can you ask for."

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E. Don Harpe
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PostSubject: Re: Refund for Kindle stories   Wed Feb 11, 2015 10:18 am

Last month, January, 2015, I began to notice a trend happening with downloads of some of my short stories, which were then returned for refunds. When 5 had been downloaded and returned, all in a couple of days, I contacted Amazon and asked them to look into it. They replied by saying that they'd looked and it was not the same person doing it. I have had one or two books or stories returned before, but never so many all at one time. I kept up the correspondence with Amazon, and they kept making assurances, but by the end of the month I'd had 9 stories downloaded and then returned for a refund. Like everyone else here, this isn't about the money. All of the stories sell for .99 cents, so the total amount of royalties lost would be less than $10, but the fact is that they are allowing people to scam the system, and I think it would be the same if it were hundreds of dollars involved. I honestly believe it was the same person, or maybe two, that were getting the stories, copying them, and then returning them, and it's a shame when people will stoop so low as to steal a few dollars worth of reading material. Since my vigorous complaints to Amazon, I have noticed a large drop in the number of books and stories of mine that are being downloaded in February. I don't know what the answer is, but there should be some form of royalty made per download, even if the work is returned.
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Betty Fasig
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PostSubject: Re: Refund for Kindle stories   Wed Feb 11, 2015 11:08 am

I agree with you, E. Don.  Someone has bought and returned 12 of my little stories.  I wonder why they don't just buy and return the whole book in one swoop. 
Love,
Betty
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E. Don Harpe
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PostSubject: Re: Refund for Kindle stories   Thu Feb 12, 2015 11:23 pm

Well, they've hit me again this month. Downloaded and returned for a refund one collection of shorts, and my book on bowling. Still not much money, but still stealing, any way you look at it.
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dkchristi
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PostSubject: Re: Refund for Kindle stories   Sat Feb 14, 2015 7:02 am

Do you see these returns in the reports?
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alj
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PostSubject: Re: Refund for Kindle stories   Sat Feb 14, 2015 7:07 am

Refunds should show up in your monthly reports, DK - rght next to the sales column.
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E. Don Harpe
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PostSubject: Re: Refund for Kindle stories   Sat Feb 14, 2015 8:28 am

On the reports page, there is a list of all of the books that have been downloaded, and their status. If it was returned for a refund, it shows. And it happened again this morning. That's 3 in the last 2 days. Not much money involved, only about $5, but regardless of that, it's still theft, and Amazon needs a better way of dealing with it.


NOTE: They just stole another book tonight. That's 4 in two nights. I'm raising hell with Amazon every time it happens now. There is no sense in them allowing this to continue.


Last edited by E. Don Harpe on Sat Feb 14, 2015 9:05 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Domenic Pappalardo
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PostSubject: Re: Refund for Kindle stories   Sat Feb 14, 2015 9:18 am

Standard publishers have a buy back with brick stores for books that don't sell. They only pay an author for books sold, not printed. The buyback from store books the publisher sells to 99 cent stores...these the author get zip.
Some day writers just may stop selling books via agents, and set up an auction house. (for publishing rights.) Divided writers are nothing...together we could be very strong.
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Domenic Pappalardo
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PostSubject: Re: Refund for Kindle stories   Sat Feb 14, 2015 9:22 am

Writers could set up an ebook store...no returns. Why give it all to Amazon?
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E. Don Harpe
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PostSubject: Re: Refund for Kindle stories   Wed Feb 18, 2015 10:58 am

Update: I got a call, (Yes, a real phone call) from an Amazon account executive this morning who assured me they are pursuing this as hard as they can, and that some of the downloads and returns will not be happening again. I was surprised to get the call, but very glad they are doing what the can to resolve this issue.
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