Hey you, why did you return my book

Back in August I published my first e-book. Looking at my reports shortly thereafter, I saw a few returns which scared me a little. Was I that bad of a writer? My first thought is that a few readers did not like the foul language from one of the characters. The book in question, “Loonies in Hollywood” is based on a true story and Mabel Normand, a silent film actress and a secondary, but crucial character in the story, by all accounts, did speak with a colorful tongue. I want to be true to her character, so I let her speak the way she did.

I went so far as to place a warning in the description of my book on Amazon. I am sensitive and respectful you see. Very kind of me I know. But then I searched Kindle forum on refunds from readers and discovered it is normal. Oh.

It turns out 2% on average of a each title sold is refunded. Thanks folks.

But why I wondered. Searching through the forum, it turns out that some people actually get click happy and mistakenly buy the book. I question that, although one comment seemed accurate-to a point- that sites advertising free books direct someone to Amazon where your book eagerly awaits readers, and the person clicks thinking the book is free, but it turns out the information at the website advertising free books is like stale bread, a day or two old.

But there is another reason that someone brought up. There are people-and you know who you are-that buy a book, read it and return it, thus ripping off the writer. How shameful! It turns out Amazon has a seven day grace period. The comments on the forum said that is too generous. I agree. I think five minutes is fair.

One book I wrote is yet to have a return, but the title in question is slightly higher than 2%, by about one book. It is possible that those 2% did not like the book. If so, I can’t apologize because our reading tastes, like taste buds coating our tongue, are different. I like cheese, my brother hates cheese. Of course I have only my  parents word that he is my brother.

But the point is no matter what you write there will be people who like the book and people who don’t. Accept the 2% and cherish the 98%, who, even if they did not like the book, had enough respect for the author to let him have his alms.

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2 Comments

Filed under e-book publishing, humor, Uncategorized, writing

2 responses to “Hey you, why did you return my book

  1. Great overview of the “return” situation. New indie authors sometimes freak out over returns, but as you say, they can happen because the customer thought it was free (or because they’re habitual cheats: I’ve met women who proudly return expensive garments after wearing them to a fancy event, thinking they’re being “thrifty.”) There are also tech glitches. I had a friend whose Kindle had some sort of problem and her downloads came through garbled or not at all. She’d returned three of my books and I freaked, until I found out she hadn’t been able to read them so she’d returned and re-purchased to download to her iPad.

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  2. Yeah, I just got a sale and refund making a no-sale. I was like, damn, they hated it that fast? But that can’t be. It’s probably being “click happy” as you say.

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