Addressing the Booktok Controversy: Returning Books

In recent weeks, the hot button topic of conversation has been readers returning books to Amazon for a full refund, after they have read the whole book. Now, up until a few days ago, this was simply a conversation I felt was accomplishing nothing but elevated blood pressure.

It is not as if the people manipulating the system are poor and can’t afford to buy the books they want. Not to generalize but people living in poverty know how to budget for things they want, they don’t steal unless it’s a necessity for survival (if you see someone shoplifting bread, eggs, or milk, no you didn’t), they don’t do things to pull other people down.

The majority of the questionable morals belong to the middle and upper middle class, or upper class, who don’t believe they should have to pay for luxury items, like books. They believe they are above the law and entitled to free things.

I don’t know where these attitudes come from, but they don’t belong to people with whom authors can reason. For the most part, these authors are expending a tremendous amount of energy and time begging and pleading with these system manipulators, hoping they can impart some kind of terrific philosophical wisdom and make them see the errors of their ways.

Frankly, I think it’s a waste of time and blood pressure.

But now, someone has taken a step that may actually head the conversation in the right direction–a petition to Amazon to change their policies. Do I think it will work? Not necessarily but it’s better than begging people who don’t believe they’re doing anything wrong to stop doing it. That said, if you would like to sign the petition, here is the link.


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2 thoughts on “Addressing the Booktok Controversy: Returning Books”

  1. Whoa, that’ll be pretty crappy, to have people game the system just so they can read my book for free. But then again, on the flip side, I’d be honoured that someone would be willing to do that for one of my stories, lol. Anyway, I didn’t know about this but now I do. Thanks for sharing!

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    1. It is. I am in no way excusing the behavior of returning a book for a refund after consuming it completely. I am just very much a choose your battles kind of person and changing the moral compass of the consumer is a battle we, as authors can’t win. But asking the companies to change their policies? Who knows? It worked with Audible. It might work with Amazon.

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