I was browsing through my royalties report for Amazon over the weekend, and imagine my surprise to learn that over 150 copies of my newest release, Tease, had been returned that month. WTF? How is that possible? How is that OK? This pisses me off! That's 150 people that outright stole from me and Amazon helped them do it.
Here's the thing. Every book I have on Amazon, or any other platform for that matter, has the first 20% of the book available for free as a sample. In fact, most books have this feature. This is so if you are unsure you will like the book, you don't waste your money on it. I look at it as similar to opening a book at the bookstore and flipping through the pages to see if I actually want to even buy it.
Do you eat a burger and give it back when you're done to get a refund? Or buy new shoes, wear them for a week and then return them for a refund? It's common sense. If you are buying the ebooks of any author, indie or not, and then return them after reading it, you are STEALING. Plain and simple. It's no different than pirating, with the exception that at least the pirates don't "pretend" to buy your book.
I know that not every book is one you're going to like. And I'm sure not everyone likes my books. But you should have noticed that in the damn SAMPLE! If you read more than that and hate it, too damn bad. That's the story, whether you liked the outcome or not.
Amazon is able to track how many pages you have read. That's how they pay their KU authors. So WHY are they allowing people to read the entire book and return it? Amazon isn't a library! They should be able to see that you read the damn book and tell you to shove it up your ass. Or at least take it, and just keep it ...
Bottom line, it you're a serial returner, or have read a whole book and returned it, you are stealing from us authors and our families. That's not cool and we don't like it.
ETA: I hated to do it, but I went ahead and closed the comments for this post. Everyone has an opinion, and this one is mine. Some great points are made in the comments, some of them even found a way to voice them without sounding self righteous or condescending. I will leave the comments as they are, but I'm not one for online arguments or presumptuous potshots. I too have books to write. Besides, I'm a lover, not a fighter – hence the romance novels.