I Do Not Write For Free

Have you ever been asked to work for free? Or have you ever been asked to write for free? Well, that happens sometimes. But never like this.

There’s a story going around right now that I’ve seen a couple times in the last two days about a woman who returned someone’s ebook to Amazon after reading it, then telling the author that it was good, but it should be free. Apparently, she’s done this a lot. She was blocked and reported for abusing the Amazon return system, and then she became quite nasty. She was caught cheating the system, and she was not happy. Read the whole story here. It’s worth reading it.

I’ve mentioned this before when talking about ebook pricing, but I will not sell books on Amazon for free. Even $0.99. Too little, I think. You see, writing and selling the books is a job. It’s just like someone making crafts and selling them. They don’t just give them away, they sell them. Artists don’t make a painting, then give it away. They sell it. Authors are no different. We would like to be paid for our work.

So for things like this to happen, it’s a shame. I can’t believe some people will go to these lengths to buy a book, read it, then get a refund, even though they liked it. Some people can be so dishonest. Unbelievable.

What do you think about this situation? Do you think Amazon should allow ebooks to be returned? Let me know in the comments below.


29 thoughts on “I Do Not Write For Free”

  1. Have to say, I’ve returned books on amazon twice, but only because I realised they were the wrong books. I didn’t realise that you could return them after you’ve read them, I thought Amazon would be able to track what % you had read. Working for free is certainly not good enough. Perhaps if Amazon had to pay the refund, they wouldn’t be so keen on the idea.

    1. I doubt Amazon would pay the refund. I can’t see them changing the system to do that.

      Of course, I can understand returning the books if you made a mistake. That shouldn’t be a problem.

  2. I can’t believe how some people deliberately try to rip hard working people off. What has happened to their moral belief system that makes them think this is okay?

  3. I don’t agree with the return policy. If you buy a book in a bookshop, you can’t take it back later, and ebooks should be no different. I’ve lost income from people returning books I have written, now on Kindle. It’s not the way to get me to write more books.

    1. I’m not 100% sure that’s true — about you CAN’T return a physical book — or if it’s just an assumption we make. A different medium but, many years ago (in UK) I bought a DVD and took it back based on the content (I knew it was classed as ‘erotica’ but it was more like horror – they chopped a man’s tallywhacker off!). Anyway, I complained (and I’m pretty librally minded, so it must have been bad) as this was in no way hinted at on the cover or blurb, and they refunded the money.
      It put me off porn for life. lol. Seriously.

      1. Haha. I have returned a DVD, as well. But it wasn’t because of content, it was because there was an AOL CD inside instead of a movie! They didn’t believe me, but I was insistent. I got a replacement copy. But I’ve also returned an HD DVD movie, because I didn’t have HD DVD. I had Blu-ray.

  4. You are not allowed to return a video game after opening why should you be allowed to return an e-book? That’s horrible. Some people have so much gall.

  5. Amazon has never made a secret of the fact that it puts customers first. In that sense, its returns police is a ‘good thing’ for ordinary, honest customers, especially given how many scammers are publishing complete junk…and getting away with it.

    Unfortunately, just as there are scammers taking advantage of Amazon systems to cheat customers, there are also customers taking advantage of the Amazon system to cheat authors.

    I, personally, have never returned an ebook, even though 2 [out of hundreds] were either scams or the next best thing. Nevertheless, I think it’s good that the option is there.

    Maybe what Amazon needs is a kind of ‘3rd arm’ that investigates reports of abuses. I know they do a kind of big picture investigation already, but that isn’t enough. They need to invest in real people to police their own rules.

  6. People always want free. But reading a book then returning it as if at the library is ridiculous. Stores won’t let you return other forms of entertainment, movies, video games, etc, why would they let you do this with books? I like the idea that if Amazon wants to allow a return they are the ones who should be paying for it.

    1. I wish they would, but unlikely. Or they could have a set of rules for returns. If the person read the entire book, it cannot be returned. However, if the book itself was a scam, then it should be investigated.

      1. Not sure – if the book was awful quality-wise, I think the reader should be allowed their money back. Or, maybe, to protect both sides, only a 50% refund, or something, because whatever way it goes someone wouldn’t be getting a fair deal. 50/50 seems an acceptable compromise.

  7. I meant to come back to this so here I am. They definitely should not have allowed that, especially since she said she liked it. That woman is terrible. If she wants free books, she should hit up a library. She can read and return those free of charge.

    1. I agree. And it seems that person has been reported several times by several authors, but I guess she makes new accounts all the time. Sounds like a troll. I wonder if she ever goes to the library.

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