Friday, September 21, 2012

Returning Ebooks and Friday Photo

In the real world, a physical book can be returned if not read. Should ebook returns be allowed?

Ebooks cost much less than physical books, often between $2.99 - $6.99, so the investment isn't huge. Before purchasing an ebook, the buyer is also allowed to read a sample - often several chapters. The buyer knows what he or she is getting before spending money.

And yet ebook returns happen.

Other electronic downloads are not refundable, such as movies and music. This is to prevent someone from downloading an album or movie, copying it, and then returning the original file. 

But an ebook could also be copied and returned. A buyer could also read an entire book and return it.

My question to you, as authors and readers - should ebook returns be allowed?

And now, your Friday photo as we welcome the first day of autumn...


29 comments:

estrella05azul said...

Hmm, didn't even know that was possible.
I only know what I personally do, and that's not bu books when I can't afford to. More often than not, even the $2 price range for an e-book is too high for me. So I end up looking for times when an e-book is free for a day or two (read some lovely fiction like this!).
But I'd never consider returning one, even if I didn't enjoy it.

Love that fall photo, such pretty colors!

estrella05azul said...

PS: that's supposed to be "not buY" :)

Laura Marcella said...

I don't think so; it seems to be the same thing as movies and music, like you said. Authors are always getting ripped off, haha.

Have a great weekend, Diane, and happy autumn!!!

Jai Joshi said...

I don't think ebook returns should be allowed. That's taking the biscuit.

Jai

Stacey said...

No, I don't think it should be allowed. Customers have enough time to make an informed decision - like you said, they can read the sample etc.

And if they read the whole book and still return it... Well, that just sucks!

Kyra Lennon said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Kyra Lennon said...

I don't really see a good reason to allow it. Customers can download a massive sample and that should be more than enough to decode whether they want to keep reading. :)

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

I've never returned one and don't think it should be allowed. If someone can't afford to risk three bucks, then maybe they shouldn't be spending money on eBooks.

Jennifer Shirk said...

No, I don't think so either. Most books allow you to read a sample, so I don't see the point.
There has to be some kind of regulation with that.

Clarissa Draper said...

I didn't know you could return an e-book. However, I don't think you should unless it has so many formatting issues it makes it unreadable.

shelly said...

Nothing that can be electronically downloaded should be returned.

Hugs and chocolate,
Shelly

http://secondhandshoesnovel.blogspot.com/2012/09/the-be-otching-blurb.html

L. Diane Wolfe said...

I don't think ebook returns should be allowed, but they happen. Amazon is worst culprit.

Summer Ross said...

It's the same concept with print books correct? I haven't really put much thought into it.

Kristie Cook said...

It irks me to no end that ebook returns are allowed, especially when they have a full week to do so. Pretty much any book can be read within a week and most within a few days for avid readers. They can also be easily stripped of DRM, copied and pirated, then returned within that time frame. They shouldn't be allowed and it baffles me why they are. But what can/do we do about it?

J.L. Campbell said...

Nice picture.

I've downloaded sample chapters of most of the books I've bought on Amazon and three chapters are more than enough to tell me if I'm going to enjoy each book.

I'm alarmed, reading Kristie's comment above. A couple of days should be good enough I think, but I agree that a book can be read in no time, if it's well-written.

I've seen a couple of returns over the past few months, but they are rare. Dunno what happens with them. I'm guessing that Amazon wipes them from one's Kindle?

Steven said...

This has been one of my pet peeves! It seems returns come in waves, but I don't know why. You bring up a good point that other electronic media is non-returnable. I strongly suspect many people read through ebooks quickly and then return them, which is completely dishonest. Some people don't appreciate the hard work that goes into producing a well-written book.

Karen Lange said...

Love the picture! And love this weather too. :)

Hadn't thought about ebook returns. Hmm, good question. I guess I would lean toward no.

LD Masterson said...

I don't think they should be returnable. However, in case of e-book gifts, I thing some provision for exchanges in case of a duplicate would be appropriate.

Love the photo.

M Pax said...

Maybe they download by mistake? Shrug. But if that's so, the same policy should apply to movies and music.

Author Trace A. DeMeyer said...

Definitely not, unless there is a glaring problem with the ebook layout and design or missing text -which should have been caught prior...but wasn't. Which leads me to my question: shouldn't we receive a free Kindle book if it's ours? They say no.

RHYTHM AND RHYME said...

Never having had the equipment for an ebook I can't comment. Love the Autumn picture.

Yvonne.

L. Diane Wolfe said...

Kristie, all we can do is complain, and the more that sound off against it, the more those retailers will take notice.

J.L., since Amazon has control over one's Kindle, that's exactly what happens.

M Pax, Itunes has a 15-minute 'buyer's remorse' return slot, which is acceptable. Amazon allows returns a week later. That is too long.

Trace, I'm not sure I follow your question?

Susan Gourley/Kelley said...

I've wondered the same thing. I noticed on Amazon someone had returned one of my books. It doesn't seem like something that should be permitted.

Susanne Drazic said...

I do not think that ebooks should be returned. You are allowed to read sample chapters, you can read reviews of the book and you can read the book blurb, all before you spend any money on the ebook.

Beautiful autumn picture.

Ciara said...

I don't understand why e-book returns are allowed. Love the picture! Fall is my favorite time of year.

TerryLynnJohnson said...

No, I don't think that should be allowed!

I love your photo, the trees are brilliant with colours here.

Annalisa Crawford said...

I've never returned a book in any format. It seems odd to me. If I haven't enjoyed it, I put it to one side. Why would you return a book - because you didn't like the ending? Isn't it a bit like wearing a dress then returning it because your friend didn't think it suited you?

Sherry Ellis said...

I didn't know it was possible, but it seems silly that ebooks should be returned. If you don't like the book, consider it a two dollar loss and move on.

michelle said...

E-book returns? Doesn't seem right...
I love that photo... it captures the essence of one of my favourite songs - Autumn Leaves...