On Amazon sales, Returned books, and negative royalties.

It’s been a while since I posted a rant piece, LOL. I’ll try to stay calm while I write this but for the record: I’m seriously pissed.

Okay, a little back story to set the scene.

I had a book sale this month – I put my Matchmaker novel MIX AND MATCH

on sale for 99 cents for 2 weeks. The regular price is $2.99. Didn’t sell a million copies, hee hee, but didn’t do too bad for little unknown me. So, what you need to know is that when you put a book on sale on Amazon for 99 cents, that means your profit or royalty for the sale is 35 cents. You can imagine that I am not getting rich writing and doing this, folks, because I am not. In order to make ANY money I’d need to sell millions of copies at 35 cents.

Not happening.

Now. The book was 99 cents, which in all reality is a ridiculous price for the months of work, blood, sweat, and many sleepless nights that went into writing it. But the fact is readers won’t spend a lot of money on writers they don’t know, so offering a sale price like this is a way to garner new readers.

Back to money. So, 35 cents a copy is all I make on the sale. Here’s the rant part. I had people RETURN the book after reading it. RETURN IT! A 99 cent book!

#WTF

And to add insult to injury on this one, Amazon charges me 41 cents on the return, so I not only lost the 35 cents royalty, I also had to pay Amazon for the pleasure of having one of my books returned.

I can’t decide who I’m madder at: Amazon for the extra charge or the reader who thought reading a book and returning it was a good idea. I’m not the lending library, folks. Neither are the other writers this happens to all the time.

Now I can see if you clicked on the buy option by mistake. We’ve all done that. But this isn’t the case here. There are literally hordes of readers who buy a book, read it, and then return it for no other reason than they want to.

Understand why I’m pissed now?

I had a good friend ask me on Facebook this morning if I thought people ordered it and realized they didn’t want it and then returned it, or if they didn’t realize when their kindle asked them after they finished the book if the choice REMOVE THE DOWNLOAD meant they were, in fact, returning the book and not just moving it out of their digital library. Or, her third option was, are they just evil.

I’m hoping it’s option number two. They don’t realize clicking REMOVE THE DOWNLOAD returns the book to amazon. I’m trying to hope human nature isn’t all that greedy that 99 cents needs to be put back in their coffers.

I’m not hopeful, though, that’s true. I kinda think option 3 is the more truthful one.

Le sigh….. don’t think you’ll get rich if you become a writer, kids. Winning Powerball is easier.

A little clarification: if when you click on the end of your kIndle book it says DELETE PERMANENTLY FROM YOUR device, that is the return. If I just says Remove from your library, that’s not.

3 Comments

Filed under Writing

3 responses to “On Amazon sales, Returned books, and negative royalties.

  1. Thank you for ranting about what we are all feeling.
    Tweeted.

    Like

  2. This is terrible, Peggy. Amazon has taken over the publishing world and they don’t play nice. Thank you for sharing. Hope you feel better after venting.

    Like

  3. I don’t know how Amazon allows this to happen. I checked and this isn’t even an option for Amazon CA customers. It shouldn’t be allowed to happen. Good for you for ranting, Peg.

    Like

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