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Amazon Moves To Thwart BookTok, As It Tightens Its Ebook Policy

E-commerce Company, Amazon is on the move to limit ebook returns to instances where readers read not more than 30 percent of the book, with the Authors Guild reporting that the change is coming on the heels of complaints that Kindle buyers were returning titles they’d fully read to get a refund. The change is expected to be in full force by the end of 2022.

The Authors Guild further noted that it had reached a deal with the book platform after it had reached a compromise with the Amazon executives. It would be recalled that earlier this year, individual authors have raised concerns about an uptick in returns, averring that Amazon would bill them for royalties made from the books. Some of the authors in a press release blamed it on video platform, TikTok, even as they accused ‘BookTok’ influencers of encouraging people to get free books by first buying them and returning them. Amazon on its own had earlier responded to the practice by positing that it had “policies and mechanisms in place to prevent our ebooks returns policy from being abused”, but the company fell short of responding to a request for comment on the pending change.

But Book readers still have the opportunity to return books hey have read larger portions of on Amazon, with the Authors Guild saying that such categories of people would need to send a customer service request that would be manually reviewed, noting that it could subject buyers to penalties if they habitually abuse it.

Over the years, liberal return policies by book platforms have turned to a perpetual dispute for authors and creators and it would be recalled that audio-book platform, also owned by Amazon, Audible had modified a rule deducting royalty for titles returned or exchanged within a year from the purchase date, but after change, authors kept royalties for anything returned after seven days.

In a similar vein, game developer, Emika Games had last year noted that the Steam storefront’s two-hour return policy penalized users who created short games by allowing players buy, complete, and return them.

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