Amazon is apparently making authors pay refunds to customers who bought their books because they’ve gone from self-published to traditionally published. Worrisome. Very worrisome.

Self-Published Authors Helping Other Authors

The answer just might be yes because this is exactly what is happening to Jamie McGuire.  Jamie originally self-published her book Beautiful Disaster and the sales were so good that a publisher wanted the book.  So now the book is with a publisher.  Cool, right?  You’d think so except for this thorn that cropped up.  Amazon is sending out mass emails to people who bought Beautiful Disaster when it was self-published.  Amazon is offering a full refund for the $3.99 price it was when it was self-published PLUS the difference in price that the publisher is charging ($7.99).  And Jamie McGuire is the one paying the bill.  So Jamie is now paying every customer who wants a refund about $8.  Amazon’s not paying it.  She’s made it clear the publisher isn’t behind this.

Here’s Jamie McGuire’s blog post where she tells us what is going on.

My thoughts on this:

So…

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Categories: Random | 29 Comments

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29 thoughts on “

  1. This is hard to believe. I don’t understand why Amazon feels it’s necessary to refund the money. People have already read the book. Shouldn’t matter if the version they read was the self-published one or not.

    • Exactly. I’m really hoping it’s all a big mistake on Amazon’s part. Otherwise … they’re starting down the path to evil megacorporation-ness, and that doesn’t bode well for anyone involved.

  2. I just read this on my Facebook page. The word is spreading like wildfire! This is such a travesty, and oh so worrisome. I already had an issue with contracting to only one entity, but talk about vengeful retaliation on Amazon’s part. I’m appalled beyond words and will undoubtedly never ever use the KDP program, This story just seals the deal. Damn Amazon for being a stupid necessary evil at this point.

    • I’m hoping this will sort itself out. Maybe it was a mistake at their end? Because it doesn’t even make sense as being retaliation — the author’s new publishing house will be selling her book through Amazon, for a higher price than it used to be. So they’ll be making money. It doesn’t make sense for them to do something this stupid.

  3. Thanks for posting this, Michelle. Important information.

  4. I’ve just read the updated version of the post and apparently Amazon are trying to protect themselves because the entire Stones song ‘Satisfaction’ is included in the self-pub version of the book and may be a breach of copyright (not sure how true this is – but just sayin’)….

    • Ahhhh. Very interesting! If that’s true, then I suppose I understand why they’re wary … but is offering refunds out of the author’s pocket the way to go? I’ll have to keep up with this story — I’m really intrigued to see how it ends.

  5. inkspeare

    I love being an Indi author, and truly, I wouldn’t be interested in a contract if the opportunity arised. I think that if I did good on my own, why put constraints in my career. If what I want is more help in the sense of handling many readers, I can always hire people if I am selling so much as to being offered contracts.

    • Yeah, I guess the main appeal with traditional publishing is not having to pay money, and having people around to help you out. Actually, one of the main reasons I’d consider going traditional was if it would up my chances of seeing one of my books turned into a movie. I don’t really know how Hollywood filmmakers decide which books to adapt to the big screen, but I feel like your chances are higher if you’re traditionally published.

  6. Pingback: The Great Zon’s Decree | T. W. Dittmer

    • See, the Rolling Stones thing doesn’t make any sense to me. If it was a copyright issue, Amazon should have nothing to do with it — wouldn’t it be between the author and the artist? I’m pretty sure you sign something when you publish a book confirming that you aren’t using copyright material, so if you are, it’s your fault for not declaring that. I don’t know. This is all very bizarre.

  7. I don’t think there’s any need to panic – at least not until we have the full story. *Continues to dig fall-out shelter just in case*.

  8. Amazon are becoming way scary 😦

    Xx

    • Seriously. And it’s worrisome because they’re the biggest ebook retailer out there, and they aren’t going away any time soon. If they become an evil megacorporation, we’re in trouble.

      • I think they’re going that way though Michelle. I’ve heard 3 horror stories in the last couple of weeks from authors where Amazon have “made a mistake” but that doesn’t help the author 😦

        Xx

  9. Apparently Amazon sent out a follow-up email to say the original was incorrect. There should be no problem. As Ruth Ann suspected, it was a poorly worded email.

    • Now, did they just clarify that they had worded the email poorly, or did they actually take back the refund policy? Because that’s a big difference, especially to the author.

      • In the original post search for “Robin Reul”. Her comment explains it. Also “scbooksnsuch” as another theory.
        All very interesting!

        • So it all boils down to a poorly worded email? Sigh. You’d think a company that makes their living off of selling the written word would be better at writing said words.

          • Not an unreasonable expectation. Then again I’d expect well-worded and error free writing from the guy who fixes my sewerage pipes. Are my standards too high?

            • Lol probably. It’s different if the person writing the letter is actually in the writing profession. Then it’s just sad. Whereas I’d rather my plumber focus his learning expertise on plumbing, rather than how to properly punctuate a sentence 🙂

  10. I would love to see this email or emails. I don’t see where Jamie shared it or if she did. Great to see authors come together with such enthusiasm.

    • We’re a supportive little community, aren’t we? I love being a part of it. And I don’t think Jamie’s posted either of the emails … hopefully she’ll set the story straight soon, so we can all stop being outraged on her behalf 🙂

    • They had a piece of the email posted on the Amazon website for the book, among the customer comments, from what I was told. I never looked at it myself – by the time I came across this, Amazon had already offered its apology email. All the same I think they stand to learn from this. In the future I hope to see communication in this regard to be much clearer and less detrimental to the author.

  11. This is both aggravating and annoying news! And yet, I do wonder if I’ll ever have to contend with it. I guess it just proves that every ray of sunshine carries with it a risk of radiation poisoning!

    • Update: Amazon’s retracted their email — apparently it was just really poor wording on their part. I’m still not sure what was going on with the whole refund thing, but they did retract the email they sent out.

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