Now.... I'm not related to Stephen Hawking or anything, but to me this seems a bit of a hasty move. There are categories that you can list your book under, plainly stating what it's about. Therefore, the adult is responsible for making the decision whether or not to buy.
If they're worried about children seeing these titles.... where are the parental controls? You get them on your pc, your laptop, your TV for God's sake. So surely the answer is to categorize the titles correctly and make sure the ones you don't want your kiddies wandering across are locked down tight and they can't get into them! The answer is not to remove the author's right to sell and the reader's right to buy!
There is, however, another issue with Amazon that seems to slip through the cracks and, as the author, we have to just bite our tongues and put up with it. What is that issue? The legitimate theft of an e-book.
There is a 30 day returns policy on everything on Amazon, including e-books. Although there are some things they won't accept the return of....
Amazon.com doesn't accept returns of the following items:
So, you can steal a book, but you can't return live insects, because books aren't important, right?
I may have a little problem with that.
As a self-published author I can keep track of my returns. I can't however keep a track of returns of titles published by Silver or Dreamspinner. There are, however, a group of people out there who purposely buy titles, read them, then return them - and are quite blatant about it. You can't go into Waterstone or Barnes & Noble, or any other book store and say, sorry I didn't like it, can I have my money back. Oh, I get it, it's not a REAL book is it? It's only an e-book, so what does it matter?
I'll tell you when it matters. It matters when my kids ask me for something and I can't give it to them because I've had 20% returns on a title. That's when it matters, when you're messing with my kids. Writing is my passion, that's true, but it's also my business and the way I put food on the table, just like any other working single mother. So if any of you thieves out there are working single mothers... shame on you.
But what has sparked this post today? The release of New York Cowboy today - and the return of 1 copy. It's only 1 copy you say, what the hell is she on her soapbox for?
Yes, it may well be only one copy, but this book is very special to me because it is dedicated to my friend Keith who lost his fight with cancer at the beginning of September, and 20% of the royalties from each copy sold is being donated to the hospice, Roxburgh House, who cared for Keith during his last weeks and continues to care for the countless others who are still waging their war against this awful disease.
So now you're not only willing to steal from me, but from a hospice, too? Yes, today it's 1 copy, but how many are there to follow? Well I can promise you now, I will take into account every return and I will take money out of my own pocket to make sure 20% of my royalties go to Roxburgh House.
Amazon has been so quick to rip the titles from their shelves but, as my friend Tina said, they should be paying more attention to the other policies that slip through the cracks.
So... I hope you enjoyed the book Mr/Ms/Mrs Returner number 1... and I hope you choke on it.
Thank you for listening.