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Good news for authors: Amazon will no longer let people return ebooks after reading them in full.

Jessie Gaynor

September 22, 2022, 2:07pm

In a surprising turn of events, Amazon has done the right thing for once! In this case, the right thing is closing a loophole revealed by a TikTok about “reading hacks.” The hack: reading an entire ebook and then returning it, per a policy that allows readers to return ebooks within seven days of purchase, regardless of the amount read.

The (extremely) obvious problem with the hack is that it penalizes the authors of those books and not Amazon, who will not be penalized by anything short of government regulation (lol). In light of this, the Author’s Guild got involved, and reported today that Amazon had agreed to restrict automatic returns to ebooks where no more than 10 percent of the book has been read. (In order to return an ebook after reading more than 10 percent, customers will have to send in a customer service request—likely a higher barrier to entry for this low-grade scam than most people will willingly vault.)

I’d like to take this opportunity to remind everyone that the Libby app—which allows you to check out ebooks from your local library and read them on your phone, tablet, or ereader—is good for authors, your bank account, and not supporting Jeff Bezos. For more reading hacks like these, follow me on TikTok! (Just kidding, I’d sooner die.)

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