A fresh Amazon Kindle update will alter the way you read ebooks, and TikTok is to blame

A fresh Amazon Kindle update will alter the way you read ebooks, and TikTok is to blame ...

If you don''t closely follow Amazon Kindle updates or spend too much time on BookTok, the reading-focused site on TikTok, you may not be aware of the ongoing ebook-return drama. However, Amazon has decided to alter its ways of handling its digital books.

Readers should quickly read and then return ebooks on their Kindle, thanks to the automatic returns program, which allows them to get a full refund even if they''d read the whole book.

This did not hurt Amazon, as the readers anticipated, and the action was effectively free of pocket, as it was those who required the refund. Plenty of ebook authors put out statements criticizing this action, and it sounds like Amazon listened (see Twitter here (opens in new tab)and here (opens in new tab), and a change.org petition (opens in new tab) about it here).

1/2 Every time you return an ebook at Amazon, the author is charged back more than what they paid for the sale. Yes, this means we might owe Amazon at the end of the month. Since TikToks went viral, saying its okay to return ebooksJune 3, 2022

In a tweet written by the Author''s Guild (opens in a new tab) and a US-based organization designed to protect authors'' rights, it was confirmed that Amazon''s ebook return policy is changing. If you''ve read more than 10% of them before, you''ll now be limited to automatic returns.

If you''ve read 11% or more of a book, you can still file a return, but it''ll be reviewed by a physical person, according to the Author''s Guild. This will be a good deterrent to prevent people from using the system.

There are still some things to be clarified collections of poems or short stories, which you might jump around in, or refer to as having read more than 10% if you just read one excerpt half-way through them, and it''s unclear how straightforward it will be to receive a refund through this manual system. However, it''s a step in the right direction.

Analysis: good or bad for readers?

10% is a lot of pages if you''re reading Edward Gibbon''s The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire for some reason, which has already had over 500 pages in itself. However, for novellas or shorter texts, the difference between 10% and 11% might be a tragic page-turn.

This change is undoubtedly beneficial to authors, and it means that opportunistic and bad-faith readers will no longer be able to use the system for a free reading without spending any money. However, more authors will be able to rely on their writing to help themselves, which is excellent news for literature.

It''s not as good news for your regular readers, who may actually get around 15% of their money into a book before discovering it''s just not for them, and want to return their income.

It''s certain that readers were involved in dumping the mickey who we have to blame for this change, as the TikTok trend (and other users who did the same we can''t solely blame this one community of readers) is likely to transform this small flaw of Amazon''s return policy into a bigger problem.

This change might alter how some people read books, causing them to be more wary of their book progress percentage (which is displayed on Kindle ereaders) than they otherwise would be, in order to make a decision on whether or not they''ll progress beyond 10%. However, if it means authors may continue to write, perhaps it''s a positive after all.