Amazon’s updated e-book return policy looks like a big win for authors. English • Deutsch

Amazons aktualisierte E-Book-Rückgaberichtlinie sieht wie ein großer Gewinn für Autoren aus. English • Deutsch

Article by Sam Rutherford on

https://www.engadget.com/about/editors/sam-rutherford/

Sam RutherfordSenior Writer, Reviews
September 24, 2022, 3:10 am

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English

Anyone who has been taking advantage of Amazon’s liberal return policy regarding e-books could soon be in for a shock. That’s because following discussions with the Authors Guild, Amazon has agreed to block automatic returns on digital books that are more than 10 percent read.

Currently, the problem for authors on Amazon is that customers can return e-books online anytime within seven days of purchase no matter how much content has been consumed. That means if you can you read a book in less than a week, you can simply return it when you’re done for free, resulting in a loss of profits for the author.

However, under the new policy which is scheduled to go into effect sometime before the end of the year 2022, Amazon will begin blocking automatic returns on e-books that are more than 10 percent read, which will then need to be reviewed by a representative to ensure that the return is genuine. The Authors Guild says the goal is to create a deterrent for people who abuse Amazon’s current policy and to prevent people from treating Amazon’s e-book marketplace as an ersatz library.

Issues with Amazon’s e-book return policy date back more than a decade, but had recently come under fire again after lifehacks about the company’s guidelines began circulating online. And according to NPR, in some cases, abuse of the company’s return policy even resulted in some authors having negative earnings balances, which typically happened when customers returned an e-book after the creator had been paid out by Amazon.

Thankfully, after concerns were raised by both the Authors Guild and the Society of Authors in the UK earlier this year, it seems Amazon has finally decided to update its policy, with the Authors Guild posting a statement thanking the company for “taking good faith action” against returns abuse.

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Deutsch

Wer als Leser die liberale Rückgabepolitik von Amazon in Bezug auf E-Books ausgenutzt hat, könnte bald einen Schock erleben. Das liegt daran, dass Amazon nach Gesprächen mit der Authors Guild zugestimmt hat, automatische Rücksendungen für digitale Bücher zu blockieren, die zu mehr als 10 Prozent gelesen worden sind.

Derzeit besteht das Problem für Autoren bei Amazon darin, dass Kunden E-Books jederzeit innerhalb von sieben Tagen nach dem Kauf online zurückgeben können, unabhängig davon, wie viel Inhalt gelesen wurde. Das heißt, wenn Leser ein Buch in weniger als einer Woche lesen, können Sie es einfach zurückgeben, was zu einem kompletten Verdienstausfall für den Autor führt.

Im Rahmen der neuen Richtlinie, die vor Ende des Jahres 2022 in Kraft treten soll, wird Amazon jedoch damit beginnen, automatische Rücksendungen von E-Books zu blockieren, die mehr als 10 Prozent gelesen wurden. Die E-Books werden von Amazon überprüft, um sicherzustellen, dass die Rückgabe berechtigt ist. Die Authors Guild sagt, dass es Ziel sei, eine Abschreckung für Kunden zu schaffen, die die aktuelle Politik von Amazon nutzen, um den E-Book-Marktplatz von Amazon nicht mehr als Ersatzbibliothek missbrauchen zu können.

Probleme mit der E-Book-Rückgaberichtlinie von Amazon reichen mehr als ein Jahrzehnt zurück, waren aber kürzlich wieder unter Beschuss geraten, nachdem Lifehacks über die Richtlinien des Unternehmens online zu berichten begannen. Laut NPR führte der Missbrauch der Rückgaberichtlinie des Unternehmens in einigen Fällen sogar dazu, dass einige Autoren negative Gewinnsalden hatten, was typischerweise der Fall war, wenn Kunden ein E-Book zurückgaben, nachdem der Ersteller von Amazon ausgezahlt worden war.

Nachdem dieser Missstand von der Authors Guild und der Society of Authors in Großbritannien zu Beginn dieses Jahres publiziert wurde, scheint es, dass Amazon beschlossen hat, seine Politik zu ändern. Die Autorenvereinigung hat eine Erklärung veröffentlicht, in der sie dem Unternehmen dafür dankt, dass es die richtigen Maßnahmen ergreifen wird, um den Missbrauch von Rücksendungen zu bekämpfen.

Translation • Übersetzung von Konstantin von Weberg [Nokbew™]
25. September 2022

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Novel ›Journey into Disaster‹ Excerpt Chapter 3.05. ›Devil Dengue‹

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Facts about the novel

  • more than 4 years of research in Asia
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  • more than 220.000 words
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  • German edition published in September 2020
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Journey into Disaster • Chapter 5.00. online • Trouble in the morning •

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5.00.

On Heger’s fourth day of detention his Filipino friend Michael visits him early in the morning.

Excerpt:

….
I do not believe, but suddenly Michael stands on the wire fence. In one hand two cups of coffee, in the other hand a paper bag. Michael is immediately busy with the distribution of cigarettes to the pitiful Inmates after he sits down.

Michael seems tired and not concentrated. His clothes are crumpled and much dirtier than yesterday. I notice that he has not brought additional laundry from Sendong City and put that on my imaginary list: Give Michael money to buy pants and t-shirts.

“Michael, is something wrong?” I ask in rudimentary English.

Michael hesitates as if he avoids the answer. He looks embarrassed. As an Asian he can not leave a question without answer. I know, a simple “yes” or “no” is also difficult for Filipinos. I relax the situation, by asking him for a cigarette and his lighter.

Finally, Michael answers: “Franco!”

“What’s about Franco?”

“He asked me for money. I had given Franco 350 Piso. He said he got only a little money from you.”

I am confused for seconds and do not know how to react. To win time, I drink the last sip of coffee that suddenly tastes bitter: “But I have given Franco 500 Piso and he has taken 2.000 Piso for his school fees, without asking me.”

Michael looks to the ground and is visible searching for words, is nervous, plays and destroys the paper mug: “I was first in the Born Again Church and waiting for Franco and the Pastor. Pastor’s woman told me the two would be at Attorney De Baron. Then they came late, Pastor drunken and Franco had no more money. I have given 350. Then I told them what Lang, Rica and Silvia talked about De Baron. That he has a bad reputation, is not successful in court and always asks for money from his clients. The Pastor and Franco have become wild, loud and very angry. Pastor said that it is not true and I shut my mouth.”

….

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4.06. Important visitors

Heger, an arrested German in the Philippines, has important visitors.

Excerpt:

….
Michael is accompanied by the mothers Rica and Lang. We take chairs, and Michael pulls out the Marlboro as soon as he sits down. The officer accepts with thanks, but I decline, maybe later.

“Tommy, we’ve fried fish for you!” Lang proudly begins the conversation and clumsily arranges her stubborn hair.

Rica adds maternally: “And rice, Tommy, and spicy soy sauce and a few mangoes and bananas.”

Michael takes a large bottle of Coca-Cola and a mug from his bag. The coke is refreshingly cool.

Smoking and drinking coke are really getting threatening lately! Comes on my mind.

I thank the three visitors warmly.

“Tommy, you must be hungry, don’t you?” asks Rica, genuinely concerned.

I don’t want to disappoint the two women, so I don’t talk about lunch in the police office: “I’ll eat later, because I want to talk to you first. How was it in the children’s home? Did you see the children? How are the boys doing? Are they very sad? When can they go home?”

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On the drive from the BSWD children’s home to the police station, Michael, Rica and Lang made an agreement. They do not want to tell anything to Tommy about what they consider to be an immoral suggestion from the social welfare worker Ma’am Solano: “The parents shall file a criminal case against Tommy, to ensure that the children get home quickly.” Rica has the opinion that Tommy has other problems and worries. She said that this is a dubious offer, since the release of the children is in the responsibility of the police or the court and not in the responsibility of the BSWD. Michael suspects that Ma’am Solano’s appearance is a desire for recognition and the attempt to pin down the foreigner as quickly as possible. Therefore, the three visitors do not say any word about their discussion with Ma’am Solano. Rather, they report the positive things.

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“Tommy, the boys have actually made friends,” answers Lang, Jan and Dan’s mother, cheerfully.
….

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4.05. TV, chickens and money

Heger, he is arrested in the Philippines, asks his friends for help and is bitterly disappointed.

Excerpt:

….
Less than a minute later, Frank’s answer comes: “Please don’t get me involved in this story. Ask Wolfgang! He has a commercial bank account. I can send his number if necessary.”

The disappointment is probably written on my face because Franco looks at me confused.

“What’s wrong with Frank? He does not want to help! I want to transfer money over his bank account.”

Franco reacts surprised: “Why?”

“Don’t know! I was thinking he is my friend.”

My cell phone buzzes and I get Wolfgang’s cell phone number. He is a businessman in Sendong City. I know him and consider him as a good acquaintance.

“Well, I have to ask Wolfgang,” I say to Franco and send a message to Wolfgang Schmidt.

Frank’s behavior is strange. I considered him as a good friend and I believed I could rely on him in cases of emergency.

I am very disappointed and have bitter thoughts. What if everyone else says goodbye to me? Family, friends, work colleagues? These thoughts cause restlessness. What if everyone around me doesn’t stay on my side longer? And suddenly I’m here alone. Nailed down in an Asian country, in a rotten and filthy dungeon, in inhumane conditions, far away from home. Damn it, this crazy story needs to end as soon as possible

My thoughts, the growing anger and restlessness seem to have been written on my face again. Franco asks: “Tommy, what’s going on? Are you alright?”

….

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4.04. An immoral proposal

[The parents visit the youth home BSWD.]

Excerpt:

….
Rica Restito, Sam’s mother and her eldest daughter Silvia, she is married here in Tugalm City, and Lang, the mother of the brothers Jan and Dan (Her real name is Lydia Barcella.) want to meet Michael in front of the BSWD premises to visit the social workers and of course their sons. Rica, Silvia and Lang are still waiting for Michael. The three women cooked and fried fish. They also bring rice, fruit, sweets and soft drinks for the boys. For Tommy they have a Tupperware with crispy fried fish, a box with rice and a small box with spicy soy sauce. Michael Kabaltos, he is Phil’s father, and will also represent little Aboy as he is Aboy’s uncle, arrives at the BSWD at noon. He jumps out of the Motorola and flicks away the cigarette butt. The greeting with the women is short and superficial.

“Well, let’s see what the BSWD wants from us,” says Michael mockingly.

The women are visibly nervous, but look rested and recovered. Silvia and Lang are slightly made up. Silvia even corrected her eyebrows.

He points to the bags: “Very good, you have the food for the children with you.”

Silvia replies quickly: “We also cooked for Tommy.”

Rica and Lang nod satisfied.

“You went to see Tommy this morning? How is he?” asks Lang worried.

“He’s fine. I cleaned the cell,” replies Michael proudly and continues: “Tommy had an attorney this morning. I’ve already forgotten the name. The policewomen must have sent that man. Tommy is not enthusiastic, and he certainly won’t hire him. Franco and Attorney De Baron are with Tommy now.”

The group makes their way to the chain-link fence gate. The women talk about attorneys.

“It’s good that Tommy didn’t take this attorney. He’s recommended by the police! What’s that supposed to be?” says Lang indignantly.

….
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Journey into Disaster • Chapter 4.03. online • Oily attorney •

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4.03. Oily attorney

[The next attorney is coming.]

Excerpt:

….
In Officer Sarang’s office Franco and a slightly overweight man are standing at the seating area and have a lively but quiet conversation. The gentleman wears trousers made of fine thread with creases and a yellow polo shirt. His hair is combed back smooth and has a shine from oil or hair wax. The full face is adorned with a delicate Errol Flynn mustache. He wears blue-tinted sunglasses with a thin gold frame, gold chains and a massive signet ring on his right hand. All in all, he looks like a true American mafia boss from old US films.

Franco greets me warmly and introduces the gentleman as Attorney De Baron. As with Attorney Pizarro, De Baron’s belt also has a large bunch of car keys.

Status symbols!

Short hand shaking and we take the seats.

“So you are Mr. Heger, German. I saw the TV report. Stupid thing, Mr. Heger, very stupid thing.”

A young policeman brings some sheets that the attorney studies immediately.

“Tommy, how are you, did you sleep well?” asks Franco concerned.
….
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