Should cash refunds be allowed for ebooks?

Should cash refunds be allowed for ebooks?

I read a comment online a good few weeks back where someone sent an email to an author asking when her next book would be out. He even went further to admit that he requested a refund after reading the first book as he didn’t feel he should pay for it.

Not sure why, but I’ve found myself asking the question: should cash refunds be allowed for ebooks?

As a self published author, I dedicate a considerable amount of time soliciting for reviews for my books. In addition to the reviews, retailers like Amazon have a look inside feature that allows potential readers to read the first few pages of a book to see if it meets their needs.

Now if after reading the reviews and the first few pages, a reader decides to buy that ebook, should that person still be entitled to a full cash refund for simply changing his/her mind? Considering that an ebook is a digital product, once received it has theoretically been consumed.

In the UK, there are a lot of retailers that do not give cash refunds. Instead they give you a gift card/credit note to use to make another purchase. One of the conditions for refund is that the product has not been used and is returned in its original packaging undamaged if you simply change your mind.

With a digital product, reading the book in my opinion is consuming it. No one goes to a restaurant, eats a plate of food completely and asks for a refund. So why should ebooks be any different? Wouldn’t it be in line with what other retailers are doing to say that a gift card be issued to be redeemed against another book written by that author?

Join the discussion

What are your thoughts on this? Should cash refunds be allowed for ebooks if people simply change their minds? Please leave a comment below.

I posed this question on Goodreads, here’s what others had to say.

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