The unkindest cut of all - Karen Bush

Trolls are just jealous ...
(Pic: John Bauer, 1915)

          Much has been said about reviews, both positive and negative, and the horror of trolls and  spiteful authors out to promote themselves while simultaneously dissing your own work ... But recently I had a response to one of my books which made me gasp in disbelief. It was the cruelest review I've ever received - and without a single word being written
          As you all know, Amazon enables you to follow your sales on a daily, weekly and monthly basis: and also to see whether any have been returned for a refund by disgruntled customers. Fair enough - tastes differ, and not everyone will like your work.
          But what really took my breath away was that the book which was returned for refund was on a free promo at the time. Wow. The person could just have deleted it: after all, it had cost nothing to download. But no, he or she had to make a point of returning it. That hurt. You must really have to hate a book to return a free one.
It Only Happens in Stories

Haunting Hounds
( If you want to leave a review for any of my e-books, that would be lovely. But please remember, it's my birthday this month, so you're not allowed to say anything horrid ...)

The Great Rosette Robbery
The Principles of Teaching Riding:
Official ABRS Manual


Chris Longmuir said…
Don't take it to heart, Karen, maybe it was a mistaken buy. It's all too easy to click on 'buy', instead of 'close' when you are doing the 'Read Inside', I know because I've done it in the past. The 'Close' button of the 'Read Inside' matches up with the 'Buy' button on the page. I don't buy every book that I take a look at with the 'Read Inside' option, even if it's a free offer, but I've been caught out by this and had to return a book I didn't want, although I did it within a few minutes of clicking the button. So, hold your head on high and tell yourself someone bought it by mistake.
Guernsey Girl said…
Hi Karen - please accept the Sunshine Blog Award to brighten your day - and your birthday, of course!
Bill Kirton said…
I prefer to think that it was a budding entrepreneur who hasn't quite grasped the basic principles of the accumulation of money which is such a prized talent in our society. Download a free book, return it and get paid the cover price for doing so. If only it were that simple.

Seriously, though, I don't get the aberrant 'return if not satisfied' policy anyway. Don't worry, Karen, as the adverts (ought to) say 'He/she's NOT worth it'.
Lydia Bennet said…
I was shocked to read the other day a status update from someone, in fact I think it was the writer, recommending people buy a book and saying you can read it fast then return it! I wonder how many folk are doing this? Amazon should keep a check on returns, and people who return over a certain percentage of books bought, and not on the same day, could be checked on. this is dishonest and losing writers and amazon money. Linda Gillard and I are now compiling (informally) the characteristics of trolls and sockpuppets who are constantly varying their methods. However I think this one was either an error as Chris says, or they make a habit of returning books and just did it automatically without recalling it had been free. This kind of action would not be public so would not satisfy the troll/sockpuppet urge to hurt sales to other readers.
madwippitt said…
Thanks for the award Guernsey Girl! Has made me smile!
Susan Price said…
These returners are obviously not real readers, so not our core market. What real reader ever lets go of a book they've enjoyed even a little bit? - And I've read Karen's Haunting Hounds and The Great Rosette Robbery, and enjoyed them no end. They're staying on my kindle.
I do think this was probably an error. (Let's be generous about it anyway!) But it is relatively easy to make a mistake, as Chris says. I suspect that Amazon is already well aware of who buys a book, reads it ALL and asks for a refund. Big Brother (or should that be Sister) knows everything. If you phone them with a problem, it's a bit disturbing how much they DO know about what is going on on your Kindle right now. The only book I've ever returned for refund was 50 Shades. I read a quarter of it and thought if she mentioned her Inner Goddess or his pants hanging off his hips one more time I would break my Kindle, so I sent it back. I sometimes wonder how many people did the same!
madwippitt said…
Thanks for all the kindly comments - but it wasn't the fact that it was returned that made me smart - it was the fact that it was FREE and they returned it instead of simply deleting it. It wasn't as though they were going to get a refund ...

(And Catherine - the charity shops are beginning to overflow with 50 Shades ... I even saw a stack neatly piled on the pavement outside one recently ...)
Anonymous said…
Uh, Happy Birthday? (Don't know the right day.)

Clueless person, obviously, to return something received free UNLESS person also left nasty review. Which might imply they didn't like your book. :)

OTOH, at least they downloaded it - they might have liked it.

Don't worry, Amazon knows how much said person paid for the book - they don't get rich by refunding full cover price for something they KNOW wasn't paid for. The nice part about it is that you don't have to locate your sales receipt - they already have it.

About Amazon knowing how much you read - that part of the algorithm may not work right. If I don't like a book, I will often go read the last chapter or two to confirm I don't like it. So it may show as 'read through to the end' when all I did was the equivalent of fast-forwarding to the end. Unless they also measure your speed of reading, which would be truly scary!

I've only returned ONE book in well over 60 purchased - and that was for very, very bad formatting.

Look at it this way: the return gave you a blog post!


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