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Thread: $5 Wasted

  1. #1
    Senior Member Gilfindel's Avatar
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    $5 Wasted

    I went on a business trip this week and grabbed a couple of e-books from Amazon to pass the time on the plane. One of them was a paranormal urban fantasy thing that looked like it might be a pleasant read. Sadly, it proved to be an excellent example of why self-published authors really need an impartial second opinion before they hit that "submit" button.

    The characters were clichéd and sketchy, the plot was obscure, the dialog was awkward, and the narrative was verbose and repetitive. I got through the first 80 pages or so, and then I couldn't take it anymore. I didn't care about the heroine or her situation, and I found myself cringing every time I turned the page, wondering what new literary horror awaited me. This is one of only a handful of books I've read over the years that I couldn't force myself to finish.

    I've been pretty good at picking out books that I enjoy based on the blurbs, and this one had promise. It also had a decent number of very positive ratings, so I thought I was in good shape. Fortunately, I'm only out of pocket by about $5, but how the heck did a book this awful get rated so high?

    I won't impugn the author's reputation here, unless you're on the verge of purchasing a paranormal urban fantasy, but I felt the need to vent a bit. If only he or she (I can't actually tell from the author's name) had come here first for some advice...



  2. #2
    Rogue Mutt
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    If it was less than a week ago you can probably return it and get your money back.

  3. #3
    Senior Member Gilfindel's Avatar
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    Near as I can tell, Amazon doesn't allow refunds for downloaded digital content. The money's not a big deal; I'm just irritated at being misled about the quality of the book. Lesson learned...

  4. #4
    Senior Member John Oberon's Avatar
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    It's my understanding that eauthors often get their friends and family to rate the book highly to try to increase sales. But if the blurb's well-written, and the rating's good, what can you do? I tend not to buy ebooks if there's not a decent chunk of it to sample.

  5. #5
    Rogue Mutt
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gilfindel View Post
    Near as I can tell, Amazon doesn't allow refunds for downloaded digital content. The money's not a big deal; I'm just irritated at being misled about the quality of the book. Lesson learned...
    On Amazon you go to "Manage My Kindle" and it brings up the list of books you've bought. Then under the one you don't want go to "Actions" and you can select "Return for Refund." But it has to be within a few days, maybe up to a week. If you want to cheat the system you can read the book in that time and get your money back or copy it to your hard drive, get a refund, and then put it back on your Kindle later. I suspect a few people have done that with my books, which I equate to taking money out of a beggar's cup. I mean it's literally taking 35 cents out of my pocket.

  6. #6
    Administrator Wickett's Avatar
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    $5? That's about how much the coke machines are at the airport. Think of all that sweet carbonation that could have been rushing through you instead of a terrible urban fantasy book. Heh. You're right though, lesson learned. At least it passed some time I suppose.

    Quote Originally Posted by Rogue Mutt
    f you want to cheat the system you can read the book in that time and get your money back or copy it to your hard drive, get a refund, and then put it back on your Kindle later. I suspect a few people have done that with my books, which I equate to taking money out of a beggar's cup. I mean it's literally taking 35 cents out of my pocket.
    That's absurd. Does that actually happen very often?

  7. #7
    Senior Member Gilfindel's Avatar
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    Thanks for the pointer, Mutt, I would never have spotted that. Unfortunately, it looks like I just missed the window on getting a refund for that book. I have the option on a more recent purchase, but not on that one. Oh, well, no big loss. and I'm prepared for any future literary atrocities that sneak past my filter.

  8. #8
    Rogue Mutt
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wickett View Post
    That's absurd. Does that actually happen very often?
    On average once or twice a month I'd say.

  9. #9
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    That stinks. You really can't tell sometimes. There are books that I have gotten on Kindle for free that I actually loved when other people have hated it. Yes, the person needed a good editor but the story itself was good. But some people can't see beyond the mistakes. Oh well, their loss. When I read a book on Kindle, I always give it an honest review. So if you read any of my reviews on Amazon for books, you can be certain that my reviews are my true feelings of them.

  10. #10
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    If Amazon can detect a relationship between the author and the person submitting a review they will not accept the review. I know this first hand when someone I knew bought a short read and tried to submit a review. The author was someone they knew and had bought a gift for. Amazon caught this immediately an rejected the review.

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