If you are actively involved in the book world then you have seen the uproar the past few weeks. Indie authors facing unprecedented times as a new TikTok trend (#BookTok) has taken the internet by storm.
For those of you that don't know, Indie Authors have been utilizing TikTok to meet new followers and some have even seen a jump in sales from the app.
In this BookTok trend, influencers have shown the world how to abuse the Amazon return policy and Indie Authors are paying the price!
BookTokers scream that Indie Authors are "entitled" and claim that they return the books after consuming them because can't afford Indie Authors e-books, most are only priced as high as $3.99.
Indie Authors know that if they go any higher than their books will most likely go untouched. While that book may cost 3.99, Indies are lucky if they see a $1.50-$2.00 of it as a royalty.
They continue to claim that it is not their responsibility to worry about Indie Author's finances as well.
What these Booktokers don't understand is that essentially what they are doing is piracy (ie. stealing). Indie Authors are self published which means every dime comes out of their pockets.
All the beautiful book covers, editing, formatting and marketing that it takes to make their books seen comes straight out of their own pockets.
It is also to note that Indie Authors write some of the most diversified stories that you cannot get from traditionally published authors. And if there's one thing Indie authors can't stand, it's piracy. This author has personally known in her five years in the community of the struggles Indie Authors fight daily against piracy on fake websites.
Most Indie Authors only see a few returns here and there, maybe 4 at most a month; that is until now. Now it is being reported that there have been return numbers as high as 110 and those number are still rising!
Indie Authors immediately started to voice their frustrations and concerns that fell on deaf ears with Amazon. While other authors began pulling their books from the platform and switching over to another publishing source such as Draft to Digital.
Across social medias, like Facebook, it became abundantly clear that all these authors were heading into a battle and the only way to win was to unite as one to take on Amazon.
Different voices sounded on how to take on this issue. There has been an online petition that has gain upwards of 34,000 signatures.
Mandy Melanson went on facebook in support of her fellow Indie Authors to tell them this: "STOP TALKING TO THEM ABOUT how it affects YOU and START TALKING TO THEM about how it'll AFFECT THEM."
Also to note, many faithful and loyal readers have rallied to the support of Indie Authors.
In the end, it remains to be seen what will happen exactly between Amazon and the Indie Authors battle but one thing is for sure is that it has garnered attention of everyone worldwide it seems.
What should you do if you're an Indie Author affected by this?
It is also encouraged that Indie Authors use your KDP dashboard. At the bottom of the page, use the contact button and send there as well. Make sure to provide proof of the returns to Amazon.
Until next time Dear Indie readers. Please support your Indie Authors in this time.