TikTok Readers Stealing from Authors, Amazon’s Shady E-Book Return Policy, and more…

Finally, a Novel That Gets the Internet Right (Wired)

The Novelist takes place over a single morning, following an unnamed writer as he faffs around on social media while his girlfriend sleeps in their apartment; he occasionally fiddles with novels in progress in Google Docs. That’s it. The first 16 pages describe the protagonist looking at Twitter in minute-by-minute detail, thinking inane thoughts like “my Twitter was horrible—Twitter in general was horrible.”

‘Queer, hilarious and full of joy’: the rise of LGBTQ+ romance fiction (The Guardian)

“Whenever I saw queer women represented, which was almost never, it always ended in tragedy,” says author Adiba Jaigirdar. “Even more than that, I never saw queer Muslim women represented or queer women of colour.” In a sign that this trend will continue, Jaigirdar releases her novel, Donut Fall in Love, next year. It sounds delightfully messy: Bangladeshi-Irish teen Shireen goes on a baking show with her ex-girlfriend and another girl on whom she develops a crush.

New York Public Library giving out 500,000 free books this summer (The Hill)

The New York Public Library is giving out half a million books to keep for free as part of its “Summer at the Library” program. New York city kids, teens and their families can stop at any of the public library systems’ 92 locations to pick up books in order to start or build on their home libraries. The goal of the book giveaway is to help spark a lifelong love of reading and learning, library officials said, and to help fight against “summer slide” when students forget some of what they have learned in school during the months of vacation.

Amazon Needs to Change (Medium)

While this practice has been going on for a long time, things started escalating because of a TikTok trend. Since the launch of the #ReadAndReturnChallenge trend, many authors have reported that their ebooks are being returned in droves! Yesterday, I spent most of my afternoon on Twitter chatting to fellow indie authors about the Amazon rule, and came across the petition below. If you are an indie author and/or just want to show your support, I encourage you to sign it and spread the word.

TikTok Users Are Showing Readers How To Game Amazon’s Ebook Return Policy (Vice)

A TikTok trend where users encourage others to purchase, read, and return Amazon ebooks within the company’s return policy window has irked independent authors, who claim to have seen dramatic spikes in their ebook return rates since the trend went viral. The #ReadAndReturn challenge drew attention to Amazon’s Kindle return policy, which states that readers can “cancel an accidental book order within seven days.” But what’s been presented as a literary community “life hack” is hurting romance-fantasy authors like Lisa Kessler’s bottom line. 

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