by Mark EganWed Jan 11, 4:07 PM ET
Random House is offering refunds to readers who bought James Frey’s drug and alcohol memoir “A Million Little Pieces” directly from the publisher, following accusations the author exaggerated his story.
Readers calling Random House’s customer service line to complain on Wednesday were told that if the book was bought directly from the publisher it could be returned for a full refund. Those who bought the book at a bookstore were told to try and return it to the store where it was bought.
“If the book was bought directly from us we will refund the purchase price in full,” one Random House customer service told Reuters, adding that readers would have to return the book with the original invoice. “If you bought it at a book store, we ask that you return the book to the book store.”
Only a small portion of consumers buy books directly from publishers. However, the agent said Random House normally sells books to consumers as nonrefundable but is offering refunds on Frey’s book “because of the controversy surrounding it.”
Random House subsequently issued a statement saying it was standard procedure to offer refunds. Bookseller Barnes & Noble Inc. also said it is standard practice to offer refunds for returned books.