The Passive Guy has an interesting thought experiment. I’m not sure if it would ever come to be, but the voluntary aspect of it solves some of the issues that weigh down the used book sales debate and makes it interesting to ponder.
I’m not sure I have a dog in the fight, I grew up utterly dependent on used books and libraries due to my socio-economnic status. I’d not be nearly as well read as I am without.
But this would solve my situation back in the day and still look fair all around, and is worth a read as I haven’t seen it put forward before.
“So, here’s a resulting PG idea.
As a service to authors, when someone buys a used book on Amazon, Amazon would give the purchaser the option of making a donation to the author of the used book. The contribution would be completely optional and the amount would be up to the purchaser. The author donation would be added to the credit card charge at checkout.
The donation option would appear only for authors who signed up with Amazon to participate in the service. Some sort of authentication would be necessary to deter scammers from signing up to receive payments for an author. All payments would go directly to authors, not to their publishers.
Amazon already has the infrastructure necessary to handle small commission payments with its Amazon Associates program. Electronic payments are made monthly to Associates, presumably at minimal cost to Amazon.”