For no known reason, readers who want to buy an ebook title by Hachette, HarperCollins, Macmillan, Penguin, Random House or Simon & Schuster from Amazon are currently unable to. For the Kindle edition of such mega-hit best-sellers as Gone Girl, Fifty Shades of Grey and Reflected in You, Amazon.com simply says “pricing information not available.”
UPDATE: From an Amazon spokesperson, “The Kindle Store is experiencing a technical issue. We’re working to correct it.”
UPDATE 2: Per another Amazon spokesperson as of about 7:00 AM Eastern Time on Thurs. Nov. 9, the issue has been fixed. We’ve checked and can confirm the buy-buttons have returned.
The issue was first highlighted by Publishers Lunch news editor Sarah Weinman on Twitter around midnight: “Reports coming in of Amazon removing buy buttons from titles by Penguin, Random House, Hachette, Macmillan, Harper, S&S. Any other pubs?”
Many of her nearly 180,000 followers responded with information and questions.
“Seems to be Kindle buy buttons only. And US only, not UK,” tweeted @melissawiley.
“Do we have any indications that this is intentional and not a temporary technical snafu?” asked @seanchercover.
The official Amazon Kindle Twitter accounts are mum on the issue.
A request to comment sent to Amazon spokespeople has not yet been answered See comment in the update above from an Amazon spokesperson. A Tweet from @DigiBookWorld to @AmazonKindle has not yet elicited a response. We will keep you updated as we learn more.