Breaking: Buy Buttons Removed on Amazon for Big Six Ebook Titles; Update: Issue Fixed

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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.

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One thought on “Breaking: Buy Buttons Removed on Amazon for Big Six Ebook Titles; Update: Issue Fixed

  1. Amazon likely did this deliberately. Amazon is upset with the major publishers who have insisted that they will control and set the identical retail price for all eBook retailers and give the retailers a set % (eg 30%) for making the sale, ie the \agency model\. In other words, the major publishers want to consider Amazon and the other retailers as their Agents. This ensures no retailer will have a retail price advantage. However, Amazon is not happy with this approach as it does not allow them to price the eBook, as they deem appropriate, compared to their competitors.

    This week in the European Union this issue was resolved in favor of the Amazon approach and I would think that Amazon will try to insist the same approach will be used in the US.

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