Large number of books suddenly not available in US Kindle store?

Large number of books suddenly not available in US Kindle store?

Not sure what is happening here, and how widespread it is.

In this

Amazon Kindle community thread

people were reporting a number of books showing as unavailable in the USA.

The first one I checked was published by Berkley, which is part of Penguin.

So, I checked all the Berkley books: none show as available.

I checked Penguin as a publisher: none show available (and these include some popular books, as do the Berkley ones).

Hm…checking the New York Times bestselling hardback equivalents, it’s not just Penguin. I found one right away from Hachette.

It’s not all books, though. I saw some from Amazon’s inhouse publishers that were there…and some from other publishers.

This may just be a glitch, or it may have to do with repricing, possibly, from the Agency Model. Penguin hasn’t settled on that, though, so I wouldn’t expect them to be affected.

Someone in the thread mentioned being able to download a book from archives: that would make sense, they’ll only disappear from there if the book was withdrawn for legal reasons (such as infringement).

I’ll keep my eye on this. Let me know if you notice anything about it.

Update: I’ve seen involvement with books from several publishers.

Hmm…curiouser and curiouser.

I’ve seen books affected from Random House, Penguin, HarperCollins, Hachette (specifically Grand Central). Macmillan, and Simon & Schuster…that makes all six of the Big Six.

That suggests it isn’t a  negotiating tactic, and I think more likely to be a glitch. I would guess it will be fixed quickly. It could be related to some sort of site update, or I suppose it could be a hack attack. I’m guessing it’s just a technical problem.

Update: things appear to be back to normal this morning, as I expected. It was interesting to see the panic and conspiracy hypotheses (they weren’t far enough along in the process to call them theories at that point) that happened. Undoubtedly, this cost Amazon some money, and I do think we’ll hear something about what happened (although we may not).

All seems good…you may once again 1-click away! 🙂

Update: here’s a

Publishers Weekly article

saying Amazon says it was a glitch. That’s what people had been hearing from Customer Service, and what I suspected. That doesn’t make it true, but it doesn’t seem unreasonable to me.

This post by Bufo Calvin originally appeared in the I Love My Kindle blog.


5 Responses to “Large number of books suddenly not available in US Kindle store?”

  1. Sheryl Painter Says:

    Thanks for the heads up. You take such good care of us!

  2. Tom Semple Says:

    Today’s Daily Deal, “Chocolat,” is a Penguin title. It is not showing up in the Daily Deals on my Paperwhite (it was earlier today), but if I go to with a browser it is listed, but as ‘not available in the US’. Very odd.

  3. Bonniemacon Says:

    What is going on????

  4. emilyhillwriter Says:

    Bufo, I’m in the “you may not” bleachers. It’s been a blood sport watching kdp Amazon stumble since 01 September when many on the Consumer Affairs (Amazon tab) site reported being hacked – coincidentally on the same day that thousands of authors said sales on their brisk-selling eBooks came to a brisk halt.

    Conspiracy? You seem to cast doubt on the conspiracy theories that are abounding – I’m not sure, since I am a new follower if you’re being sardonic, or sarcastic, to scholastic – but you may want to take a look at the hit-count and comments on the kdp Amazon Community Board on the thread ‘Are Your Sales Reporting Normally?’ errr…they are not – on a GLOBAL basis for THOUSANDS of authors over the past ten weeks and Amazon has said nothing in ten weeks to THAT phenom… thus my conclusion that they take the ‘mum’s the word’ position on this “very odd” “glitch” as well.

    Thank you for your blog energies, so appreciated.

    • Bufo Calvin Says:

      Thanks for writing, emilyhillwriter!

      Of the three you’ve offered, I’ll go with “scholastic”. 🙂

      I find the use of “theory” as equivalent to “idea” always a bit imprecise. A hypothesis is proposed, and then tested. A theory has, essentially, already been tested.

      There are many conspiracy theories…the adherents to those believe that they are are able to predict future events based on examination of past events and/or the results of experimentation.

      There are even more conspiracy hypotheses.

      In the case of the books being gone, there wasn’t much data yet.

      I did test a hypothesis that came to me. My hypothesis was that it might be related to the Agency Model. If that was the case, publishers using the Agency Model would (my testable element) be represented differently in the number of books that had become unavailable than non-Agency Model books. Amongst the big publishers, that did not seem to be the case from my small, quick check.

      A falsifiable hypothesis would have been:

      “Agency Model books have become unavailable in the USA Kindle store and non-Agency Model books have not.”

      Even that’s a bit imprecise since it’s a compound.

      That hypothesis, though, would have been falsified…and that’s how science works.

      It couldn’t have been a theory without the testing. A theory is also supposed to explain something in a way that’s been tested. This is all loose, and I’m sure there will be some people who are as (or more) pedantic than I am who may disagree. 🙂

      I was careful to say that I found it “interesting”, not “amusing” or “wrong” (or “likely” or “right”).

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