November 9, 2012
Last night, Twitter was abuzz with news that all the buy buttons had disappeared–poof gone–from the kindle version of all the Big 6 New York publishers (Macmillian, HarperCollins, Simon & Schuster, Penguin Group, Random House and Hachette). Fifty (50) of the top 100 kindle books on Amazon could not be purchased. Yeah, that’s a real pickle. What was left? Harlequin, Kensington, Sourcebooks, Scholastic, epublishers and self-published books.
Initially Amazon was mute on the issue despite many many attempts by users and publishing publications to find out what was going on. Crickets chirped from Amazon for a few hours. They finally came out at approx 3:00 AM EST to say they were experiencing technical difficulties and were working on the problem.
But here’s the thing apart from the fact that the problem only affected the above publishers, if you live outside the U.S. the buy buttons were there and the book could be bought. Now I’ve worked in IT for almost 20 years and I’ve been wracking my brain to figure out how such a technical difficulty would or could occur, especially given it was so very specific to the publishers Amazon appears to be having contractual issues with.
This buy button “glitch” did get me thinking though. If I’m an ereader and I have a kindle but I’m unable to purchase books from authors like Julia Quinn, Eloisa James, Rachel Gibson, John Grisham, Nora Roberts, Lee Childs, James Patterson, Syliva Day (Bared to You, Reflected in You), E.L. James (Fifty Shades of Grey), Scott Turow, basically 80% of the top selling books out today, how much is my kindle really worth?
So here’s my question to you: