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“Why did Amazon turn off buy buttons on the Big 6 ebooks?”

Hmmmm, Amazon is doing interesting things… again.

Amazon turned off the buy buttons on big-six publishers’ Kindle books for several hours on Thursday night. The problem, which is now resolved, apparently only affected ebooks from big-six pubs, and Amazon described it as a “technical issue.”

This is a bit troubling considering Amazon’s track record of putting its vendors in their place and using their muscle to get terms they want. But if it’s a tech glitch, it’s just that. But wow, what an interesting development.

The problem began around 10:30 p.m. ET and seemed to affect only ebooks published by Random House, Penguin, Simon & Schuster, Macmillan, HarperCollins and Hachette.

Buttons were restored.  However:

It is odd that, apparently, only big-six titles were affected. Some wondered if the problem was associated with agency pricing — were only publishers who set their own ebook prices affected? But that doesn’t make sense for a couple of reasons: HarperCollins reached new agreements with Amazon (and other ebook retailers) in September, following the approval of the DOJ’s settlement with HarperCollins, Hachette and Simon & Schuster. Amazon has been discounting HarperCollins titles since then. And self-published authors set their own ebook prices through Amazon’s KDP, but those books weren’t affected, either.

I’m sure more information is forthcoming. In the mean time, Here’s the link.

Published inUncategorized