KDP Books Unavailable To International Readers Amazon

A situation blew up at Amazon over the weekend which has made most KDP ebooks unavailable to purchase for international readers who use the US Kindle Store — one which has also exposed a glaring security problem.

This issue — which is either a bug or a badly bungled roll-out — is causing great confusion as its effects are only visible to those outside the USA, which might explain why Amazon has been so slow to address it, or even understand the problem, it seems.

The first reports were from a few weeks ago, when Australian readers who use the US Kindle Store were unable to see a handful of new releases. It seems to have spread significantly since then. This weekend I noticed the issue myself for the first time. Buy buttons had disappeared from a couple of my ebooks and they were no longer appearing in Search results or on my Author Page. It was as if they had been ghosted. Readers around the world confirmed the same thing — except those in the USA, where all these books continue to be visible in search and purchasable by readers there.

Looking around the Kindle Store this weekend, it seemed like half of the KDP books I checked were unavailable for purchase to international readers, and similarly missing from search results (and, in some cases, author pages). They were undiscoverable by international readers, in other words, and even if those readers navigated to the pages of those Kindle editions directly, price tags were gone and Buy buttons had been removed.

The issue has proved difficult to explain to some of those in the USA, including Amazon apparently, as they literally can’t see what international readers are seeing. While these titles are all still available in the 11 other Kindle Stores around the world, some authors seem unaware that millions of readers worldwide routinely use the US Kindle Store, including all those readers without a Kindle Store of their own. (I know because I’m one of them.)

The problem is even more pronounced this morning, and a quick check of a random list of KDP books shows about 80% of those I looked at are now affected, as well as lots and lots of Amazon imprint books too. And despite numerous calls and emails to Amazon about the issue by myself and lots of other international authors and readers, there is no indication that Amazon grasps the problem.

And that’s not even the most disturbing part of all this, as it has revealed a giant security mess for Amazon that could have huge legal ramifications too.

Some screenshots should illustrate the problem for American authors and those otherwise unaware. This what readers in the USA see when they search for  my book Strangers to Superfans.

However, this is what readers outside the USA see when they make the same search. The ebook edition has vanished and only the paperback is visible.

The above is an “All Departments” search but what if I restrict it to the Kindle Store? Then I get five results, none of which are Strangers to Superfans. It’s like it doesn’t exist.

On the product page of the book itself, this is what American readers see for Strangers to Superfans (those who haven’t purchased yet will see a Buy button instead of the Read Now button). And the book is still on sale and purchasable by those in the USA. Please feel free to test that if you like…

 

Which is all normal. But readers outside the USA are suddenly now unable to purchase this book (and hundreds of thousands of others), as you can see from this screenshot:

A quick look at the series page gives us a clue as to what might be happening here:

So the system seems to think that I shouldn’t be using the US Kindle Store — even though, like many Irish people, I’ve been using the US Kindle Store exclusively since 2011 — and it is blocking me not just from purchasing this title and many other titles, but is also rendering them invisible in search too, so customers don’t even know there is an issue unless they somehow go directly to the book’s page on Amazon. New-to-you readers internationally who use the US Kindle Store won’t even know the problem exists otherwise, or that your book does, I guess.

It gets weirder because this bug or glitch or whatever it is seems to be very inconsistent. All of my non-fiction is unavailable to international readers. Some of my fiction is gone too, but not all of it. If I Iook at someone random from the charts like Bella Forrest, all of the books of hers I checked are gone.

Picking someone else off the top of my head like Michael Wallace, most of his self-published titles seem to be unaffected, and visible to international readers and purchasable by them too, but some are hit — for example, the first in his Alliance Trilogy is unavailable but the other two are purchasable. However, if I look at his Amazon-published titles, they are all unavailable. And in keeping with the theme of inconsistency, none of the traditionally published books are affected by this situation that I checked (but please feel free to correct me on that, or anything else, if you have different information).

It seems like this is either a bug affecting the territorial rights of KDP books or a seriously bungled attempt to corral readers towards different Kindle Stores which has led to strangely inconsistent restrictions. Let me explain.

When you publish your work via KDP, the final section of the publishing interface asks you where you hold rights to this book. If you select Worldwide, as most do, your book will be available for purchase to everyone worldwide in the Kindle Store they use. But if you have, for example, sold the UK rights to Penguin, you can restrict the purchase of your self-published edition in that country, or any other you choose. The territorial rights of a book are not attached to a particular Kindle Store, so, for example, Irish readers like me or those in South Africa may use the US Kindle Store but certain books may be unavailable to me, or them, based on the territorial rights for that individual title.

Anyway, the default is Worldwide, as that’s what most self-publishers will be choosing, and we rarely if ever have reason to interact with the territorial rights of our books. And I can confirm that my “missing” titles still have Worldwide rights selected.

The reason I mention all this is the following: when a book is restricted in this manner, it is ghosted from search results, and often missing from the Author Page. Price tags are missing, and the Buy buttons are removed for anyone who does manage to get to the page of such books directly. Sound familiar?

There’s something else which might help explain what’s going on — a new addition to the KDP dashboard, which you would miss if you weren’t expressly looking for it. If you hover over the LIVE status of any book, a new tool-tip pops up regarding your books availability, with a link so you can see the status worldwide.

If you click that link you will be taken to a new page where you will see Amazon US and Amazon UK described as “Limited Availability” and then various countries listed where your book is now suddenly unavailable — which includes countries such as Italy and Australia which now have their own Kindle Store but whose readers could still use the US Kindle Store if they wished, but also others such as Ireland and New Zealand which don’t have their own Kindle Store and have historically used the US Kindle Store (lately Amazon has been ushering them towards a closer Kindle Store, but it has been a soft push, rather than a hard block).

Countries like South Africa without a Kindle Store in their region are still listed as “Available” for the US Kindle Store, so I’d very much like to hear from readers there if the can see any of these books which are missing.

Despite the discovery of these new availability pages, it’s unclear if suddenly rendering all these books unavailable for purchase and invisible in search was actually intended. And, it was intended, it doesn’t explain why it’s only pertaining to some books and not others. Even though I’m based in Ireland, I can still purchase some KDP books and all the trad books I could previously.

And Amazon doesn’t seem to know the answers either.

I spoke to Amazon customer service yesterday and tried to explain the issue. Amazon didn’t seem to understand it, and just inserted a US postal address in my account instead, which “fixed” the problem as far as they were concerned. And, yes, I can now see my books and all the others which were invisible to me beforehand, but everyone else internationally still can’t see them or purchase them in the US Kindle Store – which is the only place that millions of international readers are able to purchase ebooks (this point must be repeated again and again as misunderstanding abounds — not everywhere has a local Kindle Store and such readers are supposed to use the US store).

Amazon’s “fix” had a number of unintended side-effects. As Amazon now seems to think I’m based in America, I no longer get charged VAT on ebooks. Instead, a test purchase I made applied Washington state sales tax of 6.5% — the customer service person put in Amazon’s Seattle HQ as my address — instead of the 23% rate of Irish VAT that Amazon is legally required to apply to ebook sales to me. (Note: this wasn’t a rogue customer service person, everyone else I spoke to who contacted Amazon about this issue was offered this same solution.)

Furthermore, whole swathes of books that I should not be legally allowed to purchase — such as those published by different entities in America — are now available, breaching territorial rights.

Finally — and most disturbing of all — I’m suddenly now able to subscribe to Kindle Unlimited when I couldn’t before, and was able to join in an instant, without any kind of checks, and borrow several books without impediment. Which is a wide, open door to scammers. All a scammer anywhere in the world needs to do is switch their account to a US address and they can join Kindle Unlimited and borrow as many books as they like.

It’s crazy that Amazon makes it this easy for scammers. And it’s unthinkable that such a huge bug could be growing for weeks without Amazon noticing or taking action, even when lots of authors and readers report it.

Related issues aside, I hope Amazon starts making an effort to understand what is happening here as this is a particularly bad situation for international self-publishers whose readers will naturally trend international too, and who will be disproportionately affected. It also prevents self-publishers around the world from checking their books on Amazon.com — which they need to do for innumerable reasons.

Whether all this is a (bungled) feature or a bug, it’s hard to avoid the conclusion that Amazon is taking its eye off the ball in so many aspects of its business right now, at least pertaining to books. Amazon’s greatest strength is that it still has the scrappiness and innovative outlook of a start-up — which seems to be achieved by essentially having 1000s of start-ups incubating under one big Amazon tent, who seem to compete with each other for resources and attention and site real-estate.

But that can also be a huge weakness with problems like these, when multiple teams need to pull together. Or when Amazon is faced with a huge threat from scamming where solving it cuts across several departments. Or in periods like the last few weeks when Amazon is beset with technical problems – aside from the above, authors have reported a spike in glitches surrounding series pages and Countdown Deals not commencing and other related issues, much more than the usual set of Amazon problems we all have to perma-navigate these days.

At times like these, Amazon feels incredibly atomized, made up of 1000s of departments who don’t (and won’t) communicate with each other, For example, if you have decided to make hundreds of thousands of ebooks suddenly invisible and unavailable to millions of readers unless they switch to a different Kindle Store maybe — I dunno, radical idea here — email people about it? And if it is just some horrible bug, which has been growing for several weeks to the point where most self-published books are now ghosted to international readers, maybe start working on fixing it? Just a thought.

186 Replies to “KDP Books Unavailable To International Readers”

  1. Same happened to my e-books, and it took me a while to find out what was going on. I used a little browser plugin that changes my IP address to mimic I am in the US and the e-books appeared again. If I login into the Amazon.de website all Kindle books are listed as well.

    Just about two weeks ago some of my Kindle books disappeared from the Kindle store and were no longer linked to the paperback versions.

    Just astonishing for such a large public company…

    1. Hey Thomas, wanna direct us to that plug-in? That’d be very useful to see what’s happening on my actual author page.

        1. Hi, Jane,
          I’m a bit stupid… When it says ‘Enter website address’, which one do I enter? I already use Opera’s built-in VPN – will this work?

        2. Sorry Brian, no reply link on your actual comment…WordPress doesn’t like me.

          Just enter the URL you’re trying to “see” as if you were in the US. That will probably be the link to your book’s Amazon buy page or perhaps your author page.

          Your built-in VPN should also work.

        3. Hi, Jane,
          I think you have to use the Reply link at the top of the particular comment… not sure. But I did get your reply, thank you.

        4. Whoop-de-do!! That worked! Thank you, Jane! Now I know that my new book is visible on Amazon.com – just not to me here in the UK. Unfortunately, the VPN doesn’t work. It’s set for ‘The Americas’, which is probably too wide a range.

          What a stupid change for Amazon to make. As someone says somewhere else in this marathon thread, this probably has something to do with Traditional Publishers trying to protect their local profits.

          By-the-way – this must be nearing a world record for threads, David…

    2. All my eBooks seem have returned. One thing missed is Amazon advertising for sponsored ads. I asked Amazon if ‘be getting a refund on clicks for international readers clicking on my ads, but not being able to purchase them. They replied it wasn’t possible for them to identify internationinal accounts clicking on ads, so no refund.

    3. The problem for me is that my boooks are not appearing in the US and UK Kindle stores ONLY in their assigned categories and keyword searches (as they did before the glitch). The books are still available/visible when I do a title search and on my author page.

      I’m in Canada. I tried using a VPN and this did NOT correct the problem. ALL of my books are showing ‘Limited availability’ in the US and UK when I click on the Live status indicator in my KDP Bookshelf.

      I’ve called KDP about this and they said they are aware of the problem and they are working to correct it. But it’s been over a week and there’s been no sign of progress. Except yesterday, briefly, when 2 of my 11 books DID appear in search then just as abruptly disappeared.

      It’s all very strange. In the meantime, my sales are 40% of what they were previously.

  2. I e-mailed them about this and received this reply.
    Hello Ruth,

    Thanks for contacting us, I see you’d like some information about the availability at Amazon.com of your eBooks “TOUCHING THE WIRE” and “The Dandelion Clock,” I’ll be glad to assist you with this.

    I can confirm that both eBooks are currently available for sale at the US Kindle Store. When viewing product pages, keep in mind that the availability of titles in the Kindle Store may vary based on your home country or region. In other words, as you are searching in Amazon.com from the United Kingdom you won’t see these eBooks as they are also available at Amazon.co.uk

    https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B00MX5TRPY
    https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B07FW8LBXN

    Our intention is to direct customers to use the Kindle Store that corresponds to their location, this will display the price in the local currency and tax (VAT) when applicable, eliminating the need for the customer to figure out the conversion rate from US dollars and purchase with ease knowing the exact cost.

    While you won’t be able to see your books at the US Kindle Store from the UK, I assure you that they are listed correctly and you can continue with your Memorial Centenary Day free promotion. For your reference, in a separate email I’ve sent you three screenshots taken from Amazon.com with your eBooks available for sale.

    Let us know if there’s anything else we can help you with, have a nice day.

    I’ve pointed out that I need to be able to check prices on .com when doing countdowns etc, because of delays in implementing prices changes and asked if there is any way I can access them.

    1. Thanks – that’s new language from what everyone else was getting, but evidence that this is a bungled roll-out of some ill conceived attempt to corral people into different Kindle Stores, rather than a bug.

      1. Their comment: “Our intention is to direct customers to use the Kindle Store that corresponds to their location, this will display the price in the local currency and tax (VAT) when applicable…” is very odd, since today I received a promotion email from .com, promoting my own book to me and others, in USD $. I live in the UK.

    2. “display the price in the local currency and tax (VAT) when applicable”
      I reckon this is a digital VAT compliance update – so it is a new feature, not a glitch. I guess we’ll have to check our US pages through VPN + incognito browsers. What a pain.

      1. I don’t know if it’s inspired by some kind of tax or regulatory compliance, or just some operational goal of Amazon’s, but the system already handled VAT very well for international users of the US store – which you probably can’t see in the UK, I’m not sure – and it would change the price automatically depending on the location of that reader and the applicable tax.

        1. It worked fine before – I told my Kindle I was in UK, but I live in Spain and was always directed to the UK site, but I could see the com site. Is it a waste of time me keeping my com A ads going? I also tried the incognito window and it didn’t work for me.

        2. I would understand if it applied to all my books, but only one of them has disappeared and this was immediately after I changed the key words. All my other books are still visible for sale on dot com. I live in the Netherlands and always by from the US store.

        3. I joined Bookbub a year ago and found that when I logged into the US Amazon store, which I’ve done since 1998, the book I wanted to purchase which was advertised on Bookbub was ‘unavailable for purchase’ and this was happening months ago. Over the past couple of years I have tried to buy quite a lot of ebooks books that I know are available but Amazon won’t let me buy them : I’m in NZ.

      2. I’m so glad I took Joanna Penn’sand David’s advice and went wide with Draft2Digital (nice midwest people about an hour from me). Whew! No sooner than I got my books done on Create Space in June I heard from both Jo and David it was soon to be swallowed up by KDP. I went thru the transition relatively unscathed except I have to figure out why only my trade paperback in KDP now has a drop cap on one page only smothering 3 lines of type when it transitioned from Create space to KDP. Also, I have asked Amazon numerous times to list my large print book along with the trade paperback back and the ebook on KDP , this is an impossible task. But I’m still working on it. Thanks for all you and Davids great advice. Love the accent. Now I need to check my books on Amazon. Sigh. Thanks for the heads up.

    3. Ruth – there is a way to see USA store. I’m in NZ and some of our authors have
      1. loaded in a USA address as their default address on Amazon.com (using Virtual PA address, or Agents address, or NZ Post offers a USA address service maybe Royal Post in UK does too)
      2. Changing your Kindle country to USA on the Amazon.com store.

      This immediately let the RWNZ authors see the USA store and all their books once more.

      I’m not sure if this helps you. I actually have set up a USA bank account for my payments so I also have a USA credit Card associated with my Amazon.com account which I’m sure helps too.

      1. I am in Australua. My Kindle account is homed to the .com kindle store and I have a US bank account in my kindle account details. But this is still hitting me. So far, about 12 of my 60 books are affected, and the number is growing every day. Some books have bern affected, then not, then affected again.

        There is no logic to which ones at all.

        Even though Amazon have handled EU VAT well on the .com site for years, when the Australian GST law changed on 1 July this year, amazon decided just to try to push all Australians to the .com.au site, rather than implement the tax stuff properly.. That has been horrendous – inconsistent and confusing. This just adds another layer to it.

        1. Not to mention that Australian authors can no longer get proofs or author copies from KDP, because Amazon US will no longer post to Australia. The only workaround so far has been to post to friends in the US and have them forward them.

          It’s like Amazon is trying its best to fuck things up for Australians.

        2. Thanks for the heads up. I hadn’t noticed this issue, but now at least I won’t freak out when I see it.

          I pulled my print book as soon as I transitioned to Createspace. Its ridiculous the cost of ordering author copies to Australia. I’m going to re-read some self publishing books and find out how to set up printing with another company. Thinking Ingram Spark or Draft to Digital.

          Ok, so it turns out I can set up print books with Draft2Digital on my mobile!

          https://www.draft2digital.com/blog/going-mobile-tips-for-writing-from-anywhere-any-time/

          Yay, looks like I’ve got a busy weekend!

  3. I’ve nagged them about this since I first published in the US in early September this year. I kept sending them screenshots of my book not being searchable and they kept sending me screenshots of the page, working perfectly in the US. I thought I was just being stupid, as I’m a newb to Amazon’s US market, but here we are in the midst of some technical meltdown through no fault of our own. Glad to have read this, Dave but also…not so glad.

  4. Hi David,

    I’m in South Africa, so I’ve been using the US Kindle store for years (with my South African address, everything legit in my account as it should be). I’ve just searched for your books Let’s Get Digital and Strangers to Superfans, and I CAN find them. They both have a Buy button. (Well, a Read Now button in my case, since I own both of them 😉 But I can see the price on both books in the series section of the product page, so I assume that means they’re available to purchase for those buying from South Africa.)

    My books also all appear available to me, but I’m now concerned they might not appear available in other non-US territories … 🙁

    1. Thanks Rachel, that seems to fit with the idea that this is new restrictions on who can purchase from where. You would think they would contact millions of customers before blocking them from purchases…

  5. Thanks for picking up on this. I just found out today that my Kindle ebooks (all but two) have been disappeared to me (I’m in Germany). I also use .com for my Kindle purchases, and have done so for nearly a decade. It has to have happened within the past couple of days (or even today) because I was able to purchase a novella I just put up on KDP (as an ebook) a few days ago. Today I couldn’t see it in the Kindle store.

    It doesn’t even seem worth it to contact Customer Service if they only offer the U.S. address solution. That’s not a valid solution for all the reasons you pointed out.

  6. Thanks for taking the time to explain all of this. I had been freaking out since seven of my titles suddenly disappeared from the Kindle listings. I tried to republish them (didn’t work). I then contacted Amazon via KDP help form. That was well over 24 hours ago and no reply at all, not even the cookie-cutter acknowledgment of my request. So I contacted them again with a list of my “unavailable” ASINs and included a link to your post here. I hope that whatever customer support person gets my case can do something about it. Fingers crossed.

  7. Hello David,
    First I want to thank you for your vigilance. I live in the US and publish worldwide. So far, the bug doesn’t seem to be affecting me. However, I also have an Amazon Associates Account in both the US and the UK (where most of my followers reside). Just today, I had a note on my Amazon Associate’s Dashboard encouraging me to apply for additional accounts, but they were not specific which ones. In the past, they encouraged me specifically to sign up for the UK, and I did. As it turned out, they were correct. The UK account has proven to be profitable. Of course, I have no proof there is a correlation between the two, but I wanted to share this with you.
    Thanks for all you do to keep indie authors informed.

    1. Is Suzanne Comer your real name? Viewing Amazon.com from Switzerland doesn’t show me any Kindle books; in fact it says “We didn’t find any results for ‘Suzanne Comer’ in Kindle store”… can you give me a title to check?

  8. Thanks for the tip about the Live availability. I went to my KDP page and hovered. Found out that my new book (published on Saturday) is ‘available’ in the US (which it isn’t) and is NOT available in the UK (which it is). This morning I spent far too much time being led in circles while I asked them why it is not yet up in the US, and another question about the Zoom function on my Samsung Galaxy Note 8 phone’s Kindle not working. Fortunately, I decided not to hold my breath…

  9. I live in Turkey but I am American and I have a US address and I shop on .com. Saturday, I got messages that all my ads for one of my books had been suspended because it was no longer available in the Kindle store. Indeed, it wasn’t when I checked. I emailed support (because of course they aren’t open when I’m awake over here) and about 12 hours later it had sorted itself out and my ads we un-suspended. Weird.

  10. An additional thought: Amazon is still charging authors for ads that international customers click on despite not allowing them to purchase the book. So, for example, someone from Canada signs into their .com account, sees an ad for my book, Any Given Lifetime, and clicks through. They just get the “book not available” message. But I’m charged for their ad click through and (most likely) lose that sale. Because, unless this is a devoted fan, most readers are simply going to move along and not think about the book again. So Amazon is profiting off ad revenue while blocking sales. :/

    1. I’ve been so irritated by this happening that I’ve selfishly given little thought to how it may be influencing author revenue. You are so right. I’m very likely to go elsewhere and forget about the book if the author isn’t a particular favourite.
      It’s bizarre that Amazon sends me ads for books that it then withholds from sale. I suppose that it is maKing so much money – and being so successful in attracting Government subsidies – it couldn’t give a hoot about this happening.

  11. Eight of my books are now only available as audio and paperback, not as ebooks.

    Amazon also put two of my paperbacks into a half-price sale without permission.

    I did the ‘availability’ check you suggested and it was a horror story with the books unavailable through the US and Europe – so it’s not just the .com store for me, my titles are ‘limited’ on .co.uk too.

    I’ve emailed, tweeted, facebooked and am yet to get a response.

    1. I hope you get this sorted out soon, it’s very cruel to restrict a business from the ability to trade, particularly when it is ebook purchase. Sending positive thoughts

    1. The geoblocking was supposed to only be for physical items. We were assured that kindle books wouldn’t be blocked. I guess they lied. I’m now in the position of hanging on to see if they fix it, or give up and change my account to the Australian store, which will cause me issues as I set up an account using a different email for physical purchases on the AU store.

  12. I noticed this on my books as well. I’d just added in paperbacks for a series I had done in a shared universe and my catalogue suddenly lost half my books. Must have been coincidental timing, kind of like the time I decided to illicitly use the graphic dept’s color copier after hours and a breaker blew on our street corner the instant I touched the button (historic church fire down the street).
    Glad to learn i didn’t break amazon😀

  13. Yesterday a reader from Australia who uses .com to buy her books messaged me, asking why she was only seeing my just released print book and not my e-book available to purchase. I told her this was happening to a lot of authors and I hoped it was a glitch.

    She decided to contact Amazon and was told to temporarily change her account’s address to a US one, buy the book, and then change her address back. She did exactly that and got the book.

  14. I notice that when I look at Italy in the main list, the books are live in all areas, but when I look at the UK site, it lists places in Italy, and it is unavailable in all of them. They are moving access around–poorly.

  15. Excellent article and an issue I have been tracking with a great deal of interest, and pain. An additional issue I uncovered is that Amazon Ads I am running WILL appear in the regions my books are unavailable, and then when clicked the reader is taken to a “book not available” screen. In other words, ads I’m running that appear on the .com site in regions affected by this nightmare are clickable and chargeable, but don’t lead to a Kindle edition that’s buyable. Needless to say I have paused ALL Amazon ads (and every other type of ad I run) until this is sorted out. Certainly the ad people at AMS think the books can be bought off .com in certain regions, too bad KDP doesn’t presently feel the same way… (And yes, this cost me real money before I discovered what the heck was happening.)

    1. IANAL, but charging you for ads served in regions where your book is not available sounds like it ought to be considered some sort of fraud.

  16. Hi David,
    I have also been affected by this with both of my books now showing as unavailable. I live in New Zealand and it seems from here they are trying to push me to the Australian store. I have a friend where 8 of her books have disappeared. She lives in Scotland but her account is in the US. I have a promotion at the moment but customers who don’t live in the US can’t buy at the reduced price. Also, I went to put up a review on a book I am reading and it has gone and I am unable to put a review up on any other site as Amazon has stopped that as well. You can only put a review up on your own custom site. This is frustrating in the extreme and no reply from them when I write to them. Thank you for this post and getting the word out.

  17. I don’t think they are trying to force you to use a different Kindle store because when they do that, the thing looks different. As a UK resident, I can’t by from the US Kindle store but if I go to a link there I get an error that says something about how I can’t buy it on this store with a link the UK Kindle store. So this sounds like a buggier bug than that.

  18. This news seems snowballing through the indie author community. A number of groups to which I belong are talking about this. If it is a calculated and business savvy move by Amazon – I feel they should be keeping us informed.

  19. I didn’t realize so many international buyers went to the .com site to purchase books. Are they able to see books by American authors listing their books on the .com site, or is it only international author’s books that are missing? My sales have tanked since the end of October and I’m wondering if this is part of the problem. And I agree about Amazon’s departments not talking to one another-no one seems to know what’s going on. It took me nine days to resolve the issue of my series links missing from one of my series and I got different responses from everyone I spoke to.

    1. Katy, To add some information – I’m Canadian. When I got my first Kindle the only place I could purchase books was Amazon.com. Amazon.ca didn’t sell Kindle books until recently. My Kindle is still attached to my .com account. I’m not unusual. I believe that at first, the only place to purchase Kindle books was .com – correct me if I’m wrong – so tons of readers from non-US countries have a .com account.

      1. That really stinks. I’ve seen a large downturn in sales as I stated earlier. You would think Amazon would catch on that it’s inhibiting purchases in general-possibly a large number. I hope they straighten this out soon.

    2. Katy–EVERYONE’S books are affected, but only international author/readers can see what is happening. If you are a US author with readers abroad all you know is that your sales tanked and you cannot see why.

      1. Thank you, Elizabeth. I was afraid of that. I’ve been freaking out by how badly my sales dropped…I hope Amazon fixes it, but there’s no telling with them. So much of the time they make a change and that’s that. 🙁

        1. Admitting to anything opens them up to class action lawsuits. They fix problems, but for something that is widespread, they are unlikely to ever inform you of what that problem actually was, or what they did to fix it.

          You can’t really blame them for not wanting to give potential class action lawsuit participants information that details their culpability.

  20. David. Great find on the availability link. I didn’t know that existed. It contains a clue – and reveals a potential further issue.

    First. It appears that it’s some sort of duplicate availability error. if I’m available on the Andorra under US, I’m not under UK or anywhere else. If I’m available in a region under UK – like the UK, I’m not available in the UK under the US .com store. One region only, luck of the draw where it lands apparently.

    The potential issue, which I can’t verify on this phone, is that we are being too US .com centric in our concern. It’s very very possible shoppers in certain regions shopping on the .co.uk site that they ‘normally’ use are missing books from the UK store because the US region has exclusively taken ownership. I’ll look at this later, but I’m betting it’s a bigger problem than just “not on .com”.

    1. I’m not so concerned with the UK Kindle store as – unless I’m missing something – nothing has changed there. The only people that could previously use the UK store were people in the UK, and Ireland, and the Crown dependencies like the Isle of Man etc.

      Ireland is a bit of a weird case as we were purchasing ebooks from the US Kindle Store before the UK Store was launched in 2010, and we weren’t actually allowed to use the UK Store for a few years. More recently, Amazon has been softly trying to nudge us across to the UK, but there wasn’t any warning this was going to happen.

      1. Hi David, thanks for informing us of this new issue. I live in Australia and have just checked my novels (11) ‘live’ capability. They are not available in the UK. My biggest market has traditionally been the UK and I noticed in the last week, that my sales had been cut by half. Now I know why.
        Would your advice be to change my account details to indicate I have a UK residency? Will that then affect .com sales. I am loathe to do anything in a panic as I’m hoping online media attention may force them to assess the damage that is ensuing. The sad part is that I had a pre-Christmas sales promotion planned on various advertisers and am now disinclined to do anything for obvious reasons. It could well be money lost. Many thanks for your thoughts.

  21. Fair enough, and I share the being less worried. The point I was trying to make is that it’s not really “some books”. All my books are behaving the same way, they have one of certain regions showing under availability – and never two of any region. The books that selected UK region under .com appear to be having better than the books that were assigned to UK region under .co.uk, but in truth they are behaving the same – with different regional selections only. I believe the issue is that any given region can ONLY be selected under one amazon Domain, and once selected the other Amazon domains exclude that region. How Amazon made the “selections” I have no idea, but if you review your entire availability list, any one region will only appear under one domain as available, and then as unavailable in every other domain. My books that “work” in the UK just happen to have the UK region selected under the .com store. I think it’s a clue and I still think the issue could be even more complicated. Does my .com UK book appear on a .co.uk search, or is it missing because UK is excluded (unavailable) under .co.uk.

  22. I can see the book pages of my books on any store, including prices, etc. if I click on them through the dashboard (under “view on Amazon”), but if I sign into that store suddenly the price and buy button is gone and this message appears:
    Kindle titles are available for US customers on Amazon.com.
    Continue shopping on the Kindle Store at Amazon.com.

    If I click on the “continue shopping” it takes me to that book on the .com store. I think this is how it is supposed to work. But it sounds like it is not always working properly for everyone. And the book should still show up in a search on any given site, even if they are going to redirect you to a different store.

  23. David,

    May I share this post with my Canadian and U.S. FB friends?

    In the meantime, thank you so much for your time-consuming efforts.

  24. I’m a Canadian buying from .com. If I just go to the site, ebooks are not available. If I go from any book link, then sign in, then the ebook appears. I can also search for any ebooks once I’m in that way. It only started this week. You’re right that they don’t get it. I spoke to 7 different people at .com on chat. They tried to tell me it’s always been like this.

  25. Thanks so much for this article, David. I’m an Australian author who’s hybrid published and over the weekend, six of my self-published titles and one traditionally published title (second book in a two-book series) disappeared from the US Kindle store i.e. the Kindle books don’t appear in searches and are ‘currently unavailable for purchase’ when I am logged into the .com store. At first I thought Amazon was geoblocking by stealth, but the problem is so random, it can’t be (some of my Kindle books, including my other trad-published title, are still available). I’ve emailed my publisher but I haven’t heard anything back yet. I wonder how long it will take Amazon to sort out the mess.

  26. Thanks.
    Only one of my three kindle books turn up on the USA Amazon. I’m based in the UK
    Mind you my ‘writer’s name’ (R J Llewellyn) is now associated with:
    “Improving grassland and pasture management in temperate agriculture (Burleigh Dodds Series in Agricultural Science Book 51)Jul 27, 2018” $245.78 on Kindle

    Lucky for me I’m not a full-time professional writer.
    Re-blogged

  27. Thank-you David, an excellent article as always.

    My gut feel is that this is a deliberate change and the reason it is happening to only some books so far is that it being rolled out in stages (as is often the case with this sort of thing).

    Two of my eight novels were affected by the weekend. Looking today I can see a third has gone. It’s quite easy to spot as they are split into two series of four books each and the ones that have vanished have lost the Kindle Unlimited banner from above the books on the Books in this Series section. I imagine the others will follow in due course.

    On top of other issues we’ve discussed elsewhere it’s been a difficult few weeks, all told.

  28. I am in New Zealand and have purchased from Amazon US I have over2000 titles in my Library, I did try Amazon Aust once but as I lost access to my already purchased books when using the Australia kindle account I soon switched back. As I don’t want to run two kindle readers I will stick with the US Amazon. It was 5 years ago that I tried the Amazon Australia I might try again see if they have resolved the availability of titles purchased from another shop (unlikely)

    1. They haven’t. Spoke to customer service today and they suggested that I switch ‘easily’ between accounts.

  29. It worked fine before – I told my Kindle I was in UK, but I live in Spain and was always directed to the UK site, but I could see the com site. Is it a waste of time me keeping my com A ads going? I also tried the incognito window and it didn’t work for me.

  30. I live in New Zealand and have a US Amazon account. Now my books are showing as unavailable for the Kindle version on the US site if living in New Zealand. This means that all my readers in New Zealand and Australia cannot buy my books from the dotcom site or take advantage of the promos from Kindle unlimited. I hope this gets sorted fast.

  31. I’m in Canada. When I go to the .com site, there’s not even a “Kindle” option for me to search in. “Books” is still in the drop-down search option, so I can see mine and other’s paperbacks, but that’s it. No ebooks whatsoever.

    1. One of my books has returned to the Kindle store, but not the other one that was affected. Several others never disappeared. I’m in Canada too, and I get a Kindle Store option in the drop-down menu.

      Still no reply from Amazon Support, though, and I’ve paused my AMS ads.

  32. David, my books are traditionally published by a small(ish) press. They’re not in KU. A few weeks ago, I saw that the categories for my fourth book had been changed from private detective, hard boiled, and murder to the highly inaccurate cozy and amateur sleuth. Neither my publisher nor I had made the change. I was traveling and could not deal with it that day, and by the time I got home, it was back in the correct categories. A few days later, the e-book disappeared. Now it’s back, and still (thank goodness) in the correct categories.

    Just wanted to let you know that strangeness is happening to some small-press books as well.

  33. Another thing to point out here is that it’s affecting promos set up for Kindle Countdown promos, and massively so, IMO.

    You run a KC deal and book ads with Reading Deals, or Book Gorilla, or Bargain Booksy, or any of the others, and their email to their mailing list has the .com link. Therefore, many people clicking the link are being told ‘Oh no, you can’t get it for 0.99, like was said, you can buy the paperback for 14.99 though’.

    That’s going to piss readers off, and it’s going to destroy people’s KC deals.

  34. I have books published with a publisher who uses KDP and a trad publisher – Harlequin/Harper Collins and all of my books are affected so its not just indie books

  35. I am from Germany and noticed this issue back in June. I told Amazon about it, first they were very helpful but after the second mail from my side they did not respond any more. I think they knew the problem at least since then but are unable to solve it.

  36. I’m in the UK and most of my books are affected. Today I spent 35 minutes on the phone with a very helpful KDP assistant, but she didn’t understand what was going on, as you said. It’s good to find out what’s happening. I AM a full time author and my sales are significantly affected by this, so I’m extremely unhappy. I’m going to pull my Amazon ads that are running at the moment. There seems no point to them if people can’t buy the damn books.

  37. I had so much fun reporting this to Amazon. I’m in New Zealand 🙂
    1. As an author in KDP Support, the problem wasn’t even acknowledged. I got no response, not even a brush-off.
    2. As a reader unable to buy books, I got a merry go round of astonishing proportions until they failed left and gave the “use a US account.”

    The CSR initially made like this was a permanent solution, until I raised the taxation issue, and the confusion when purchasing physical books. They’ve “escalated” the issue whatever that means, but my magic eight-ball suggests it’s a synonym for “deleted.”

    The rep tried to suggest I use amazon.co.nz/support for help, and I was like, “Dude, that’s a redirect to .com. We really have no store in New Zealand.” I managed to get more attention when I sent a geopeeker URL with images showing outside US results, but still no fix or timeframe.

    They had this issue last year. The saving grace for discoverability is having paperback books; those still show regardless of region (but as you’ve noted, do not get results in Kindle Store searches). It turned out then to be a bug, which they fixed; I suspect this is a similar problem.

    There are other issues with switching your address to US; for example, you will break any existing Kindle Family settings.

    On the topic of “some books but not all,” it’s a cascade. When it first hit my own titles, only two were effected. The next day, all were unavailable for purchase. I’ve tested using my wishlist, and over time more and more of the items on the list became unavailable. It reeks of roll-out/update; I don’t think this is directed at indies vs. trad, but is a sign of systemic incompetence 🙂

  38. Thanks for this great article, David. I’ve been trying to alert people but I was pleased to see two of my books back this morning. The other 5 still show as unavailable (I’m in Australia). I’ve had no response to several emails to Amazon.

  39. I just assumed this was deliberate. The ‘Zon doesn’t do most things by mistake, they’re usually testing something out.

    In this case, they appear to be trying to force readers to buy from their local Amazon, not the U.S.

    It doesn’t seem to affect sales, or not mine anyway. Your book is available to everyone in the U.S. and can be seen there and in searches there.

    It’s just that their geo blocking for product page purchases extends to searches.

    I really don’t think this is going to turn out to be a big deal. Most of us that earn the majority of our income from Amazon US will just see small declines there and small increases in other markets.

  40. Hi,

    I’m a Kiwi author with 31 pubbed books. I released my latest on the seventh of October. Sales just started to pick up – and then it vanished and all sales ended. Two days later after I contacted Amazon it came back. It was there for a week or so, then disappeared for ten days – and you guessed it, sales stopped dead. After endless emails and some polite – we’ll contact you in three day – responses it finally came back. But yesterday it vanished again, and it took half a dozen other books with it! As I just said in my latest email to them this morning – this has been the worst new release ever!!!

    I don’t think that this is only a matter of your book not being seen by you if you are a Kiwi with a .com account. If it was, my sales wouldn’t hit zero every time the book vanishes. But I am getting really tired of getting an automated reply saying someone will get back to me in three days.

    Cheers, Greg.

  41. David,
    I looked at my books’ availability and it appears that Amazon for my books, here are the availability for some countries:
    Ireland – UK website
    Belgium – FR and DE websites
    Netherlands – NL and DE websites
    Andora – ES website
    Austria – DE website
    Switzerland – FR, DE, IT websites
    Italy – IT website
    Liechtenstein – DE website
    Luxembourg – FR and DE websites
    Monaco – IT website

    That’s just a quick look at Europe. I’m guessing that they’re tightening up on Oceana as well.
    It sounds like things are going to get messy for a lot of people as Amazon tries to throw people out of the US store to start using the store Amazon wants them to use – Ireland using the UK store.

    Naturally, Jeff and co are ham fisted and tin eared. A little bit of a warning would be nice.

  42. Today, the beginning of the fourth day, and after sending three support requests, I received the following response from Amazon:

    ===================================================

    Hello Kathy,

    Thank you for contacting Amazon KDP, I’ll be more than happy to help.

    I can confirm we have recovered from this event and your titles are not showing available for purchase. We apologize for any inconvenience this might have caused. Below I have included the link to your two books:

    https://www.amazon.com/dp/B06XRNB5SC

    https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07BJ2GT12

    I hope this information is helpful. Thanks for publishing with Amazon KDP

    We’d appreciate your feedback. Please use the buttons below to vote about your experience today.

    Best regards,
    Steven
    Amazon.com

    ===================================================

    I pressed the “No, this didn’t solve my problem” link and responded with:

    ===================================================

    B07BJ2GT12 still shows “This title is not currently available for purchase,” and when I search for “kathy steinemann” at Amazon.com, Kindle editions for B06XRNB5SC and B07BJ2GT12 do not show as purchase options. That means that I, and Amazon, are losing sales, and I have paused my AMS ads until this issue is resolved.

    Thousands, perhaps hundreds of thousands, of authors are experiencing similar problems.

    See: https://davidgaughran.com/2018/11/12/amazon-kdp-books-unavailable-international-readers/

    ===================================================

    This tells me it’s not an intentional feature roll-out. It’s a bug, glitch, oversight … Maybe I should choose a stronger noun. 😉

  43. I noticed this problem on Saturday. I had my US friends check the books out and the kindle versions were visible to them. I have been having sales, which is positive. However, I have heard several others say they have had emails from readers who have not been able to purchase. Another annoying thought is when I do a book promotion–many of them promo sites want a US Amazon link and not a short link. I now cannot get a link for the ebook presumably.

  44. You can probably create the link yourself once you have one URL link – the ASIN is the same in all platforms of amazon isn’t it?
    For instance A Dream of Redemption USA https://www.amazon.com/Dream-Redemption…/dp/B072FMKXCH
    and then A Dream of Redemption UK https://www.amazon.co.uk/Dream-Redemption…/dp/B072FMKXCH/
    and then .com.au https://www.amazon.com.au/Dream-Redemption…/dp/B072FMKXCH/ .

    So all you have to do is change the amazon.com.au or .co.uk to .com?

    1. I think my spam filter might have nobbled your links, but the easiest form of linking to an ebook on Amazon is always:

      amazon.com/dp/ASIN

      And then you just need to change the .com to .co.uk etc.

  45. This is happening not just with ‘international’ listings, I have had constant issues with Amazon and my kindle books (not print) disappearing not only from my own browser but also reported via international friends who have told me they can’t find the books either ( in America, UK, Europe, Australia etc). I am sick to deat hof Amazon and their bullshit and I’ve decided to pull my books from KDP select – why would any author want to keep their books exclusive with these clowns when this happens (constantly)??? It not only affects sales – the rankings drop instantly (when you finally get the books displayed properly after 3-10 emails from Amazon staff to sort the problem – always a different reason given too), even paid ads for the same books seem to drop off and reappear! Does this indicate that the link between KDP select and AMS is somehow causative of this issue perhaps? Soooooooo tired of dealing with this bullshit every month – finally decided to ‘go wide’ and it feels good. I guess I’m voting with my feet on this one and I recommend more authors do it too. Perhaps when Amazon realises that content is being pulled from their exclusive programs they might think about the profits they make from kindle and question whether they want to sell cheap crappy products or the literature that they founded their business on. Dreams are free, right?

  46. Thank you for looking so deeply into this, David. You are an anchor in these internationally troubled waters! For “… then the mind much suffering does o’erskip/ When grief hath mates…” (Shakespeare)

  47. As an Aussie author I am having the same problem – I can see my latest book in the Australian store but not the US store. I tried incognito but that didn’t work- What does work is going to the US store through a VPN like TunnelBear (a free service). I did this and it worked.

  48. I’ve just had this reply from KDP to an email I sent them on Saturday about this issue.

    ‘Please note that there is an ongoing issue which is why your book is not available for purchase in the US marketplace when viewing it from a place outside of the US but it is available for purchase for the US customers. This issue is known to our technical team and they are working hard to resolve this issue as soon as possible. Rest assured, it should get resolved in the next 24-48 hours.’

    Sounds like they are on it at last?

  49. I’m in Norway and just launched a new book today. I’ve had several messages from people in Norway and Sweden who say my book is unavailable for them as kindle (or paperback) in both the US and UK. They simply can’t find it to purchase and Norway doesn’t have a Norwegian Amazon page. I’ve also had people tell me that the review page is unavailable as well, even though I’ve had a new review from someone based in the US. I also have several ads running and promos set up for the entire week. I’ll probably cancel most of it now, however. This really puts a dent in my launch. Not happy!
    But I appreciate the clarification given in this post! Thank you for taking the time.

  50. Here’s another glitch. I’m in New Zealand, if that helps.

    If I go to the Kindle book page on Amazon.com for Strangers to Superfans, it tells me I’ve already bought it and gives me a big green button to click to read it now.

    If I do go to that same page on Amazon.com.au, it tells me I’ve already bought Strangers to Superfans (good, in that it used to only tell me what I’d bought on the Australian site).

    But there is no big green button. Instead, there is the usual yellow “Buy Now” button. I wonder how many people aren’t going to accidentally buy a second copy of the book, realise their mistake, then return the extra copy?

    Authors, if you start getting a rash of international returns, this will be why.

  51. Yes, I’ve been seeing this for a few days. I’m Australian and saw it as Amazon’s continuing effort to push me to move (this is as a reader) from amazon.com to amazon.com.au. Indeed now if I seek an ebook on the US site, it’s not there. I can find it on the Australian site but if I go to buy it, I get a full-page screen telling me I can only purchase if I make the Australian site my default site. The Australian site is stunted, with fewer items, and subject to predatory pricing by the trad publishers who continue to treat this small market as a higher-price cash cow. Also, I subscribe to the New York Times Book Review via the US site, and the full-page tirade tells me I’ll lose that subscription. So for the moment I’ve been doing nothing and waiting for just your post, David – well done. (Note this perspective is just as a reader. I only have one ebook/pbook recently out, with only a few organic sales, so I can afford the luxury of not worrying about sales.)

  52. David I was beginning to think I did something! But half are unavailable for three days now and I live in Mexico but always had a US account and address and still do! I suggest you send this TOZ Jeff Bozos directly. His executive team will respond and someone above the tech support pay grade might take the issue to him. Thanks

  53. Hi David,
    I live in Australia and have published a 7 book series through my Amazon US account. Amazon has been trying to get me to change to Amazon Australia for a few weeks now. In the last couple of days, however, I now find that I’m unable to buy any ebooks on the US site forcing me to switch to the Australian site.
    As far as my ebook sales and Kindle Unlimited goes, this month I find that I have sold very little and only have 17,000 pages read rather than the usual 100,000 or so.
    I wonder if others have seen their sales and reads affected also.

  54. As a reader I have long bought my ebooks through Amazon.com while living in both the u.k. and now Australia and didn’t mind paying the exchange rates to have the books earlier than the availability in those countries now unfortunately as I do not have an American address I am no longer able to buy ebooks except on the Australian site as these are ebooks I have no idea why they would need the postal address anyway but it all seems to have happened since the Australian Government introduced the new gst measures on overseas online buying which the general public aren’t happy with I assure you. I can understand the authors point of view this is your livelihood but I assure you your readers are just as frustrated on our end

  55. Great post, David. As a Brit expat living in the Philippines, I’m finding three of my four Kindle books displaying on dot com.
    I checked in my KDP dashboard as to the title that isn’t displayed as a Kindle. When I hovered over the ‘live’ button as you suggested, I checked out the list of countries shown as ‘live’ for Amazon US store.
    Guess what? The Philippines is shown ‘live’ and available for purchase. Go figure! Crazy system.
    By the way, I’m using my Phils IP address with no VPN so all my Kindles should display.

  56. Wow, thanks for this article, David! I’m on the road and was unaware of this — all that I knew was that my sales have tanked completely in the last few weeks and I don’t have time now to address it.

    I will do as others have done and stop all my AMS ads. It’s ridiculous if they are pointing to links where the books can’t be bought.

  57. Hello David, Thanks for explaining this so well.
    All my books have been affected by the ‘Availability’ issue. So my book is not seen by people in 50+ countries, people who use amazon.com. My sales and KU reads tanked toward the end of October (more than they did since Sep end) and I think this issue may be responsible. Since all these sales were counted as .com sales, it is hard to quantify how much we are losing by people in these countries not being able to see our books.
    Here’s hoping there is some kind of resolution that restores things to as they were.

    My books had become Unavailable in the US earlier and hitting republish seemed to solve the issue for some of them. The series page for one of my series disappeared yesterday and all the books in the series now appear as standalone. I have put in a request to support and hoping this gets resolved soon.

    Fingers crossed!

  58. A LOT of us Canadians shop at .com for books.
    I can see that Amazon wants to shift people to their own country sites, but not all titles are available everywhere.

    Not all of my books are “unavailable” at .com. Some are still there, as well as the multiple-author anthologies.

    For my part, I get Amazon gift cards for my affiliate income and I spend those on books at .com because I can’t use them at .ca.

  59. Hi David,

    I’m based in South Africa and your example books show up as purchaseable for me.

    I have however seen this issue with other fantasy books in the past and just assumed the author had blocked our region – which in retrospect shouldn’t make sense, why would a selfpublished author block a customer – but with so many books for sale I moved on without giving it too much thought.

    Shane

  60. A few days ago I found a number of my books unavailable even on the Australian site (I’m an Aussie author). I’ve also checked the live availability and it is saying some books are available in the US when they aren’t, and aren’t available in Australia or the UK when they are so I’m not sure that’s accurate either.

  61. This is an amazing article, David. I awoke two days ago to find my Kindle books gone from Amazon US. I looked at the new “Availability” list on my KDP bookshelf. Sure enough, there were big restrictions on countries allowed to access Amazon UK and US.
    However, someone suggested quickly editing details of each book on KDP (without actually making any changes). I tried this and my Kindle books returned.
    I checked the availability list again and for Amazon US there were just a few Middle Eastern countries mentioned.
    So it may be a glitch in introducing this new system. So, everyone, TRY EDITING DETAILS and see what happens.
    Lets hope this lasts.

  62. I’m in NZ but have used a US address on Amazon.com for a while now, in order to easily see when Kindle Countdowns begin etc. This morning, all my books were showing at the US prices as they usually are.

    As of an hour ago, I can no longer see half of my books, even with a US address registered to my device, and the books I can see have GST added to the price.

    On the bright side, the front page of Amazon.com happily tells me all about the 45 million items that NZers can have shipped to their address. I just can’t buy my own ebook.

  63. I’m in Slovenia and have always used the .com store – I see all the books that others are reporting as missing, yours included.

    I have one book up on preorder and see the dashboard and reports as well (I’m going to assume the lack of change in the numbers is me being a newbie and not doing much noise about it yet, not a glitch, hehe).

  64. Thanks for this post, David! I noticed the issue a few days ago, then noticed more and more Kindle listings giving me that “unavailable to purchase” notice, including two of my own titles. It’s both frustrating and a relief to see some of the details from your post and the responses since.

    I tested things the night before last, with and without a VPN, since I’m in Canada. The books showed up when I set the VPN to US parameters and *didn’t* log into my account on the US site. But as soon as I let the IP go to default or signed into my account, I was blocked from seeing some Kindle listings… Not all, though. Four of my titles still read properly, and I was able to purchase a Kindle book yesterday on the US site.

    I’m really hoping this is a glitch and not a change that will stick! Not only is my Kindle app via the US site due to reasons other folks have stated previously, but the Canadian site is woefully inadequate in many ways — including the fact that we can’t gift anything from our site. The only way I can gift anyone books is through the US site because no one’s bringing the Canadian site up to par. It’s similar with Amazon gift cards, the most useful of which are the .com ones because so many countries have been able to buy from the site, not the more regional .ca cards. It’s ridiculous. :S

    1. There do seem to be books returning to how they were, however, as I’ve just discovered two books that I wasn’t previously able to purchase due to the unavailability screen, including one of my titles. Perhaps there’s hope coming for the rest. Maybe.

  65. I have 3 out of my 8 titles not showing on the US site. I also noticed from the new availability button (thank you, David, for this little snippet of information!) that none of my titles are available in the European countries via the co.uk site. Since I write books set in the UK and the Nordic countries, it seems crazy that my readers in the Nordics have to go to the US store to purchase my books – if they are available for them there. (There’s no international store in the Nordics.)

    Even if Amazon wishes to direct all Kindle sales to the ‘correct’ international store, it seems crazy not to advise its customers of this change, or direct them to the right store. Amazon is losing sales, so they cannot be aware of, or understand, what the issue is. Simply making the titles disappear, or unavailable for sale, must be a glitch, surely?

    I’ve posted an enquiry (complaint), so let’s see what automated reply I will receive.

  66. David, thank you for this. My issues are exactly the same except for…

    My last French translation (self pub) appeared promptly in .com and .co.uk but not in France or Canada (obviously the two most important areas for a french translation). Finally they realised they had a technical error and that they needed to fix it. They did, and the book is now in both of the French speaking stores.

    The worry I have is how do we check that our books are all showing right in the correct countries – and how would I have picked up the error they’d made on my translation.

    I swear, they make it impossible for authors at times.

    RJ

  67. I suspect this is due to Amazon’s database migration. I’ve been tracking a US-based friend’s problems with getting her paperback correctly published (it was getting mixed up with a Chinese clothing store) and have noted that her corrected paperback buy page is a different format from her Kindle buy page. I’ve also noted a number of changes on my own buy pages (different positions of buttons etc.) that suggest a whole lot of tinkering by IT. Being married to a database guy, I know how much work it takes just to maintain a commercial database of a few million records. Amazon must have billions, and probably several thousand databases by now. All those databases are run by fallible humans. And as David said, Amazon has all those different departments that don’t necessarily talk to one another. They’ve gotten their threads in a huge tangle and it’ll probably take weeks (months?) to sort out.

    Since I’m wide my answer to my dropping Amazon sales is going to be to run advertising directed at readers on the non-Amazon sites. Oddly enough, just before reading this I’d totaled up my non-Amazon sales so far this year and ascertained that I could have survived on those sales alone. I’ll send Amazon an email with screenshots to explain what’s happening (all my books are affected) but I think this is a storm I’m just going to have to weather. I don’t think Amazon’s IT departments will have a happy Christmas.

  68. Hi David,

    Thanks for the time you spent putting all this together, I noticed this over the weekend and was relaying on US contacts (I’m in the UK) to tell me my book was still on sale. The us.hideproxy.me worked fine for me but even with that appreciate that international users of Amazon.com can no longer see my book. It doesn’t make me inclined to market the e-book as strongly as I was planning.

    Thanks again

    Richard

  69. Thanks for taking the time to detail (some of) the problems that are driving me bonkers as an author, publisher and reader who lives in France. I would add that when I moved my Createspace paperbacks to KDP, I found that all my ebooks had defaulted to ‘limited’ NOT ‘world rights’ (which is what they had been) and I have had to click world rights back on again.

  70. I had the same issue when my new release started selling and then all of a sudden stopped. I went over to the amazon.com site only to discover it was unsearchable by title, author or keyword searching. It was not available either on my author page. Only the paperback version could be seen. After two emails and two different replies it finally appeared back among the searches. The first reply to my first email told me that I could be rest assured that my book was available and the second reply told me that they were experiencing technical issues and that my book along with thousands of others in the US was masked. It is purely and utterly sickening.

  71. It seems to me that traditional Publishers have finally talked Amazon into dealing with rights the way they want it done. For example an American publisher who has an Australian subsidiary will want Australian readers forced to buy the exact same book from the Amazon AU store rather than the Amazon US store so that the subsidiary gets the sale. I am against this in principle because subsidiaries will often price differently – and not to the benefit of local readers. Self-published authors are collateral damage in this skirmish. In my opinion it’s anti-competitive practice in a global economy. You can usually work around the problem by giving yourself a US address. Hotel addresses work fine – or use Amazon’s Seattle office. They don’t seem to mind. Publishers would like Amazon to operate like Apple whom they like because because the way iTunes and iBooks are set up, you are automatically restricted to your geographical area. Again, consumers in non-US Markets like Australia end up paying more as the subsidiary can price however they like and it’s really difficult for a consumer to compare prices. It can be a real pain if you try to play and/or buy something when on business or holidays in a different geo-zone.

  72. My .com Kindle books are back this morning (were most all gone yesterday). I am in Germany but have been registered as a .com user on my Kindle for a decade or so.

    Cautiously optimistic that they will stay that way.

    Thanks for drumming up publicity for this issue – it must have lit a fire…somewhere.

  73. David, just FYI, I can see and presumably purchase your Kindle book in the amazon.com site from Panama (we do not have an Amazon store for this country). I searched for it manually. It would be interesting to see which countries seem to be affected.

  74. Woohoo!!!
    My book is back, as of 2pm UK time on Tuesday 13th November (6am in LA, 9am in NY).
    I think we should all check again – maybe David’s efforts on our behalf have borne fruit??
    Now if I could just regain the two hundred bucks I’ve lost in sales during this issue, I’d be stoked… but I won’t hold my breath 😉

  75. My Kindle books were back with their buttons on .com this morning (CET) – I tried to post a comment a few hours ago, but I think David’s comment gremlin doesn’t like me. 🙂

  76. It’s taken me 24 hours to get my head around this.

    Finally, I searched for my book in the US store and what popped up was one of my ads, and also another listing for my paperback. When I clicked on my ad it went to my kindle version but the buy button showed no price. (I am always forced to buy my kindle books from the CA store.) So I feel assured, at least, that the people I am advertising to in the US are able to get to my book and buy.

    Amusing side note, my erotica books that I sell under a pen name are all still available to view in the US store.

    1. This might be a foolish question, but I hope this means they are working on fixing this for Everyone? And not just the people who contacted them?

      I have not raised this issue with Amazon yet, mostly because I have other pending issues like series page disappearing etc.

      Thanks for sharing the link. It’s a huge help.

  77. I am in the US with three books on Amazon, kindle and physical. A reader from the UAE (United Arab Emirates) went to buy a kindle version of my YA, and her Amazon page told her the book was unavailable in kindle format, and she was kind enough to get in touch to let me know. Obviously, she ended up not buying it. So, folks, there is proof in the pudding that we are losing sales. Shame on Amazon, the largest online retailer, for treating authors like they are at the bottom of the heap. If I didn’t sell so many books there, I would drop them tomorrow. Between a rock and a hard place.

  78. I’ve “lost” some of my titles, but not all. To check my US ranking or reviews, I now have to use direct links rather than checking my author page.

    A few months ago, all my books started showing as “not currently available” on Amazon.com when accessed on my iPhone (i.e. they show no prices either). That is not the case when viewed on my iPad. Weird.

  79. Well, this is the answer I got from Amazon this morning:

    Another lady said she was told to use a fake American address to buy the books off the US site! I mean, really? Is that even legal???

  80. Oops, for some reason the reply I got from Amazon this morning didn’t post! Here it is again. Sorry everyone.

    Hello,
    My name is Nithin from Amazon KDP.
    Customers can buy eBooks from their country of residence only.
    When customers view eBooks on other Amazon marketplaces they will not be able to see the buy button.
    Thanks for using Amazon KDP.

  81. Sorry, for some reason the response from Amazon that I posted didn’t come through. Here it is again.

    Hello,
    My name is Nithin from Amazon KDP.
    Customers can buy eBooks from their country of residence only.
    When customers view eBooks on other Amazon marketplaces they will not be able to see the buy button.
    Thanks for using Amazon KDP.

  82. Haven’t any live books on KDP but I’ve a wishlist of Kindle books on Amazon’s .COM site. The fade-out of Kindle books seemed to happen over a few days or so. Most of them seem to be back but a few have yet to return. They are available on the .CO.UK site though. Among these are, ironically, some books about publishing on Kindle. This does seem to be a very poorly planned and executed upgrade.

  83. Hi all. I live in Spain, and this is what I got from Amazon today: “I tell you that our technical team confirmed that we are currently having a problem in the system, which affects the search results of eBook books in different markets. Our team of engineers are working on resolving this situation as soon as possible.”

  84. I received this from Amazon today:
    “I apologize for the delay in responding to your e-mail message.

    From your email, I understand you are concerned about your book “XXXXXXXXXXXXX” not being available on Amazon website.

    Please be informed, we’re experiencing an issue that has made some eBooks unavailable in the Kindle store in different marketplaces. Our engineers are working to solve this issue as quickly as possible.

    We appreciate your patience and understanding in the meantime.

    Thanks for your patience.”

  85. We just got a major upgrade on KDP reports in the US. It’s in beta mode, looks very nice. BUT the last time we got a new dashboard everything went haywire in the kindle store. In fact, for a day or two, even regular merchandise pages went to a picture of a dog and said unavailable. Maybe all of these things happening is because of this new dashboard? Of course, it’s still in beta, so maybe not the same thing as the last time?

  86. I live in mainland China and have seen this occasionally for a while, at least a year. It has happened to my own books and sometimes I’ve seen it with other books. For some reason there’s no ebook available when I know there should be. Maybe it is spreading but I don’t think it’s anything new.

  87. Most of mine are restored but I am still missing one novel (which also messes up a 3-book bundle) and 2 short stories…

  88. Posting this from the U.K. I could see David Gaughran’s books.
    Two of my own books are visible on the U.S. website. The third is not visible. I wrote to KDP support twice, and they assured me the book is available on the U.S. market and sent me screenshots. I also noted that some Stephen King’s novels are not available for purchase. If I change my delivery address to the U.S., they become visible (Also Bought strips become visible too), but when I click the Look Inside of his books, I get redirected to a British version from a U.K. publisher with those dreary single quotes in dialogue.

  89. David, I’ve just checked your books. I’m in South Africa.
    ‘Let’s Get Visible’ and ‘Let’s Get Digital’ are not available as Kindle books. ‘Mercenary’ is listed twice. One shows with a Kindle and the other only as a paperback. The rest of the books have both editions showing.

  90. I had the same problem with an App in the Apple App store this week. Emailed the developer who said it is availlable. Went back and it was. Wonder whether the blocking is at some higher internet level around the IP address system. These stores use our ip addresss to detetmine which country we are from.

  91. I can see one potential positive: Amazon’s near-stranglehold on the indie publishing market could well be broken, if they carry on being this broken. Which will mean a lot of adjustment to a new playing field, but I won’t mourn the death of a potential monopoly.

    1. Be careful what you wish for. Amazon is the only retailer which gives us a level playing field and who has built an ecostructure which allows readers to discover our books. The other retailers either carve up the high visibility spots for large publishers or don’t give readers the tools to discover anything beyond that front table. Or both. It’s no accident that virtually all successful indies got their “break” at Amazon – most sales we get at other retailers are from readers we bring to the store ourselves.

      1. What he said. It’s incredibly hard to break into the other platforms to a point where your income is meaningful. Anything that harms Amazon’s KDP ecosystem (including Amazon itself) will harm all of us and many authors will find their income reduced so much that they give up. If you’re making good money off Amazon right now you should be working out what you need to survive for a year and banking that just in case.

        And get your mailing list built up and your name out there so that you’ve got a chance of restarting your career should KDP disappear tomorrow. It will be a restart.

  92. Depending on where you live, this isn’t a new issue.

    Since day one of KDP, indie titles are never allowed for purchase for me (Malaysian here). That’s the way it has been for years now. The buy button is replaced by a statement saying the book is not available for someone in my region. Have blogged and talked about it, but nobody cared, and I couldn’t get a straight answer from Amazon.

    So, it doesn’t matter whether they remove the listing where I am concerned. Whether the listing is in or out, I can’t buy it. I can buy the trade paperback, but not the digital title. Amazon’s rules, I guess.

    Interestingly, I can always buy the digital titles of books published by most of the big guys in New York. So Amazon lets me give my money to the big players, but not the indie authors it cultivates.

  93. KDP has posted a follow-up message on their Community page saying the unavailability of ebooks in some marketplaces has been ‘resolved’.

    By all of my books still show ‘limited availability’ in the US and UK when I click on their Live status in my KDP Bookshelf??????

    Is anyone else still experiencing this problem?

  94. The two things might not be connected, but I think it might have something to do with the rollout of Kindle Unlimited. When before I got the message that KU was not available at my location at present, it now says I have to change my Kindle Account over to Amazon.de (I am located in Switzerland, which is not even in the EU) if I want KU…

  95. Thanks for this, David. I’d assumed that English language users in other EU countries could buy my ebooks from amazon.co.uk, but it turns out that they can’t if they don’t live in Ireland. As a result, I need to rethink the links on my website.

  96. Hi David,

    I found your post courtesy of Chris Graham’s blog.
    I am sorry you’re having such difficulty.
    I checked your books on my Canadian site and there are 11 of your books listed.
    I do hope you get this sorted out.

  97. I’m in the US. When I open Amazon UK pages, unless I go incognito, I get the same sort of message on the ebook pages for my books and others. “This book not available to readers outside the UK.”

  98. My books appear and disappear from day to day and my KU reads have gone down 95% over the last 45 days. Amazon isn’t responding.

    What’s worse, I received email from a new fan who says she read all of my books, one after the other, this month. Yet KU shows 0 reads for some of the titles. Titles that normally do well.

    I’m in despair.

    1. That would worry me, too. It’s frustrating when they don’t respond. I sent two emails, a couple of weeks ago – still no response. My stats also plummeted for the end of Oct and most of November but seem to be climbing again.

      1. I finally got a response, they said they’d get back to me on the 4th, but the curious thing is that my numbers zoomed back up on the 1st. I think you should write again, Rosie. Maybe it’s 3rd time lucky.

  99. Thank you for this post and all the comments – that I still reading

    Today, is the happiest day of my life. I was so in frustration for all my fans, clients, and prospects not receiving their e copy of my book even after being charged … your post has enlightened me – I am in awe that Amazon could be facing a bug and they are not willing to own up and tell.

    Wouldn’t it be great if they would share with Authors, user and buyers of all Kindle Store products on what’s really going on? J

  100. Found this post after noticing the same with most titles we have on KDP. The paperback versions are available overseas, but not the kindle versions.
    The same titles are/were also available for free this past week though, so is this ‘bug’ only affecting paid purchases?
    We’re based in AU.

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