A Mysterious Amazon Bug is Inexplicably Removing Kindle eBooks From Sale

A Mysterious Amazon Bug is Inexplicably Removing Kindle eBooks From Sale Kindle (platform)

Amazon's Kindle platform is fraught with bugs and inexplicable behavior. When it's not blocking ARC reviews, it's ignoring the final version of an ebook and instead sending out a draft copy.

And when it's not deleting reviews because authors engaged in the SOP marketing practice of connecting with their fans on social medial, it's removing ebooks from sale for literally no reason and with no notification.

Over the past couple days numerous authors have discovered - quite often by accident - that their ebooks have been removed from sale on Amazon.com. The ebooks have not been deleted, and in many cases the title is still available in other markets, but on Amazon.com the buy button has been replaced with this notice:

A Mysterious Amazon Bug is Inexplicably Removing Kindle eBooks From Sale Kindle (platform)

I have read about this bug in a couple Facebook groups, and on KBoards. It is reportedly a widespread problem affecting a lot of authors, but Amazon has elected not to notify affected authors.

One author on KBoards explains how they discovered the bug:

Last night, I got a message from a reader that one of my books was unavailable for purchase. I thought the customer just had the wrong link, but I confirmed that when I go to the book's page, it says "this title is not currently available for purchase" instead of the price. In researching this, most people who report the problem have just uploaded their book and are told to wait. In this case, the book has been available in the Kindle store since August and I've been selling copies all the way up until yesterday evening. I checked in the Dashboard and it still lists the book as live, even though the actual store says it's unavailable.

With authors only learning they had been impacted after  meticulously checking their listings, it is hard to say how widespread this bug is.

Fortunately, one author has identified a possible solution. They reported that making a minor edit and then republishing the ebook is enough to restore it to available status.

It remains to be seen whether that will help all affected authors, however.

image by Sarabbit via Flickr

Nate Hoffelder

View posts by Nate Hoffelder
Nate Hoffelder is the founder and editor of The Digital Reader: He's here to chew bubble gum and fix broken websites, and he is all out of bubble gum. He has been blogging about indie authors since 2010 while learning new tech skills at the drop of a hat. He fixes author sites, and shares what he learns on The Digital Reader's blog. In his spare time, he fosters dogs for A Forever Home, a local rescue group.

1 Comment

  1. Author29 October, 2018

    When has amazon EVER notified authors of anything?

    Their MO is: something’s wrong? DON’T SAY ANYTHING, MAYBE NO ONE WILL NOTICE! QUICK, LOOK OVER HERE AT AMAZON PRIME MOVIES!

    Reply

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