It's nothing unusual for the Amazon.com site to have problems. There is even a glitch that seems confined to me -- I can't post reviews of books on the US site, while I have no trouble posting them on Amazon.uk I even find it very hard -- shock, horror -- to buy books from Amazon.com!
So it was no surprise to me to read on Publishers Lunch today that Amazon.com buy buttons are vanishing and reappearing like the Tardis in Doctor Who.
Late Thursday evening Amazon customers began to notice that buy buttons for Kindle books published by agency model publishers Random House, Penguin, Macmillan, Simon & Schuster and Hachette had disappeared, with Harper buy buttons dropping off after a twenty-minute interval. The deactivation was limited to the six agency model publishers, and affected Amazon's US store only.
At 1:28 AM Friday, an Amazon spokesperson told us and other outlets "the Kindle Store is experiencing a technical issue. We're working to correct it." A different spokesperson wrote back at 7 AM Friday to say "the issue had been fixed." It remains unclear what the specific "issue" was or why such an issue would only affect agency (and agency lite) publishers. But there is no shortage of theories!