Night-Vale-Final-UK-coverMichael Kozlowski at GoodEReader is reporting that Kindle e-books from HarperCollins have become unavailable for purchase at many or all Amazon stores worldwide except for in the USA. However, apart from commenters chiming in on an earlier GoodEReader story to note that the books are unavailable from their stores, I have not been able to find any independent confirmation of this story.

What’s more, when I asked a friend who lives in Germany to check for himself, he reported checking six or seven titles from HarperCollins’s bestseller list and finding them still listed as available for Kindle, with his account logged in. He even bought one of them, Welcome to Night Vale, successfully.

Since my own Amazon account is from the USA, I get the standard boilerplate about how Kindle e-books are only available to US customers through when I log into any international store, so I don’t have any way to check directly for myself. Any further reports from international TeleRead readers would be welcome.

It’s hard to know what to think of this story without being able to find any independent confirmation. Certainly, Amazon has had a reputation for truculence in the past when it came to removing publishers’ buy buttons or reducing warehouse inventory so as to cause order delays, so it’s easy to jump to conclusions that Amazon must have done something again. But why would it? As far as I know, it’s still well within the agency-pricing contract with HarperCollins it signed last year, and there haven’t been any rumblings of discontent about it. On the other hand, it has been just about exactly one year since the Amazon/HarperCollins negotiations were reported, so who knows—if there turns out to be something to this after all, maybe there was a one-year sunset on some of the contract terms?

Given that my friend from Germany was able to buy a HarperCollins e-book, I’m guessing that it must simply have been some kind of temporary glitch in the stores—which would make this effectively a non-story, and potentially a lesson in the tendency to jump to conclusions in an industry with a somewhat contentious history.

However, one swallow doesn’t make a summer. It’s still entirely possible there’s more to this, and I will certainly be on the lookout for any further developments.


  1. It looks like Teleread fell for another one of his hoaxes.

    I have several reports which say that the ebooks are available in Italy, the UK, and elsewhere. Clearly that story is nonsense.

    • I didn’t “fall for” it, I investigated it and reported it was inconclusive at best and probably untrue. But it was still possible there could have been something going on, so it was at least worth a mention.

      If you want “fell for,” Booktrade reblogged it unquestioningly.

  2. Chris. Welcome to Night Vale Kindle Edition is available from However, it appears Hachette has it here. Of course, I will refrain from actually buying it given the Hachette set price of $A16.99.

    So I selected a random new release from the Harper Collins site, First Woman by Kate Andersen Brower. This is also available from for the bargain basement Harper Collins set price of $A14.99. I’ll pass on this one as well.

    Interestingly enough both books seem to have only Kindle editions available and an audible audiobook. However, hard covers are available on In the case of Welcome to Night Vale the hardback is actually slightly cheaper than the Kindle edition.

    In the case of First Women the Harper Collins web page in Australia shows it has only been released as an ebook here. The Hachette page reveals there is a “Paperback” at $A29.99 compared to the Hardback at $US11,89 on As was often the case before EBooks, an Australian wanting the hardback would save significantly by importing it from the US, even with postage and the exchange rate. And possibly a better quality version.

    The story was probably a website glitch or a misunderstanding.

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