If you finished all the books on your Kindle last night and wanted to download more, you probably would have been out of luck. The “buy” buttons for Kindle books disappeared, prompting panic and conspiracy theories–especially in light of the fact that only the big six publishers: Random House, Penguin, Macmillan, Simon & Schuster, Hachette and, later, Harper, were affected.
“Reports coming in of Amazon removing buy buttons from titles by Penguin, Random House, Hachette, Macmillan, Harper, S&S. Any other pubs?” Publisher’s Lunch news editor Sarah Weinman tweeted around 11 p.m. There was speculation that it had to do with e-book contract wars, or that the Mayans were right and the end of days were coming, but in the end, it was just a technical glitch. This morning the buy buttons in the Amazon Kindle store were back. An Amazon spokesperson confirmed that it was a tech problem late last night.
But the question remains: what kind of technical glitch only affects e-book files published by certain publishers?