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May 22, 2007

Amazon Shorts Restricted To USA

Loyal hackoff.com reader Allan tried to download “The Interpreter’s Tale” from Amazon and promptly ran into and commented on a restriction I didn’t know about: you have to have a US shipping address to purchase Amazon Shorts even though all fulfillment is online!

I asked my contact at Amazon about this and it’s true. The reason is that Amazon thinks it might be guilty of not collecting VAT in some countries and so has taken the broadbrush approach of restricting downloads to those it has good reason to believe are in the US. They do promise me that they are looking for alternative ways to deliver to readers outside the US.

This is a particularly serious issue for Shorts authors because we sign up for six months exclusivity (minimum) in order to get this distribution. It’s not a good thing (to say the least) if that means our works are only available in the US. Hopefully Amazon will have a solution soon.

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