William Morrow/HarperCollins has pulled Neal Stephenson’s brand-new book, Reamde, off Amazon after, one would guess, getting tired of hearing about just how many errors there are in the e-book production. (It’s not clean.) Now the e-book version is no longer visible at all to U.S. visitors to Amazon, and appears as “unavailable in the U.S.” to mobile viewers. (This was first noticed late last night by Macworld editorial director Jason Snell.) Reamde is #36 in books overall on Amazon this morning, so removal of the e-book, even temporarily, is a serious financial choice. (The Kindle version was #6 on the Amazon scifi list, while the print/audio was at #4.) This being a Neal Stephenson book, the criticisms of the e-book errors were not outraged all-caps freakouts but mild and literate complaints left on the Amazon page.
Ha, it is probably not an arcane puzzle, but yeah I wouldn’t rule that out entirely either. Also? There’s no reason a clean PDF file can’t be made in this day and age… unless you’re making people do two jobs, or you never expanded the production department when digital became big, or if you have a bunch of harried kids doing the work of their bosses with no supervision.
Anyway, we look forward to a fresh copy! The book is really good so far. I’m only 16% of the way through. (That’s page 160, or “Location 3672 of 22930,” in the astoundingly dumb Kindle parlance.)
Disclosure: I wrote my HarperCollins editor an email this morning that said “How about that Neal Stephenson book!” and didn’t hear back.