An underground market for the new unauthorised Tom Cruise biography has
sprung up on auction site eBay, with Australian buyers willing to pay a
significant premium for the book.
At midday today there were dozens of auctions for Tom Cruise: An
Unauthorized Biography - many offering multiple copies - and bidders willing
to pay up to $61.50. The book is available on Amazon.com for about $30,
The book is now number one on the Amazon best-seller list.
It will not be printed in Australia and US distributors have now said they
will no longer export the book, by British author Andrew Morton, outside the US
Limited supplies will be available at independent bookstores such as
Gleebooks and Kinokuniya but Australian site booktopia.com.au has already sold
out of its initial order.
smh.com.au was able to buy the book from website Amazon despite a note on the
item saying it would not be shipped outside of the US and Canada. Amazon emailed
today to confirm the order had been shipped.
But eBay sellers are getting around the ban on the book by having partners
make bulk retail purchases in the US.
We've got two shipments coming, the first is 150 books, said a man selling
the books on ebay, Wojtek, 38.
We're buying multiples of 100 at a time. The demand is quite substantial, we
need to get in as many as we can as quick as possible.
Wojtek, who didn't want to reveal his last name, said his eBay business memorymate
normally sells electronics, such as Apple's iPhone, which are not available in
Since offering the book on sale on Wednesday night we have sold 110 units
through eBay alone he said.
We haven't had the chance to target independent bookstores directly
Wojtek said it was pretty bizzare that the book was not available in
We have got no reason not to sell unless someone official bans the book, he
We don't see it as a black market
It's a product that has been parallel-imported because distributors are not
willing to sell it .
There is demand for it and we've decided to plug a hole in the market.
Our copies are due in on Monday.
Wojtek said that it was now almost impossible to suppress information because
of the internet.
People will get a hold of it, he said.
One just has to see what has happened to the music and film industry.
Their stranglehold on the content is diminishing with time due to the
We are becoming a global economy and people will find a source elsewhere if
they cannot obtain the product locally.
In my personal opinion it is an act of censorship because someone is trying
to limit somebody else from having access to a book.
He said there was a possibility that someone would pirate the book and make
it available on file-sharing sites.
I'm sure someone is bound to scan the book and put it in a PDF format where
people will be able to download it for free; Wojtek said.
Then you are in breach of copyright and whatnot.
That's a grey area we would not legitimise it. That possibility is there"