I emailed Audible.com and this is the answer I got:
When you are not logged into the web site, you are browsing anonymously. This means that the web site can not determine your geographic location. When publishers decide to publish a work, they acquire the rights to distribute that title in certain parts of the globe. Sometimes they buy “world” rights, but frequently the rights for a book are split among several companies, each of whom publish for certain countries. As a distributor, we need to abide by the restrictions that publishers assume when they publish a work.
So the titles that are listed are ALL titles that we offer world wide. When you log in with a username and password,the web site can now determine your location, and automatically removes titles that are restricted to that region.
The statement: Digital distribution is part of Digital Rights Management (DRM). If you access Audible from another part of the world, you can’t buy some titles because of the publisher limitations. With physical books, the bookstore tries to track books that are unavailable for you. It may take weeks but they usually get it. With audiobooks, why is it seemingly more frustrating?
This is the same with the hard-headedness of iTunes Store that still isn’t open in the Philippines. OK that was a rant. So what I did was I thanked Audible for their prompt reply and went to Neil Gaiman’s blog. I emailed Cat Mihos (the one in charge of the more serious stuff) and asked about publisher rights. From what I know, the author has not that big a control over where his works can appear – this is the publisher’s thing.
P.S. The only fully decent audiobook available in the Philippines via Audible is Interworlds. It’s not even read by him. Plus it’s a collaboration. Sad sad sad.
Brain fart: What if I surf under a proxy server that pretends I’m from the USA? I tried. But failed thus far. Even changing the country settings on the profile doesn’t work. Hah!