The economy, postage costs etc, I get it. It's not that great out there. And apparently there is some new safety postage cost that makes it even worse. But seriously? Tell me about postage! Getting books into NZ, that aren't sold here, can cost a small fortune. Our dollar is worth a little less that the US, but it can still cost me up to 30$ or more to get a new paperback. (Which is why the Book Depository has been a godsend, but it doesn't always have everything!)
US only competitions are not a new thing either, this has been going on for a donkeys age, not just the last few years since the global downturn. But, either way, I really do think it's a little stink. Are fans outside the US a little less important? Or is it that US readers are have more influence when recommending books to others, or is it simply that the cost is too great for some authors? Personally, I don't get it.