Amazon Rolls Out Kindle MatchBook: Buy a Paper Book, Get the Kindle Version Cheap or Free

Buy a paper book from Amazon, and you can have the Kindle version for $3, $2, $1 or free, depending on the title.

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Last night, I pre-ordered a paper book from Amazon. I did not want to do this. I wanted the Kindle version.

However, the Kindle version of this particular book is slated for release on October 15, whereas the paper version comes out October 1. I need to read the book before October 15, so I find myself in enough of a rhubarb of a pickle of a jam that, for the first time in a long, long time, I bought a paper book. Again, I did not want to do this.

Relief may soon be in sight, however, as Amazon is rolling out a service called Kindle MatchBook in October. The premise is simple: Buy a paper book from Amazon, and you can have the Kindle version for $3, $2, $1 or free, depending on the title.

This includes books you’ve purchased from Amazon “all the way back to 1995—when Amazon first opened its online bookstore,” according to the company’s press release. It’s retroactive, in other words.

What’s the catch? Well, aside from having to pay upwards of $3, the current selection of MatchBook-compatible books only hovers at around 10,000 titles.

Here are some of the big-name authors, according to Amazon:

Kindle MatchBook will launch with books from Ray Bradbury, Michael Crichton, Blake Crouch, James Rollins, Jodi Picoult, Neil Gaiman, Marcus Sakey, Wally Lamb, Jo Nesbo, Neal Stephenson, and J.A. Jance, among others. In addition, Amazon Publishing will include all its titles in Kindle MatchBook.

It’ll be interesting to see which additional publishers sign up for the program. Some may see the upside of potentially being able to squeeze another couple bucks out of a customer who bought a paper book; some may think that if a customer likes a paper book enough, they’ll pay full price for the digital version. I don’t know about you, but I like some of my paper books enough to pay $3 to have the digital versions. I can’t think of any I like enough re-purchase in digital form for $10 — a common price for a Kindle e-book — though.

This has apparently been “one of the most requested features from customers,” according to Amazon. And while some will see this as a gesture of goodwill from the gargantuan online retailer, it’ll surely benefit Amazon as well. When you’ve got the chance to get a cheap or free backup of a paper book you buy from Amazon, why not buy all your paper books from Amazon, right? Assuming you’ve got no attachment to your local bookstore or ethical issues with Amazon, of course.

Introducing “Kindle MatchBook” [Amazon.com]

36 comments
btr2trvl
btr2trvl

"We were not able to find any Kindle MatchBook eligible titles based on your past print book purchases."

I have bought dozens of hardcovers that didn't have kindle editions at the time that do now.  None of them were included.

A lot of hype no substance.

DavidRogers
DavidRogers

"Upwards of $3" means "more than $3."  Yet you stated earlier in the article that the price would be $3, $2, $1 or free. 

The correct phrase would be "up to $3."

sagebrush
sagebrush

are you kidding?  thought the point of the kindle was to not need paper for everything.  i love mine and don't anticipate needing hard copy versions of many books from now on.  it's bad enough amazon charges almost as much for the electronic version as for a book that uses paper and ink and needs to be shipped, and we all know that the authors are not getting much out of that. notice they don't say all the electronic copies of paper books will all be free, just some.  other than textbooks,  i don't need to write in them, and i can highlight things in my kindle anyway.

leonieke
leonieke

@InVertaling yups gisteren link gevonden; toch eens kijken wat het me kost en of het interessant is of niet voor titels die ik heb gekocht

chooseareality
chooseareality

@cuppy me too! I've really wanted this for my non-fiction books so I can write all over it, but still have a portable version.

MissKokamon
MissKokamon

@cuppy As have I! I follow the sales of print vs digital extensively and THIS is what I've said has been missing.

bpkayser
bpkayser

LONG TIME COMING!!  They started this with Kindle and Audible (audio) books where if you get the Kindle version the audio book is sometimes much cheaper.  Since then I've been wondering why they don't so the same for print.  Now.. whala!!  Great job Amazon!! 

LauraRaeAmos
LauraRaeAmos

@LeahRaeder especially since I own a ton of print books I just can't read anymore since I'm so spoiled on my Kindle, lol!

LauraRaeAmos
LauraRaeAmos

@LeahRaeder I'm excited! I've been buying books from Amz for ages, can't wait to go back through my purchases & pick up ebook editions! :D

ofregalmeans
ofregalmeans

@carlyrachael I LOVE this and wish Nook did it! I love my ereader but I prefer hard copies for the beach/pool!

GisselleLegere
GisselleLegere

@Tandre3000 Hey, I like having options. And until they make a Kindle I can take into my hot tub, paperbacks are staying in my house. :)

MichelleZink
MichelleZink

@LostInEA Me, too! It makes perfect sense and gives people an added incentive to keep buying paper books.

borednerdy
borednerdy

@GisselleLegere @Tandre3000  lol you can't drop either into the hot tub and have it be alright afterwards =P

MelShurtz
MelShurtz

@msbecs In MY & Indo I gave all my books to the library after reading because they were desperate for books. Could still have kindle copy

MelShurtz
MelShurtz

@msbecs I know. All my books are in storage at my parent's, so I will be glad to get them on kindle when I want to re-read them.

MichelleZink
MichelleZink

@MCTStJames I just use my kindle and then my laptop for writing. Still buy physical copies I want for my library, though!