Amazon has just announced a brand new program for readers—Kindle MatchBook—which will launch in October 2013. The concept is simple: readers will be able to download select ebooks at a discount when they purchase the print edition of the same title. And the cool thing is Amazon is going to count past print sales, so this offer is retroactive—all the way back to 1995 when Amazon first opened its online bookstore. So if you purchased a print edition of a title and there’s an ebook edition available, you could get the ebook for a discount if it has been enrolled in MatchBook. This means consumers will get a better deal overall and writers have a chance to earn more income.
There are some great advantages to owning both the print and digital editions of a work. First, if you don’t own a Kindle ereader, you can easily read the paperback. You can read the print edition on a plane when all electronic devices have to be turned off. You can then continue on your ereader if you want to. For those of you who like to collect books, especially signed editions, you can keep your print collection in pristine condition as you read the ebook edition.
Indie authors can easily enroll any ebook with a matching print edition on Amazon by going to their Bookshelf, selecting the book, clicking on the Rights & Pricing tab, scrolling to #9 – Kindle MatchBook and selecting the option and the discount price. Enrolling in MatchBook is non-exclusive and you do not have to have that title enrolled in KDP Select to offer the program to your readers. You can opt out any time.
Indie authors or publishers using the Kindle Direct Publishing platform can set their discounts from the dropdown list that appears once you’ve selected MatchBook. Discounts offered are predetermined by Amazon, based on your current retail price. You may be offered a discount price of $2.99, $1.99, $0.99 or free. Authors and publishers can then select their preferred discount.
Readers will have over 10,000 qualifying titles to choose from when Kindle MatchBook launches in October. Many publishing companies are expected to sign up. Imajin Books, a small, independent Canadian publishing company has already signed up for the program and most of their titles will be offered via MatchBook.
So how about you? Are you an author considering enrolling your ebooks in the program? Are you a reader excited about this new program? Would you use it? Do you see any real value in owning both the ebook and print editions of a book? I’d love to hear from you.