Amazon unveils Kindle MatchBook, turning physical books you’ve purchased over the years into digital copies

kindle-matchbook1Amazon.com is already doing it with CDs. Now, it’s turning its focus to books.

The Seattle online retailer today unveiled a new service called Kindle MatchBook. Basically, it allows customers who’ve purchased books via Amazon.com over the past 15 years to convert those titles into Kindle copies, allowing readers to enjoy them in the new format.

“If you logged onto your CompuServe account during the Clinton administration and bought a book like Men Are from Mars, Women Are from Venus from Amazon, Kindle MatchBook now makes it possible for that purchase—18 years later—to be added to your Kindle library at a very low cost,” said Russ Grandinetti, Vice President of Kindle Content.

The titles will range in price from free to $2.99. The New York Times reports that only a couple publishers have signed on for the program, including HarperCollins. About 10,000 books will be available through MatchBook when it goes public next month. Titles from authors such as Ray Bradbury, Michael Crichton, Blake Crouch, James Rollins, Jodi Picoult, Wally Lamb, Jo Nesbo and Neal Stephenson will be available through MatchBook.

Nick Wingfield at the Times writes:

Jeffrey P. Bezos, Amazon’s chief executive, is fiendishly good at selling people things they didn’t necessarily know they needed. If he can’t sell two books for the price of a bit-more-than-one, then it’s unlikely anyone can.

You may recall that Amazon introduced a service called AutoRip earlier this year, which operated in much the same way as MatchBook, just for CDs. But, in that case, the service was available for free.

Here’s the full release on MatchBook.

September 3, 2013—Amazon today introduced Kindle MatchBook, a new benefit that gives customers the option to buy—for $2.99, $1.99, $0.99, or free—the Kindle edition of print books they have purchased new from Amazon. Print purchases all the way back to 1995—when Amazon first opened its online bookstore—will qualify once a publisher enrolls a title in Kindle MatchBook. Over 10,000 books will already be available when Kindle MatchBook launches in October, including best sellers like I Know This Much Is True by Wally Lamb, The Art of Racing in the Rain by Garth Stein, The Thorn Birds by Colleen McCullough, A Prayer for Owen Meany by John Irving and The Hangman’s Daughter by Oliver Pötzsch, with many more titles to be added over time. Customers can learn more by visiting www.amazon.com/kindlematchbook.

“If you logged onto your CompuServe account during the Clinton administration and bought a book like Men Are from Mars, Women Are from Venus from Amazon, Kindle MatchBook now makes it possible for that purchase—18 years later—to be added to your Kindle library at a very low cost,” said Russ Grandinetti, Vice President of Kindle Content. “In addition to being a great new benefit for customers, this is an easy choice for publishers and authors who will now be able to earn more from each book they publish.”

Bundling print and digital has been one of the most requested features from customers. With Kindle MatchBook, they can keep their favorite book on their shelf, and have a copy in their digital library for reading, perhaps re-reading it with features like X-Ray and Popular Highlights.

“I love this idea. It’s simple, brilliant, and good for everybody,” said best-selling author Marcus Sakey. “I love to have print books on my shelf, but I love reading my Kindle on the go, and there are plenty of titles I’d like both ways. It’s ridiculous to ask readers to pay full retail twice for the same book.”

Kindle MatchBook features include:

· Kindle editions at a great price: Amazon customers who purchase or have purchased qualifying print books can get the Kindle edition for prices that are typically $2.99, $1.99, $0.99, or free.

· For book purchases dating back to 1995: Print purchases all the way back to 1995—when Amazon first opened its online bookstore—will qualify once a publisher enrolls a title in Kindle MatchBook.

· Easy discovery: Readers can easily look up their entire print book order history to discover which of their past purchases are enrolled in Kindle MatchBook.

· Popular Kindle-only features: As with regular purchases, Kindle MatchBook titles have unique features such as Whispersync, Popular Highlights, and X-Ray.

· Read anywhere capabilities: In addition to Amazon’s best-selling Kindle devices, customers can download a free Kindle reading app for iPhone, iPad, Android tablets and phones, PC or Mac and start building their Kindle library today.

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. Authors and publishers using Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP) can enroll their books in the program today by visiting http://kdp.amazon.com.

  • Guest

    Congratulations to Amazon on the launch!