Early this year, Amazon announced a new service called AutoRip that would give customers the mp3 version of any physical album bought through the retailer. It was only a matter of time before a similar initiative came to its book selling services, and that time is now.
Amazon announced today a new service called Kindle MatchBook that allows customers who buy a physical book through Amazon to receive the Kindle edition for free or for a reduced price. To be more specific, the Kindle Editions will run you either $2.99, $1.99 or $0.99. It’s also retroactive so any physical book you purchased from Amazon since 1995 will now be available to you in a cheap, digital 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. “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.”
But wait, there’s a catch, isn’t there? Unfortunately, the world of book licensing is a depressing world filled with greedy publishers who would love to charge you the full price twice for both the physical and digital versions of a novel. Amazon hopes this service will change their tune, however, as the retailer is calling on authors and publishers to embrace MatchBook.
“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.”
Starting out, Amazon announced that some top notch authors will have their books included as part of MatchBook’s launch, including Ray Bradbury, Michael Crichton, Blake Couch, James Rollins and others. The retailer also notes that any book published through Amazon Publishing will be automatically enrolled in MatchBook.
Kindle MatchBook will launch at some point in October. Until then, check out Amazon’s landing page for the service to see a small selection of the books that will be made available at launch.