Amazon MatchBook

Amazon has announced a new program, which they’ll be rolling out in the next few weeks (according to their announcement to authors). I think it’s pretty cool, and since it may impact your buying decisions, I thought I’d tell you about it.

MatchBook allows authors and publishers to enroll books in a matching program. Here’s how it works: if you have bought a print edition of a book and if that book is enrolled in the program, you’ll be able to buy the digital edition of that same book at a discounted price. (Of course, you’ll also have to have bought the print book new from Amazon for this offer to work.) The digital edition must be at least half price for consumers who qualify.

So, this means that all of you who have libraries of mass market romances, just for example, will likely be able to replace many of them in digital editions at a discounted price. It doesn’t matter if you bought the mass market original, the trade paperback or book club original, or the new trade paperback edition – any of them will qualify you for the discounted digital edition, if the author/publisher has enrolled that book in the program.

I’ve set all of the titles under my control to be 99 cents for readers who have bought them new from Amazon. I’ll continue to do that in future, sooooooo – if you intend to buy in both print and digital, you might want to buy the print edition first, just so you get the discount.

MatchBook was just announced and it’s not clear exactly when it will go live for consumers. The announcement said ‘weeks’, so I’d expect it to be rolled out soon. It looks to me like an inducement for those readers who haven’t yet bought an e-reader to make the switch, maybe to be advertised just in time for holiday shopping.

We’ll see how it shakes out, but now you know!