September 3, 2013 Last Updated 8:33 am

Amazon to launch Kindle MatchBook program, a discount eBooks program

The online retailing giant Amazon.com today announced that it would introduce a program that will allow those readers who bought print books from Amazon to purchase the eBook versions at a steep discount. Called Kindle MatchBook, the program will launch in October.

Amazon says that over 10,000 books will be available in the program at launch, and that prices will be set at $2.99 to free.

MatchBook_logoThe program is somewhat similar to Amazon’s music program called AutoRip, though in the case of music the MP3 versions are given away.

“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,” Amazon’s Russ Grandinetti, Vice President of Kindle Content, said in the announcement. “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.”

The move takes advantage of the fact that Apple, Google and other competitors (other than Barnes & Noble) sell print books. Now, all those print readers instantly become candidates for eBooks. This move also encourages those reader who, until now, have stayed away from tablets and eReaders, to rethink their position.

Authors and publishers using Amazon’s Kindle Direct Publishing can enroll their books in the program beginning today by signing up online.

Of course, by doing so, they are agreeing to sell their eBooks at a steep discount. For many self-publishers who use CreateSpace and other services, the profit margin on print books is small due to the high costs. Therefore, eBooks end up being more profitable – that is, before they are discounted.

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