If you’ve been following the week’s headlines in the publishing biz, you will have heard that Amazon’s announced a new bookselling endeavor called the MatchBook program. The Kindle aspect of the program will allow anyone who’s purchased a print book from Amazon since 1995 to purchase the e-book version at a reduced rate, which could be anywhere from free to $2.99. I might have missed it in the material I read, but there was no reference to buying a reduced price print copy if you’d already purchased the e-book. What it does mean, though, is that if you sign up for the program, you can buy both, presumably at reduced prices although, as far as print goes, this isn’t clear to me either.
According to an article in digitalbookworld.com, the program is scheduled to launch in October and already has 10,000 books listed. As stated in the article, this is a drop in the bucket compared to the number of books out there. The program for both self-publishers and traditional publishers is voluntary, however, Amazon maintains that this is a great option for publishers and authors, as it will increase their revenue stream.
As you can imagine, the marketing strategy has stirred up controversy. Some love the idea and others hate it, stating why would you want to buy the same book twice? Yet some people like to read print at home, but e-books while commuting or traveling. So far, HarperCollins has joined the program, but others aren’t quite so quick to jump in.
An article in Forbes.com states that the concept of bundling has been considered for years in the publishing business. That Amazon is the one to take this initiative in a big way irritates anti-Amazon folks. Whether it will prove to be a great strategy, or an unsuccessful bid to upsell remains to be seen.
What are your thoughts on this? Would you be willing to pay for both the print and e-book versions? What else have you heard about the program?
To read more the digitalbookworld piece go to http://www.digitalbookworld.com/2013/amazon-offers-readers-kindle-editions-of-purchased-print-books-for-2-99-or-less/
The Forbes piece is at http://www.forbes.com/sites/jeremygreenfield/2013/09/03/amazon-matchbook-encouraging-readers-to-sell-their-book-collections-and-go-digital/?et_mid=635322&rid=240988274