Amazon to offer low-cost e-books for book purchases dating back to 1995

3 Sep 2013

Amazon's Kindle Paperwhite e-reader

Amazon plans to roll out a new service in October that will give customers the opportunity to buy, at a slashed price, e-book versions of hard-copy books they have purchased.

Kindle MatchBook will offer Kindle versions of books for US$2.99, US$1.99, US$0.99 or completely free. This offer applies to all books purchased from since 1995, when the service first began selling books online, as well as future purchases.

What MatchBook assumes is that e-readers and book-readers are not separate groups and this new service aims to please that cross-section of customers who would like the practical benefits of an e-book, as well as the physical beauty of a printed work.

“A lot of people are really attached to the idea of sticking books on a shelf,” Russ Grandinetti, vice-president of Kindle Content, told The New York Times Bits blog, explaining why Amazon has decided to fulfil what he claims is a common request from its Kindle customers.

Kindle e-books purchased through MatchBook can then be read on PCs, Macs, iPads or Android devices through Amazon’s free Kindle apps, not to mention its own Kindle e-readers and tablets.

So far, only HarperCollins has been named as a publisher partner for the new programme, and Amazon will need the big houses on board for this to work to customers’ benefit. At launch, though, there will be 10,000 e-books available for purchase through the programme, some of which can be seen listed on the MatchBook webpage.

While some of the older titles that are part of the programme already make for inexpensive e-books, there are bargains to be had when this discount comes with purchases of new releases.

Elaine Burke is the editor of Silicon Republic