Are there books sitting on your bookshelf that you purchased a while back but haven’t gotten around to reading because it’s so much more convenient to fire up your Kindle, iPad or other device and read an e-book? Then Amazon is set to launch a new program you might be interested in.
Taking its cue from its own AutoRip program that converts previously purchased CDs into cloud-stored mp3 files, Amazon’s Kindle MatchBook will allow users to get Kindle versions of printed books purchased via the online retailer. But unlike AutoRip, MatchBook won’t always be free.
The program will launch in October and Amazon says it will track book purchases as far back as 1995. Customers will then be given the option of paying anywhere from $0 to $3 for a Kindle version of previously purchased books.
Of course, not all titles will be available through the program, and Amazon is only showing a handful of titles on the MatchBook landing page right now, though they do include titles from big-name authors like Neil Gaiman, Jodi Picoult, John Irving, and Neal Stephenson, among others.
In an interview with the NY Times, Amazon’s VP of Kindle Content would only name HarperCollins as one of the major publishers with which the company has made a deal to have its titles available via MatchBook. However, the company claims that more than 10,000 titles will be included in MatchBook’s October launch.
Most interesting is that MatchBook is not merely a backward-looking program, as it intends to offer Kindle-version add-ons to titles published in the future. This idea — of being able to buy a printed book and get an e-book for free or at a discounted rate — is one that consumers have been requesting for years. It’s already quite common in the movie and music business for digital download versions to be paired with physical media like CDs, DVDs, and BluRay discs.