Amazon has announced a new service for certain customers who purchase the physical version of a book called Amazon MatchBook. Under the program, those buyers will be able to grab the digital copy of the same book for a steeply discounted rate, a sort of subsidized legal format shifting endeavor that gives readers the option of having an extra-portable version on their Kindle slate.
This isn't just for recent releases, however, an aspect of the service that will perhaps make it most useful for those who take advantage of it. Books that were bought new from Amazon as far back as its 1995 hay days will be eligible for MatchBook, meaning a customer who bought a hard copy ten years ago, for example, only to lose it in the shuffle of life will be able to grab the digital copy.
Said Kindle Content's Vice President Russ Grandinetti: "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. 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 prices for ebooks under Amazon MatchBook will be in the highly subsidized range, costing $2.99, $1.99, or $0.99, with some books even being offered for free. The catch is that the title must be registered by its own publisher as eligible under the program, meaning you won't be able to drag out your old Amazon receipts and score a trove of books for your Kindle.
This has been one of the most requested features among its customers, says Amazon, and under it Kindle users will be able to grab digital titles from authors like Ray Bradbury, Jo Nesbo, Wally Lamb, Blake Crouch, James Rollings, Jodi Picoult, Neil Gaiman, and more. The service is set to launch in October.