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Amazon to offer discounted Kindle ebooks when you buy real, printed books

Amazon has introduced a program, called Kindle MatchBook, that will let customers download the Kindle ebook version of physical books that they have previously purchased. The price of the ebooks will range from free to $2.99. Books that customers have purchased in print at any point in the past will be eligible for MatchBook, according to the New York Times:

One benefit of MatchBook is that Amazon will let its customers buy Kindle editions of books that they purchased in print as far back as 1995, the year Amazon opened for business. The discounted Kindle edition prices apply to book purchases made in the future on Amazon too.

Amazon still has to get the publishers on board with MatchBook. So far, only a couple of publishers have reached agreements, including HarperCollins. If it proves successful, other publishers are sure to sign up.

One of the advantages that Amazon has over much of their ebook competition, including Apple, is that they have both the physical and digital books to offer. And while the popularity of ebooks has exploded in recent years, many customers have wished for an easier, less-expensive way to have the best of both physical and digital books. Some still prefer reading physical books, but like the convenience of digital books for traveling, and the prospect of being able to bundle a Kindle version of a book with a future purchase, either for free or a low price, could be very appealing.

Kindle MatchBook will launch in October. Will you be using it, or have you gone all-in with ebooks?

Source: Amazon (opens in new tab), The New York Times

Joseph Keller is the former Editor in Chief of iMore. An Apple user for almost 20 years, he spends his time learning the ins and outs of iOS and macOS, always finding ways of getting the most out of his iPhone, iPad, Apple Watch, and Mac.

  • This seems a continuing trend; Amazon's Whispersync offers slightly discounted prices for Audible books if you already own the Kindle edition. There are select hardcopy books that I would love to own as an ebook if the price was reasonable. I enjoy my physical library of books, but no longer take them when traveling. Even at home I find I'm mostly reading books on my iPad, as adjusting brightness, text size, dictionary etc are such wonderful enhancements. Sent from the iMore App
  • FINALLY! I have been hoping for this for years. Many books I like to purchase the hardcover for my collection, but prefer the convenience of an ebook when travelling. This gives me the best of both worlds.
  • Hardcover is more relaxing. But will be great to have e version while traveling. Another reason not to use I books! Sent from the iMore App
  • I've bought the kindle books for convenience but wish I could have hard copies on my desk for review/lending. Maybe I'll switch to hard copy and do it this way when I can!
  • Now if only they could get WhisperSync for physical books working...