Kindle Match Book

Cover of "Kindle Wireless Reading Device,...

I got an email from Amazon’s KDP today, and I’m sure I’m not alone. What are they “selling” this time?  Called “Kindle Match Book“, the idea is that if you have a paperback version of your book (sold through Amazon – and yes, this includes Create Space books) you can choose to discount the kindle version of that book to readers who have already bought the hard copy. According to the FAQ you can even set the price to free. After KDP Select and it’s exclusivity clause I have been poking around to make sure that a similar thing wasn’t hiding in the Match Book program. So far there doesn’t seem to be any special clauses involved.

So what the heck, I gave it a try on some of my books. To enroll in it go to your kdp dashboard, pick your book, then skip to the second section, Rights and Pricing”, and it is now #9 in the setup option.  According to the email it is not going “live” just yet. From the email:

By enrolling your book, you will be among the first to be able to take advantage of this new program. The Kindle MatchBook discount you select will not appear on Amazon.com until the program is fully launched in the coming weeks. We will notify you by e-mail as soon as your Kindle MatchBook discount is live. Your readers will soon have an easy and affordable way to read your book in both print and digital formats.

Is this a good thing? is it a bad thing? Can it do anything for your profits one way or the other? I don’t sell a lot of paperback copies, so I  doubt it will make an ounce of difference to me. But what could it mean to you? Do you see a potential for lost profits (after all, some readers do buy both and are doing so at full price right now) or, as Amazon suggests, so you think you will sell more?

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24 Comments

  1. Personally, I don’t see this making much of a difference. Only really dedicated fans would buy the e-book after getting the hard copy. For most, having one copy is enough. Still, it sounds intriguing. I may try it, just to see what happens.

    1. That’s what I was thinking, too, though the idea further down in the comments of buying one as a gift and keeping the other for free is an interesting idea.

      1. Yeah. Just one other problem: I’ve tried to put my book on the program, but for some reason, as soon as I press “Select”, options pop up, and then it just stays on “Free” forevermore. If I can’t select a choice, why should I bother? That’s a program bug right there.

        1. Jill James says:

          It has to be at least 50% off. If your book is already 99 cents it can only go down to free.

          1. Ron Fritsch says:

            That’s right, Jill. My options for my $2.99 books were $.99 and free. I chose free. I mean, if a reader buys a PB copy of a book I wrote, that person deserves a free EB version.

          2. I see. That explains a lot. Thanks Jill.

  2. Tasha Turner says:

    This is pretty cool. A great option to be able to add & talk about. I know a number of cases where I’ve wanted both versions but held off on buying the kindle version if I had the print version.

  3. Hi Jo, i didnt know about this … but like yourself i don’t think it will make any difference to me at this time. Interesting option though! Many thanks for the info!

    1. you’re very welcome 🙂

  4. Jill James says:

    One of the opportunities mentioned on some bulletin boards is the idea of the paperback for a gift and keeping the now cheaper ebook for yourself. I could see people doing that.

    1. That is a good idea!

  5. sknicholls says:

    I sometimes read an eversion and then say, “Wow, i would like that in paperback or hard copy,” but have never thought the other way round. I think they are going about it backwards. Should be…buy the eversion and get a discount on the paperback or hard copy. IMHO.

    1. I know, I wish there was a way to discount paperbacks! I have mine priced so low I make $.10 off of them and I still think they’re expensive.

  6. I am getting cynical in my old age, Joleene. LOL I don’t know why, but this bothers me. And I wish I could explain why.

    1. I know. I keep feeling like I am missing something…

  7. Katie Cross says:

    I had a friend ask me about this the other day. She told me I should offer it as a marketing strategy when I sell my book. I hadn’t thought of it before, but at the time I was sure that she wasn’t the first person. Then this news came out. I’m way behind the times! I’ll definitely offer this as well, however,

    1. That’s a good idea! Let us know how it goes 🙂

  8. I’ve heard of it. Not sure what to think of it…

    1. I went ahead and signed up for it, but like Ruth I feel like there’s something… a little off.

  9. Ron Fritsch says:

    I like this. A reader buys the paperback version but wants to start reading now, before the PB arrives. I set the MatchBook price at free. Jill James has a good idea: here’s a PB gift for you, and a free EB for me.

    1. That is a good point – like the instant downloads you can get with dome DVD orders.

  10. Kathleen says:

    I got the email from KDP too, and my initial take was, “Uh – so what?” I went to the kboards site to see the discussion there, and it’s as mixed as this one here. After a day of ruminating now, I’ve decided there’s no harm in signing up my current novel with matchbook.

    But it has also dawned on me that the matchbook idea isn’t a favor to authors so much as it’s a favor to amazon – it increases the possibility of Kindle sales (the hardware, not the ebooks) among the hard-copy holdouts by piggybacking low-to-no-cost ebooks when a paperback is sold. There’s something to the notion that a person might buy a paperback as a gift for someone else and keep the ebook version for themselves…and pick up not only a Kindle but an ongoing ebook habit.

    1. That is interesting, because my first thought was that they were trying to use this to shift lagging paperback sales – they encourage you to offer the ebook free, so it’s like saying “come on, you can get that ebook that you want and – hey – here’s a paperback for so much less (paper book price minus the price of the ebook so an 8$ paperback and a 5$ ebook become a 5$ ebooks and a 3$ paperback) but then I think maybe my brain works backwards, LOL! Yours is probably closer.

      1. Kathleen says:

        Or maybe it’s both.

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