After years of false starts, bundling e-books with print books may have gotten the spark it needed Tuesday morning when Amazon announced an October launch date for Kindle MatchBook. Under the program, customers who buy—or have bought—print editions of titles can buy the e-book at prices ranging from $2.99 to free. At launch, Amazon expects to have over 10,000 books in the program, ranging from new books to books that Amazon began selling when it first opened in 1995.
Amazon said the announcement of MatchBook is “also a call to all authors and publishers to enroll their books in Kindle MatchBook—offering customers great value while adding a new revenue stream.” Amazon said it will add titles to MatchBook once a publisher, or author, enrolls in the program. Titles from HarperCollins and Amazon Publishing are part of the launch and authors and publishers using Kindle Direct Publishing can enroll their books in the program as well. Books that are part of MatchBook at launch include I Know This Much Is True by Wally Lamb, The Art of Racing in the Rain by Garth Stein, The Thorn Birds by Colleen McCullough, A Prayer for Owen Meany by John Irving and The Hangman’s Daughter by Oliver Pötzsch. A spokesperson said Amazon “expects to add many more titles over time.”
According to Amazon, bundling print and digital has been one of the most requested features from its customers. Under its terms, Amazon said it will pay royalties to publishers/authors based on the MatchBook price of the e-book.