What is Kindle Matchbook and What Does it Mean For Authors and Readers?

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Photo Courtesy of Morguefile.com

Last week Amazon came out with a new program called KINDLE MATCHBOOK. Have you heard about it yet?

What is it?  It’s an Amazon marketing ploy to sell more books. And since I like to sell books I’m all about this endeavor.

The Deal:  Buy a paper back novel at Amazon and get the Kindle version for a 50% (or more) discounted rate ($0.99 – $2.99 or sometimes free), but ONLY on those books that the publisher/author has registered in this program.

This deal is available for thousands of print books purchased new from Amazon, going all the way back to 1995 when Amazon first opened its online bookstore.

In other words, if you bought a paper back novel at Amazon in 1995 or sooner and want the Kindle edition, AND if the publisher/author has agreed to enter their books in this program, you could get the Kindle edition for a discounted price.

Pros:  There are benefits for authors, readers, and publishers. What are they?

Readers: Why would you as a reader need both copies?

Maybe you want to buy the paperback for your friend, but want the Kindle version for yourself. Or maybe you’re cleaning house and decide to sell your paperback novels because you’re going paper-free, but you want to keep an electronic library instead. You can go back and buy the Kindle version to those books you’ve purchased through Amazon at a reduced price. (Note: you can’t buy the reduced-price Kindle on USED paperbacks that you previously purchased.)

This also gives book collectors a way to place their paper back edition on a shelf and only read the Kindle version. They’ll be more inclined to buy the Kindle version if they know it’s only going to cost them a little more than only the paper back.

This program might encourage typical non-Kindle-readers to give Kindle a try.

Publishers:  Have the right to enter their books in this program. This is a great way for them to sell more books.

Authors:  Some authors don’t want to participate in this program because they don’t want to give their books away for less. When they agree to enter into the program they have to price their Kindle at 50% below their usual price. Why would any author want to sell their book for less?

There’s another way of looking at this. What if that buyer/reader wouldn’t buy the book unless it was offered at a discounted price? In that case, the publisher/author wouldn’t be losing the money, they’d be gaining a sale that might not have happened had the book been offered at the regular price.

As an author and a publisher, I enrolled in this program because I believe I’ll sell more books. The profit on the additional book sales will outweigh the loss in price.

What if I change my mind? No problem. I can go back and switch my authorization.

If you’re an Indie Girl/Guy like me, here’s how to enroll in the Kindle Matchbook. Go to your Kindle Direct Publishing page and click on your BOOKSHELF. The header looks like this. Click on the book title you wish to enroll.

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Next, Click on RIGHTS and PRICING at the top of the page and you’ll see this at the bottom of the page:

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(This is a screen shot of what mine looks like after I joined.) Click a mark in the box and choose the price– ($2.99, $1.99, $0.99, or free) as long as it’s 50% less than your Kindle book price. Notice that the royalty of $0.64 is more than the usual 35% royalty on a Kindle book at $0.99. THIS IS GOOD!

Be sure to SAVE and PUBLISH.

Teen author Oliver Dahl said, “I signed up within minutes of getting the email. Keep in mind that you get 70% royalty this way, even if it is under $2.99. It’s the only way to get 70% from a $.99 sale.”

Who loses?  Amazon’s competitors if they don’t do something comparable.

What do you think? Is this a good thing or a bad thing for you? Why or why not?

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  1. I will ask my publisher if they want to participate. I am still totally baffled by this marketing stuff. Thanks for the great blog!

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