For most readers, print and electronic books are an either-or proposition. There just isn’t a compelling reason to buy both editions of one book, at least not at full price.
Amazon is about to test how much appetite there is for combined print-and-digital book purchases if it cuts the price of Kindle books to less than that of a Starbucks latte.
On Tuesday, the company plans to announce a new program, Kindle MatchBook, that lets its customers buy the electronic versions of books they have already purchased in print form for either $2.99, $1.99, $0.99 or free. That’s far less than the $11 or more that Amazon typically charges for standalone purchases of the latest Kindle titles.
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.
I’ll have to wait and see. It may be that I’ll find stuff I want to buy in eBook format that I once owned in DT, even though I tossed the DT version years ago.
Otherwise, I can’t see any reason I’d be buying dead tree versions just to get the eBook – although I do buy a lot of the CD versions of music that include a free MP3 copy, especially when, as sometimes happens, buying the CD+MP3 is cheaper than the MP3 alone.
But that’s not the way this deal is set up.