Indie Corner: Amazon's Kindle Matchbook Program


Vision 73


Indie Corner:

Amazon's Kindle Matchbook Program


J.A. Marlow


Copyright © 2013, J.A. Marlow, All Rights Reserved

Once again, Amazon is at the forefront of innovation in the book selling world. Following the success of their audio book discounts, which linked audio book and ebook, on September 3, 2013 the company announce a program called "Kindle Matchbook."

"The Kindle MatchBook program offers customers who purchase, or have previously purchased, a print book from the option to purchase the Kindle version of that title for $2.99 or less. If you have a print version of your title and enroll the Kindle version in Kindle MatchBook you can earn a royalty from Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP) based on the Promotional List Price (choose from $2.99, $1.99, $0.99, or free) for any Kindle MatchBook sale."

Publishers and authors have used this basic idea for a while. So has the music industry. Buy the physical version? Get the digital version for free or a nominal price. In the past, for print books, this usually entailed providing a coupon code for a retailer such as Smashwords, or the use of a secret web address.

With this service, Amazon formalizes and streamlines the idea of print-ebook bundling, allowing the transaction to occur through their website. All while providing controls for the publishers and authors.

As an added perk for readers, if they have purchased a qualifying book from Amazon since its inception, then they are eligible to purchase (or download for free, depending on the book) the ebook version for the discounted price. Yes, even eighteen years after they bought the print version. The ebook is then immediately available to them for reading. If they have a Kindle, the ebook will automatically be sent to it.

The program is expected to launch in October of 2013. To help it launch well, Amazon arranged to include some bestsellers, and have signed Harper Collins as one of the big publishers. For small publishers and independents, the print book must be printed and available through Createspace.

Signing up any book is optional. Amazon has the KDP interface set up so you can opt in some books while leaving others out. The discount must be at least half off the digital version. So, ensure you have your pricing set right on your ebooks! The pricing tiers allowed in the program are $2.99, $1.99, $0.99, or free.

So, for instance, if you wanted to price the digital discounted version at $2.99, you will need to have a standard ebook price of $5.99. The royalty rate is dictated by the standard price of the digital edition. If your book usually qualifies for the 70% royalty, then so will the promotional discounted price, even if that price dips below $2.99.

An important note to those of us who wish to provide our work world-wide and to as many reading devices as possible: the Kindle Matchbook program is not tied to the Kindle Select program. Which means you can use the Matchbook program as a promotional tool without having to go exclusive to Amazon. On behalf of the readers around the world, this is a very good thing.

Enrolling a book is easy. Go to your KDP account and click on the book you want to enter into the program. On the "Rights & Pricing" screen you will find a box to check towards the bottom of the page. Then you will choose what discount you wish to provide the reader. You can also opt out the book at any time.

For more publisher information, visit Amazon's Kindle Matchbook FAQ: For reader information, see: