Amazon MatchBook offers cheap e-books to print buyers, new Kindle Paperwhites launch

Posted:
in General Discussion edited January 2014
Amazon has rolled out a new program that will allow customers to buy low-cost digital copies of the books they already physically own, while at the same time the retail giant is refreshing its line of dedicated Kindle e-readers with new devices that get up to two months on a single charge.



The new MatchBook program will allow Amazon customers to purchase the Kindle edition of print books they have already purchased from Amazon and in the process pay only a fraction of what the Kindle edition would have cost them. Over 10,000 titles will be available when the program launches in October, with prices ranging from free to $3.

Amazon's offer will cover titles purchased on its site all the way back to 1995, when Amazon first opened its online bookstore.

"If you logged onto your CompuServe account during the Clinton administration and bought a book like 'Men Are from Mars, Women Are from Venus' from Amazon, Kindle MatchBook now makes it possible for that purchase ? 18 years later ? to be added to your Kindle library at a very low cost,? said Russ Grandinetti, vice president of Kindle Content.

By visiting Amazon's site for MatchBook, customers can look up the entirety of their previous physical book orders from Amazon. From there, they can see which titles are enrolled in Kindle MatchBook.

The program will launch with titles from Ray Bradbury, Michael Crichton, Blake Crouch, James Rollins, Jodi Picoult, Neil Gaiman, Marcus Sakey, Wally Lamb, Jo Nesbo, Neal Stephenson, and J.A. Jance, as well as all of Amazon Publishing's titles. In order to take part in the program, publishers must coordinate with Amazon to get their books listed in MatchBook.

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Amazon also announced a new version of its dedicated e-reader, the Kindle Paperwhite. The new version ? which features an e-ink display unlike the Kindle Fire devices Amazon matches up against Apple's iPad ? features a processor 25 percent faster than its predecessor. It also is said to have an improved display with higher contrast and a longer lasting battery. Amazon says that the new dedicated e-reader can get up to two months of use on a single charge.

In addition to those features, Amazon has built social integration into the device, with users now able to get book recommendations from likeminded readers via Goodreads, a service Amazon purchased in March of this year. Amazon also introduced Kindle Page Flip, which keeps a user's place in a book even if they scan ahead in the text. Another added feature is the Vocabulary Builder, which creates flashcards based on previous words a user has looked up.

As with previous models, Amazon is offering the device with three pricing options. Customers can get the Kindle Paperwhite for as low as $119, though customers taking that option will find their lock screens occasionally populated by advertisements. There is also a $139 option, which will have no ads. In November, Amazon will roll out a 3G-connected Paperwhite model as well. The two non-cellular models will ship on the 30th of September. All three models are available for preorder on Amazon's site.

Amazon revealed the new device with little fanfare, prompting some to question what else the online retail giant has prepared for release this year. The last two years have seen Amazon showing off new versions of its Kindle Fire tablet devices, and this year is expected to be no different. Amazon is also rumored to be working on its own smartphone devices, though that rumor lost some steam after no such product was revealed last year.

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 16
    Now this is a great idea! I've long resisted buying e-books because I like to buy the hardcover book and do not appreciate having to pay full price to buy it twice. I occasionally buy e-books from the apple store, but with this program and the kindle app on my iPad, I will be greatly increasing my e-book library!
  • Reply 2 of 16
    dave k.dave k. Posts: 1,306member
    Agreed. This sounds good. Hopefully, in time the inclusion will be free.
  • Reply 3 of 16


    I keep reading Paperwhite as Paperweight.  

  • Reply 4 of 16
    Ahhhhhh...a government aided monopoly ????

    Besides that though this is a great idea.
  • Reply 5 of 16
    saareksaarek Posts: 1,105member
    Excellent idea, they did something similar with music recently.
  • Reply 6 of 16
    Too bad the actual typography and presentation of most ebooks are absolute crap.
  • Reply 7 of 16
    It will be interesting again when they add epub 3.0.
  • Reply 8 of 16
    anomeanome Posts: 1,256member

    What I want to know is whether older Paperwhites will be updated with the new software features. I really don't want to have to buy a new one.

     

    Well, OK, I wouldn't just buy a new one for those features, but they would be nice. And, if I'm honest, I haven't had a problem with the battery life of the current one, so I guess I can let it slide for this version.

     

    As for Matchbook, it might be interesting, depending on how locked down it is. I've bought books that advertise "Whispersynch for Voice" on Audible and Amazon, only to find that the particular edition that it's enabled for isn't the one we get here in Australia. Plus, the whole Lending Library thing doesn't work here, either. (Nor Amazon Instant Video, but anyway...) A lot of the books I bought from Amazon in the 90s, which I would like to have on my Kindle, have long since gone out of print, or are now in editions that bear little relation to the one I bought sometime back in the 90s.

  • Reply 9 of 16
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  • Reply 10 of 16
    v5vv5v Posts: 1,357member

    I wonder if/when Apple will follow suit? Considering that until Mavericks is released we STILL can't read an Apple ebook on a Mac, I get the feeling I shouldn't hold my breath waiting for Apple to do something similar.

     

    It's a great idea. Fair and reasonable. It should go a long way towards bringing together proponents of physical and virtual formats.

  • Reply 11 of 16
    v5v wrote: »
    I wonder if/when Apple will follow suit? Considering that until Mavericks is released we STILL can't read an Apple ebook on a Mac, I get the feeling I shouldn't hold my breath waiting for Apple to do something similar.

    It's a great idea. Fair and reasonable. It should go a long way towards bringing together proponents of physical and virtual formats.

    How could Apple follow suit? They don't sell physical books.

    If you but a book from Apple you will be able to read it on 10.9 on your Mac. If you buy a Kindle book from Amazon, you can already read it on your Mac.

    What are you trying to say?
  • Reply 12 of 16
    damonfdamonf Posts: 217member
    How does one do this:

    "By visiting Amazon's site for MatchBook, customers can look up the entirety of their previous physical book orders from Amazon. From there, they can see which titles are enrolled in Kindle MatchBook"

    Nothing I see stands out as a "Click here to see if any of your purchased books are eligible". Or are they supposed to be listed on the main MatchBook page automatically if I had any? Or is the "search your prior purchases" function just not turned on yet? It could be I don't have any books purchased through Amazon. Maybe 1 or 2 at most.
  • Reply 13 of 16
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by DamonF View Post



    How does one do this:



    "By visiting Amazon's site for MatchBook, customers can look up the entirety of their previous physical book orders from Amazon. From there, they can see which titles are enrolled in Kindle MatchBook"



    Nothing I see stands out as a "Click here to see if any of your purchased books are eligible". Or are they supposed to be listed on the main MatchBook page automatically if I had any? Or is the "search your prior purchases" function just not turned on yet? It could be I don't have any books purchased through Amazon. Maybe 1 or 2 at most.

     

    I don't think it is available yet, looks like it starts in October.

  • Reply 14 of 16
    dysamoriadysamoria Posts: 1,981member
    [quote]Amazon also announced a new version of its dedicated e-reader, the its predecessor.[/quote]

    Seriously? The "its predecessor"?
  • Reply 15 of 16
    v5vv5v Posts: 1,357member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Spacepower View Post



    How could Apple follow suit? They don't sell physical books.

     

    Oh, it's gotta be purchased from Amazon to be eligible? I guess I figgered just having possession of the book would make one eligible, but now that I think about it I guess that wouldn't work since a huge group of people could all pass around the same book.

     

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Spacepower View Post



    If you but a book from Apple you will be able to read it on 10.9 on your Mac. If you buy a Kindle book from Amazon, you can already read it on your Mac.

     

    Right, I was saying Amazon good, Apple not as good. We still can't read our iBooks on a Mac. Once Mavericks fixes that I'll be happier.

  • Reply 16 of 16
    trumptmantrumptman Posts: 16,454member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by saarek View Post



    Excellent idea, they did something similar with music recently.

     

    It's almost like they are innovating and improving over other competitors in this area.

     

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Anome View Post

     

    What I want to know is whether older Paperwhites will be updated with the new software features. I really don't want to have to buy a new one.

     

    Well, OK, I wouldn't just buy a new one for those features, but they would be nice. And, if I'm honest, I haven't had a problem with the battery life of the current one, so I guess I can let it slide for this version.

     

    As for Matchbook, it might be interesting, depending on how locked down it is. I've bought books that advertise "Whispersynch for Voice" on Audible and Amazon, only to find that the particular edition that it's enabled for isn't the one we get here in Australia. Plus, the whole Lending Library thing doesn't work here, either. (Nor Amazon Instant Video, but anyway...) A lot of the books I bought from Amazon in the 90s, which I would like to have on my Kindle, have long since gone out of print, or are now in editions that bear little relation to the one I bought sometime back in the 90s.


     

    I don't know if they will offer a software update. I have the Kindle Touch 3G which I really enjoy and I felt lucky that they upgraded the software experience to match that of the new Paperwhite. The goodwill generated by such actions is worth more than any advertising campaign and even when a company ends up competing against themselves it still must be cheaper than competing against another company.

     

    Apple of course does quite well with this with regard to Macs and iOS devices. I really wish they would revisit the software on the iPod Nano's. They did a software upgrade for the iPod Nano 6th generation and it really generated a lot of goodwill. I'm hoping my iPod Nano 7th generation gets the look of iOS7. 

     

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by v5v View Post

     

    I wonder if/when Apple will follow suit? Considering that until Mavericks is released we STILL can't read an Apple ebook on a Mac, I get the feeling I shouldn't hold my breath waiting for Apple to do something similar.

     

    It's a great idea. Fair and reasonable. It should go a long way towards bringing together proponents of physical and virtual formats.


     

    I still think it is ridiculous to list what amounts to an app, as a tentpole feature of an OS upgrade. Apple could certainly partner with someone on this, perhaps a Barnes and Noble, but I doubt they will do so. They really have treated e-books as an after thought. Most of their software lately feels like an afterthought though.

     

     

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Spacepower View Post

     
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by v5v View Post



    I wonder if/when Apple will follow suit? Considering that until Mavericks is released we STILL can't read an Apple ebook on a Mac, I get the feeling I shouldn't hold my breath waiting for Apple to do something similar.



    It's a great idea. Fair and reasonable. It should go a long way towards bringing together proponents of physical and virtual formats.




    How could Apple follow suit? They don't sell physical books.



    If you but a book from Apple you will be able to read it on 10.9 on your Mac. If you buy a Kindle book from Amazon, you can already read it on your Mac.



    What are you trying to say?

     

    He's just saying it is a good idea and people employing it can use it to outcompete Apple or Apple can embrace it and find a way to outcompete or stay even with others. If Apple is selling an iTunes album for $9.99 and Amazon will sell you the CD automagically ripped and downloadable as MP3 files for $9.99, the latter is a better value to most people.

     

     

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by v5v View Post

     
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Spacepower View Post



    How could Apple follow suit? They don't sell physical books.

     

    Oh, it's gotta be purchased from Amazon to be eligible? I guess I figgered just having possession of the book would make one eligible, but now that I think about it I guess that wouldn't work since a huge group of people could all pass around the same book.

     

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Spacepower View Post



    If you but a book from Apple you will be able to read it on 10.9 on your Mac. If you buy a Kindle book from Amazon, you can already read it on your Mac.

     

    Right, I was saying Amazon good, Apple not as good. We still can't read our iBooks on a Mac. Once Mavericks fixes that I'll be happier.


     

    Apple will still be out of the game for the most part. Amazon allows you to read your books from the cloud in a browser. They allow an app for your computer and basically every phone and tablet OS there is out there. Apple is really becoming far to insular for my tastes. I'm not dropping them by a long shot but increasing, I'm having to look third party for better solutions.

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