Here I am, sitting in my office, planning out my budget for the next year when along comes this announcement from Amazon: “Introducing the Kindle Matchbook.” It seems that Amazon will provide you with an ebook copy of a book that was purchased from them in print for a nominal ranging from a Free (yes, I said free) to a high of $2.99. And they’re willing to count purchases made all the way back to 1995. There is one limit: this is only available for titles that the publishers have opted in on. I think this is pretty darn exciting but what will really be interesting is how widely the publishers support this program.
As a Law Librarian (or Research Services Specialist if you prefer), I’m thrilled to see a purveyor of the printed word that acknowledges that it is cheaper to publish books electronically and gives you a benefit for purchasing the print edition. In the Legal Publishing world, Firms are expected to pay the same price for an ebook as they do for a the printed edition (and yes, you do save on the Shipping & Handling charges) and you need to spend several thousand dollars annually on software to manage the confounded things. Perhaps this move by Amazon will shake this model up. You can find more information about this Amazon program here.