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Amazon Bundles Print and E-Books

03 Sep

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books-kindle

e-books AND print books

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Discounted e-books for those who own the print version. 
You might remember an blog post “11 Reasons Why You Should Offer Print Books Too” last year where I wrote why it is smart to have print books too…

A complaint of Amazon’s Kindle users since day one was, that there ought to be a way to purchase the print and digital versions of a book together – and at a discount.  Beginning in October, first in the USA, they will be able to buy cheap e-copies of books they have already bought in hardcover or paperback. The most expensive titles will sell for $2.99; the rest will be $1.99, 99 cents or, in some cases, even be free.

Russ Grandinetti, head of Kindle content for Amazon, said: “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 add an e-book to your Kindle library at a very low cost.”

Joan E. Solsman wrote in a cnet.com article:
“The Kindle edition via MatchBook isn’t limited to reading on a Kindle device; the e-books will work on PC, Mac, iPad, Android tablet, or mobile phone too – contrary to the Kindle Owners’ Lending Library that is part of an Amazon Prime subscription, which as its name suggests, lets only Kindle device owners participate in book borrowing.”
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What it means for readers:
Certainly a dandy offer, also they might not have a great selection in the beginning.
So far, when you purchase a book on Amazon, you don’t get it until at least a day or two after you order it. If you order the print and e-book edition “bundled”, you can start to read right away. However, it will take a long time until until they can get the e-book version of all their former book purchases – if ever. Some publishers might not participate or have given back the publishing rights after books went out of print. And as e-books or any digital content technically are not “owned” it might be a good idea to get the print version, just in case … or if it is such a pretty cover, readers might enjoy to see a certain book in their shelves.
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What it means for writers:
A great opportunity, and as a smart author-publisher they have already (at least a POD) print version of their work. See the blog post: “11 Reasons Why You Should Offer Print Books Too“.  If they keep the book at $2.99, royalties (or rather correct: revenue, as Amazon is an online retailer for self-publishing authors, not a publisher!) will be 70%, almost $2.00, while at $0.99 for example, it is only 35%, about $0.30 per book.  However, if they have written more than 3 books, they could also skip CreateSpace and go with Ingram / LightningSource – where they have worldwide distribution to bookstores, and are seen as publishers and can “bundle” their books too.
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And what it means for Amazon:
They will be the big winners, for sure, and certainly “MatchBook” is a clever sales tactic, as author-publishers and small publishing companies might order more POD-created books from CreateSpace (an Amazon subsidiary) to avoid large, costly, print runs – if they choose to “bundle”. And trade publishers may or may not agree with cheap versions of their soft- and hard-covers, and might start formatting digital books or reduce prices of an already digital version. People who are considering buying a Kindle, especially if they have already bought books from Amazon, would consider it a big incentive, and so it’ll drive sales long-term. And it might drive sales on Amazon, even if not many books are available, which can only be seen online. But once potential customers are on Amazon’s site, they might buy other things instead.
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So, what’s the catch?
The program launches in October and.includes so far only more than 10,000 titles, a very tiny fraction of all books available – actually less than 1% of the titles available on Amazon… So far, large publishing houses involved, include only Harper Collins and Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. Amazon said it was now urging other authors, self-publishers and trade publishers to enroll. Not an easy sell, especially to big publishers. That’s why you and me received Amazon’s email …

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men-are-from-mars-women-are-from-venus-book

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Excerpt from Amazon’s Press Release and emails to self-publishers:
“We are excited to introduce Kindle MatchBook, an innovative new program which enables you to offer your Kindle book at a discount when readers purchase your print book, so you can sell more books. It’s easy to enroll.”

Select your Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP) title on your KDP Bookshelf (your books account on Amazon) and check the Enroll box for Kindle MatchBook on the “Rights & Pricing” page.
Set the discount for your book by choosing a promotional list price of $2.99 or less.

By enrolling your book, you will be among the first to be able to take advantage of this new program. The discount you select will not appear on Amazon.com until the program is fully launched in the coming weeks. We will notify you by e-mail as soon as your Kindle MatchBook discount is live. Your readers will soon have an easy and affordable way to read your book in both print and digital formats.

Don’t have a print version of your book? Create one today with CreateSpace – Amazon’s independent publishing platform for print books.  Visit your KDP Bookshelf today to enroll your books.

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