With Kindle MatchBook, customers who have purchased "hard copies" (meaning actual books) can buy their electronic equivalents for $2.99, $1.99, $0.99, or free. According to the company, when Kindle MatchBook launches in October, it will do so with more than 10,000 books in the program, including:
... best sellers like I Know This Much Is True by Wally Lamb, The Art of Racing in the Rain by Garth Stein, The Thorn Birds by Colleen McCullough, A Prayer for Owen Meany by John Irving and The Hangman’s Daughter by Oliver Pötzsch, with many more titles to be added over time.
Customers can learn more by visiting www.amazon.com/kindlematchbook. Print purchases qualify all the way back to Amazon.com's beginnings: 1995.
Russ Grandinetti, Vice President of Kindle Content 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 be added to your Kindle library at a very low cost. In addition to being a great new benefit for customers, this is an easy choice for publishers and authors who will now be able to earn more from each book they publish.
Of course, the book has to be available as a Kindle e-book. There are still many books that simply don't fit into that category.
As with HD-DVD vs. Blu-ray, content will determine if the program succeeds (HD-DVD failed when content providers opted for Blu-ray). Book publishers will have to embrace it. According to Bits, so far Amazon has agreements with only a couple of major publishers, and HarperCollins was the only one Grandinetti was willing to name.