Update: It looks like Amazon has updated Kindle MatchBook to display an advertisement about Kindle MatchBook on the top of the page for print books, where there is a corresponding Kindle edition enrolled in the MatchBook program.
Today Amazon launched the new Kindle MatchBook program. There is an advertisement for it on Amazon’s homepage, presently, and a very brief email was sent out to authors who had already signed up for it.
The idea behind the MatchBook program is to allow customers who purchase a print edition of the book to receive a significant discount off the Kindle edition of the same book (it may even be free).
MatchBook only applies to books where the same edition is available both in Kindle and in print (i.e. paperback or hardcover).
Not all books are in the MatchBook program. The publisher (or author, if self-published) must manually enroll the book in the program. Some publishers may opt not to do this. The discount is also at the publisher’s discretion, provided that it is a minimum of 50% off the Kindle edition’s list price (and must be free, 99 cents, $1.99, or $2.99).
You can learn more about the new Kindle MatchBook program by clicking the following link, which goes to a Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP) page:
If the Kindle edition offers MatchBook, you’ll see one of three things near the top of the Kindle edition page:
- Nothing at all if you already own the Kindle edition. Why frustrate you by showing you that you could have bought it for less by waiting for MatchBook to come out? If you want to see the MatchBook offer, log out of Amazon first.
- An offer to buy the Kindle edition at the discounted MatchBook price if you already own the print edition of the same book.
- A note that you could buy the Kindle edition at the discounted MatchBook price if you also purchase the print edition if you don’t already own the print edition.
There are a few important things to note here:
- If you try to give the book as a gift, you must pay the full list price. Apparently, the MatchBook price doesn’t apply to gifting. That’s too bad, as it would be a nice incentive for someone to buy the print edition to keep and the Kindle edition to gift. However, you can keep the Kindle edition and give the print edition away as a gift (or try to resell it used, perhaps).
- It looks like you can only buy one Kindle edition at the MatchBook price. This may help to prevent possible abuse.
- The print edition page now includes an advertisement about the MatchBook program at the top of the page if the Kindle edition of the same book is enrolled in the MatchBook program.
A cool thing about MatchBook for authors is that if you ordinarily earn the 70% royalty rate on a sale, you still earn 70% if the MatchBook price is below $2.99.
Note that if you make the MatchBook price free, MatchBook sales won’t affect your book’s paid sales rank. Instead, they will affect your book’s free rank. This is what KDP told me after a week of research. If you discover otherwise, please share the news. 🙂 (It will be interesting if your book toggles between free and paid sales ranks with a free MatchBook price, since some customers will still be buying the book at the list price because they don’t own the print edition.)
It doesn’t look like the month-to-date sales report will help you see how many MatchBook sales you have, but you should be able to see it in the six-week report. Unfortunately, it will be a while before any MatchBook sales appear in a six-week report since the program started today.
Chris McMullen, author of A Detailed Guide to Self-Publishing with Amazon and Other Online Booksellers, Vol. 1 (formatting/publishing) and Vol. 2 (packaging/marketing)