Amazon MatchBook Seems To Be A Mismatch

Amazon, it seems, wants to get you coming and going. Today's kick-off of its new Kindle MatchBook service will let consumers who have bought hard-copy editions of books over the years to acquire digital versions of those same books. The catch? You have to pay for them again, albeit for reduced rates.

Price for the electronic books won't break the wallet, since they will range from $0.99 to $2.99, with some titles free of charge.

Not every book will be available for re-purchase, either. Amazon had to make deals with publishers to get them to opt in to the program. According to Amazon's press announcement, over 70,000 titles will be initially available with today's launch.

Curious to see what was available, I had Amazon got back and see what Kindle versions I could get at reduced rates. I was expecting scores of Star Trek and Star Wars novelizations from my early days of Amazon shopping, and graphic novels galore.

Startlingly, I got just five books: a history text I ordered last month for my daughter, a mystery book I bought in 1998 for my mother, two spiritual books purchased in 1999 and 2001 by my wife on my account, and one book ordered for me: on Google Analytics, bought in 2007.

The grand total for this not-so-massive collection of books? $10.95. If I had purchased all of these books' Kindle versions outside of the MatchBook program, it would have added up to $48.26, so MatchBook would save me 77%.

My own experience is purely anecdotal, of course, but right now it is not at all tempting to buy into this program, just based on my meager selection alone. I suspect that publishers of popular books may not be too keen on opting in to MatchBook, since they might be able to garner full Kindle pricing for repeat ebook purchases.

Your own experiences may differ, of course. Perhaps for some MatchBook could be a good match.

Image courtesy of Flikr/ r3v || cls via CC license.