This week I want to ask you all if you’ve been to Amazon to take a look at the debut of Matchbook. In case you don’t know, Matchbook is the Amazon program that works like this:
1. At some time in the past, you bought a print book from Amazon.
2. At some point between then and now, the publisher/rights owner of that book put out a digital edition.
3. The publisher/rights owner has enrolled the book you bought in MatchBook and set a discounted price for the digital book. The discount can be Free!
Result: you are entitled to buy the digital edition at the discounted price.
If you go to Amazon and click on the MatchBook link, you will be presented with a list of digital books you can get at the discounted price.
I looked at my list and here’s what I thought.
Near Real Time Carolyn Reaction Blog
I remember that book! Free? Click. Click Click Click
Judith Ivory’s Black Silk? $2.99? Hell yeah. I refused to buy that in digital because, as I recall, it was priced HIGHER than the print version. Click.
Oh, hey! I LOST the print version of that. Or maybe I threw it away because space is dear around here. $2.99? You betcha! Click.
Oohh. There are some of my Dorchester Books, where YES, I bought the print version way back. (No, I did not click because I MADE the eBook version, and so don’t need it again.)
There’s that diet book I was totally going to use, only the cat chewed on it and now it’s somewhere under my bed. I think. Maybe. $2.99. Click.
Why aren’t there MORE books? I’m confident my print purchases from Amazon number in the hundreds.
Why are there so many missing?
WHY ARE PUBLISHERS SO AFRAID of me re-buying books I already bought from them?
If more of my print purchases had been there, I would have bought a lot more. I would totally re-buy books I remember fondly and either no longer have, or have in paperback but they’re fragile now. I’m actually worried about re-reading Loving Julia, for example, because the pages are yellowing and starting to feel a little brittle. What’s that old saw about the permanence of paper? B-effin-S. (Beffins. It’s a word now. Deal with it.)
I did not click on every book that was there. Some of them I hadn’t enjoyed enough to want in digital. Some of them I hated, but not enough for a hate re-read. And at one point, I thought, I can’t just keep clicking on everything! I’ll run out of money for food!
The oldest of the purchases on my list was from 2000. I was buying a lot of historical romance. (click click click) Avon, you have your head on straight!
No surprise, technical publishers were heavily represented in my list. I think that’s because O’Reilly has had these sorts of discounts in place for years, so all the other tech-publishers do the same. But it was nice to pick up an eBook for some of my recent tech book purchases. They were all free, by the way.
So, what do you think?
Let me know in the comments.