As for the service, I really love the idea. This is the logical step, and pretty much exactly what I was looking for in both owning the book in a physical format and also having access to a digital version for different reasons. It is just really disappointing that a total of 0 of the books I have bought from them are available through this service, and I've used Amazon quite a bit. Hopefully, it's successful enough to take off and start to force more support from publishers, and it doesn't die out too early due to lack of publisher support.
The name kind of reminds me of Nazi book burning or Fahrenheit 451. In fact, anything with "Kindle" in it does. I can't shake it even though this service looks awesome. Something about ebooks implies reducing the number of print books in circulation, which just strikes me as authoritarian--so the connotations of burning don't help.
Also, burning books is perfectly legal and ethical — not all books are valuable or worth keeping around, and not all acts book-burning are acts of repression. That's what the Nazi book burnings and Fahrenheit 451 were: acts of repression.
It's a bit like saying iWork gives you a bad vibe because Nazis made people work in death camps.
"Jeff [Bezos, the CEO] wanted to talk about
the future of reading, but in a small, not
braggadocio way. We didn't want it to be
'techie' or trite, and we wanted it to be
memorable, and meaningful in many ways of
expression, from 'I love curling up with
my Kindle to read a new book' to 'When I'm
stuck in the airport or on line, I can
Kindle my newspaper, favorite blogs or
half a dozen books I'm reading.'" ...
Kindle means to set alight or start to
burn, to arouse or be aroused, to make or
become bright. The word’s roots are from
the Old Norse word kyndill, meaning
Candle. “I verified that it had deep roots
in literature,” adds Hibma. “From
Voltaire: ‘The instruction we find in
books is like fire. We fetch it from our
neighbours, kindle it at home, communicate
it to others and it becomes the property
Exhibits A & B: http://i.imgur.com/So8rgje.jpg
Edit: I bought a Kindle anyway. They look awesome and there is a $60 off deal going on.
a) A digital version is already distributed for free at the author's page (not that it makes any difference).
b) A digital version is not even purchasable, but you can find it by illegal means (seriously? I can download the torrent but not purchase the ebook??? This doesn't even make sense!).
c) A digital version is only available at Amazon.
>update: The more we support this program the more publishers will buy into it. They have just received new dollars from me that are generally 20% bonuses above the cover prices of books sold years ago. There is no cannibalisation as I'm not in the market to buy any of those books again.
I really want to get to the stage where all my books are digitised and I can choose whether for not to maintain a physical library. If Amazon and publishers provide a simple and legal way to do this then sobeit.
Netflix wasn't what it is on it's first day.
I would hope that some day Amazon would require everyone that wants to sell a physical copy join in on the program but I can see how that might damage their profits. Maybe once a majority of books are on the program they can make it a requirement and everyone selling books will have to decide to suck it up and join or not make money through Amazon.
What I really don't understand is why anyone selling books wouldn't want to join the program. Is there any scenario at all where they would lose by being a part of it?
Media companies can be amazingly obstinate, but enough money will make the point.
Going through my order history also made me realize how successful the Kindle is in extracting money from me. I had 175 book purchases between February 2000 and October 2010 (when I got my first Kindle), and 375 purchases between October 2010 and October 2013. I went from buying 17 books per year to buying 125 books per year.
I've probably ordered 600-700 books since 1999.
Most of the Matchbook matches are at the $2.99 price point. None are listed for free. Most are fiction. Most are from my 1999-2004 purchases.
Incidentally, four (out of six) books from my first Amazon order were eligible.
I suspect (hope) that more publishers sign up in the near future.
A single book came up on matchbook. A cookbook.
Things that seem too good to be true usually are.
Because the hardcopy has intrinsic value? So your position is essentially that a softcopy has no intrinsic value, which is very arguable.
There is some intrinsic value to the softcopy, but mostly convenience and being freed to sell your hardcopy.
As a side note I love how 80% of the comments here are about the number of books available as a pissing contest versus any real discussion for the merits of the idea. For shame.
I think a lot of us (at least I did) expected that a good portion of past purchases would be eligible for this service but we're finding that only about 3-5% are.
We're just sharing information.
Real discussion for the merits? I think maybe all of our collective experiences so far might show that it was good in theory but bad in practice (although I really hope not).
Interesting that they count Amazon "Bargain Books" as purchases. These are generally remaindered hardcovers.
9 matches for me, only one that I'd want to have a digital copy of for reference and all offered at a discount as they were already very inexpensive on kindle. None free.
Disappointing. Still love that Amazon is trying to push this, but looks like adoption will be slow.
To be fair, it is the first day. Looking through the selection of matched books that are available, it looks somewhat similar to the titles that were in the Kindle lending library when it first started. Admittedly, the library is still pretty sparse but they have built it up over time.
I'd expect the titles to increase more quickly than the in the library. Once they see how it starts to work, they'll probably jump on board. Afterall, this is a pretty attractive value proposition from the perspective of the publishers. Kindle Matchbook brings incremental sales that would have probably never occurred without this program and have very little marginal cost (Amazon's cut being the only thing that comes to mind).
I bought one of them, if it helps give them some leverage.
Occasionally Amazon will offer the Kindle price higher than the used physical copy price.
When matchbook will become a reality (ie. more editors will join the program, and more recents books will be added), I will happily use it.
Most of the "new and popular" books seem to be pulp romance series that are already free in the prime lending library.
Not really, full price for the Kindle version was $9, but ebook prices are pretty much a) free, b) less than $1, c) $1 < x < $10, or d) more. I don't find the difference between 3 and 9 to be significant in this case.
Even so, of all the books I've purchased, they've only found matches for 2, which is very disappointing.
Would like to see more titles available so going forward, I know whether I should go back to buying paperbacks/hardcovers or keep buying for the Kindle.
There is a verb agreement error lurking in there.
I do have to wonder if their selection available for matching includes many non-fiction titles.
The only other one was a Charles Williams novel which was $2.99 vs $7.99.
The deals are a little anemic. A $5 discount just seems weak. As was mentioned above, this is very nearly full price already. In fact, there are used paperback copies available for $2.09 from the Amazon Sellers.
So far, I'm pretty underwhelmed. Just a quick browse through the available books, the pickings are pretty slim. Lots of pulp novels, not a lot of newer stuff.
It's a step in the right direction, but it isn't really there yet. I'm hoping Amazon can show publishers the light.
Also mainstream non-fiction, like Super Freakonomics and Simon Winchester books (Krakatoa, Professor and Mad Man)