Can I just say how much I love the title of this service? Not only does it fit in with the theme of the idea of "Kindling", it also can be separated into Match and Book, which is what the service does. With so many absolutely awful names for services and products out there, it's nice to see one that (in my opinion) is well thought out.
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.
"Can I just say how much I love the title of this service?"
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.
This is a complete non-sequitur. Nobody is actually burning books. Or even talking about burning books.
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.
Presumably the Kindle and Matchbook names are designed to evoke book burning, unless there is an alternative interpretation I have missed. Matchbook = taking a match to a book, i.e. burning it, just as you should use your now-obsolete paper books as kindling. To me, book burning has terrible connotations, even though no actual book burning is being done (although it does seem encouraged by the naming). Perhaps I am alone in this regard.
For what it's worth, the official explanation from its namer is this :
"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
No, I don't really see that. When I hear Kindle, I think more of nurturing, or beginning a fire. A fire needs to begin somewhere, just as an idea must. And must also be nurtured, and built upon, something that books do. That's what I see when I see "Kindle". Matchbook just goes along with the fire theme of Kindle, as publicfig said.
I have many hundreds of books purchased from amazon, going back to 1996. It took about ten seconds for the site to identify five that were eligible. Four of the five eligible books were purchased between 1997-2002 and the eligible recent book was a work of fiction that doesn't appear to have aged well. Books published in the last decade appear to be a harder sell for the program.
I had 19 books matched (also out of hundreds of physical books, purchased only up until Kindle emerged), and picked up most of them. The prices were almost always $2.99.
>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.
Even today I'm disappointed with Nexflix's selection so I never bothered getting past the free trials.
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?
For all of those debbie downers in the comments: this is a pilot program for many of the publishers (who are obstinate and allergic to innovation); as more people buy the kindle versions of books they've purchased the more open publishers will be to this idea and give Amazon more leeway. I'm honestly surprised Amazon was even able to pull this off.
I have a more positive data point: I've purchased about 175 paper books on Amazon, and 23 are part of the Matchbook program. That feels decent to me.
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 like they are trying to shake things up here. I don't buy books anymore because it's no longer useful to have a shelf dedicated to books I will never read again but I appreciate that there a ton of people who are weary about the digital medium who may need coaxing - this is a perfect segue into the Kindle for Amazon. Huge step towards adoption once they get more publishers on board.
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.
Looks like anyone publishing remotely technical topics didn't buy into the program. I've been a prime member since the beginning and during the first few years I was probably buying 2 or more books per week.
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 still don't understand how an e-book, which can infinitely be replicated at no cost to anyone, can cost $10. How on earth does this make sense?
I purchased A People's History of The United States a few years ago, and now I can buy it for my Kindle for $10? Who does this?
Occasionally Amazon will offer the Kindle price higher than the used physical copy price.
I think Amazon Matchbook is a brillant idea. I love using my kindle when I am out and about, but prefer the paper format when home. I also enjoy the feeling of having a hard copy, that nobody can claim back, or put DRM on.
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.
Current Matchbook offer seems quite humble. Publishers will be naturally reluctant to sell their $22 books for $2 but I hope they'll understand very soon that this isn't actually a discounted sale. It's either extracting more money from past sales or making future sales more likely to happen (and also extracting more money from them).
Got one match, and it was for $3, which as far as I'm concerned is basically full price.
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.
I'd really like to see Amazon figure out a way to handle the purchase of books as gifts with the Matchbook program. Books I bought for someone else, how can they get the Matchbook Kindle version. Also, books I've received as gifts from others, how can I get the Matchbook version?
Gee, I am so shocked that the publishers, who just settled an antitrust case whose goal was to raise e-book prices in opposition to Amazon, are not opting in to a program from that same Amazon which allows people to purchase books for less money.
What about the other way round? The argument for ebooks costing the same as a paperback is that we are paying primarily for the content not the physical form, so shouldn't this work in both directions?
I had David Flanagan's O'Reilly Jquery Pocket Reference show up, but it was $2.99 vs $8.49.
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.