A couple of months ago I wrote a post about Amazon's announcement about a new feature they were adding to music sales: 'AutoRip'. The summary it is that when you purchase music, via Amazon, on CD they throw in digital copies for free. Now one of my first questions was when will they do this for books and films? They have one of the biggest libraries of both now.
Well it turns out that books are happening today. Following on from AutoRip comes MatchBook. MatchBook allowed you to purchase physical books, and get a copy for your Kindle from participating publishers. Unlike AutoRip the Kindle edition isn't free, however it is at heavily discounted price.
One of the major draws of this new feature is that it is being applied retroactively - MatchBook looks at your purchase history, all the way back to 1995, to give you access to the Kindle editions. For some people that is going to be a lot of books.
For some people this announcement isn't going to be big news; most people will want either or. However I am going to find a lot of use for this - I love reading, I enjoy looking along my bookshelf to decided which book I want to re-read, but I also love having access to this on the go - going on holiday with a couple of the Game of Thrones books uses up all your luggage space very quickly! I've never quite been able to justify paying for both a physical and digital copy, if they are going to charge an extra £1/2 to create a bundle I'm quite willing to pay it.
Currently the list of participating publishers isn't huge, and they are currently only launching in the US, however I expect by the time they make it across the pond their library will have grown considerably.