Amazon MatchBook provides Kindle ebooks for your old print purchases

Amazon MatchBook provides Kindle ebooks for your old print purchases

Summary: Amazon will be launching their new MatchBook service in October where you can purchase, for a small fee, your old print purchases dating back to 1995.

TOPICS: Mobility, Amazon
Amazon MatchBook provides Kindle ebooks for your old print purchases
(Image: Amazon)

Many years ago I went to Amazon primarily to purchase print edition books since they had a great selection and competitive pricing. I now read almost exclusively on my Kindle Paperwhite or in the Kindle app on my devices and today we see Amazon making it easier to bring those old purchases to your device with Kindle MatchBook.

This is a service I have wanted for years and starting in October you will be able to get Kindle editions of your past, present, and future print purchases for a very low cost or free. Prices for getting Kindle edition copies of books you purchased range from free to $2.99, in increments of $1.

You will be able to get Kindle edition books for book purchases you mae all the way back to 1995 when Amazon first opened its online bookstore. Publishers need to enroll titles in Kindle MatchBook and Amazon states that there will be over 10,000 ready to go when the service launches in October.

Amazon already syncs Audible books with Kindle books so the next step is for Amazon to enable Whispersync between print and Kindle editions :)

Topics: Mobility, Amazon

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  • Buy another copy?

    While this is certainly a welcome option, why should consumers opt to pay again for published materials they already own? Personally, I'd rather assert my right to format shifting and scan the books I already own than pay the publisher twice for the privilege of reading the same book.
    Some Geeky Guy
    • To save $2.99?

      You would rather scan your books than pay $2.99 to have an electronic version? You don't value your time very much do you?
      • scanning is not the end of it

        So he scans the books with OCR in the works. Step 1.

        Great he now has a digital image, but it's only an image and not yet readable. He has to use another piece of software to translate to a readable format which will also let him correct the errors which have crept in because the software is not totally tuned. So he has to proofread each book immediately after scanning and educate the OCR software about the errors it made so it won't repeat them on later scans. That's step 2.

        Once proofed and corrected, the book then needs to be rendered into an ebook. This is easily done via Calibre, but must still be done and best be done as soon as one can. That's step 2.5 and can't be bypassed. The actual order it is done in doesn't matter, the book needs to be rendered electronically readable at some point.

        Scan book 2. If the font used to print the book is the same as for the first book, good there will be fewer mistakes. If not some will repeat and others will also be made. Now back to step 2 for proofreading book 2. Did I forget to mention that he MUST have his copy of the physical book present to verify the spelling errors? This is assuming that the printed book does NOT have typos in it. That was step 3.

        Step 4 calls for the user to repeat steps 2 and 3 ad nauseam until he has finished his full library. How many books (real ones) has he bought since 1995? And not just from Amazon while he is at it?

        I'd rather spend all that time reading new books.
        • Vuescan and Textwrangler

          With Vuescan you have a window to view the image as it converts to a RTF file. Then with Textwrangler, edit the file. You don't need to view the physical book, since you have the image right there. As Vuescan sends the next page to the file, Textwrangler will update the onscreen window, as long as you save each time you finish editing.
    • How much is your time worth?

      So what does it take for you to "format shift" and scan your books? A decent flatbed scanner and lots of your time. Plus, at least for paperbacks, the scans won't be very nice to look at. I'd pay $3 for someone to do the work for me, and most likely I'd get a better result than what I could accomplish myself.
      Ira Seigel
      • Indeed...

        Even with 8.5x11" paper and decent quality, a scan is time-consuming a requires attentive reading for the things the OCR missed and you have to correct manually - even though OCR software has improved a lot over the years. I've scanned relatively short documents and it was a major pain, so there's no way in hell I'd ever consider scanning something like a novel, even a short one!
    • A far better idea

      Would be to use your technological ability to scan stuff that currently isn't digitized to offer to others. You might even make a buck doing it or contribute to saving some old stories/magazines/newspapers for future generations. Digitizing a book, that already exists in digital format, to save a buck or two is a complete waste of time, not to mention slightly irrational. That's like saying "I like to drink beer, therefore rather than paying a brewer for some excellent beer I will take up brewing my own to "save" money."
      • about beer

        Brewing your own is only worthwhile if you drink more than the equivalent of a case of 24 beers per week. Every week! That's for one individual!

        And you have to keep your production ahead of your consumption by at least half. Meaning that you should still have half your last batch in bottles (or other sealed containers) when your next batch is finished brewing. Will you accelerate the brewing like the commercial houses do or are you willing to wait the full amount of time for the ingredients to come to maturity naturally?

        Let's not forget you have to buy the ingredients, brew them, and store them while you're brewing the next batch. Take into account the legal amount of beer an individual can brew for his own consumption. You can't sell what you brew or you then become a commercial enterprise and a whole different set of laws enter into the picture. Also are you allowed to double you capacity if your wife is there? What about adult children? Can you add to your capacity, or if they're not living at home, can they use your facilities to brew their own? I can see where you could easily fudge in a 10% extra there.

        If you're going to only brew one or two batches per year, the bragging rights will be very costly.
    • Storage

      What about the shelf space in your house to store your library?

      I only keep the books I really, really like on my bookshelf. However, since space is limited putting a new book on the shelf necessitates displacing an older one. Sometimes I regret those decisions and would like to re-read a book I donated.

      This program sounds very attractive to me. If you never re-read books I don't think this program is for you.
  • Synchcing my Print Books

    This is great news. I frequently end up buyiing a Kndle version of a print book bought through Amazon simply because the print book is too big to crry around (recent Neil Stephensons are a good example).

    I'm delighted. And $0 to $2.99 for your doing the transfer is a fair price.

    • Not fair

      I simply call it gouging the consumer again and again.
  • a

  • Great to see amazon move on p+eBundling

    It's great to see an industry giant move on print + eBook bundling. A Canadian start-up (my company) is developing a similar solution that doesn't depend on billing records so it works for books that you bought at your local indie bookstore or that you received as gifts. It's called BitLit ( BitLit launches to beta on Android next month.
    Peter Hudson
  • CRAP! I've already rebought many of them at the standard Kindle price!

    Regarding scanning -- I'VE DONE IT. Not with books available in eformat, but with older books that are out of print and not popular enough for the publishers to reissue them.

    BEST CASE SCENARIO: Places like Office Depot will cut off the book spine for about $1. My employer recently bought a mopier with a high-speed scanner (100 impressions per minute, including double-sided). I can scan a 300 page book in under 4 minutes. Scan as images, not directly to PDF.

    THEN -- HOPEFULLY -- the images aren't too skewed. (Primarily not centered). If they are, you'll need image editing software with batch editing, e.g., PaintShop Pro. You'll also need Bulk Rename Utility. Separate the odd and even page scan files, since the off-centering will be different. Using a batch script you'll have to create/modify for each book, remove large margins and center the images. Put all the image files back together and make sure file names match page numbers. (Hence BRU.)

    THEN create a PDF using Nuance's PDF Converter Pro. Don't use Acrobat, since the OCR in PCP is a lot more accurate. (And, no, Nuance's "premier" OCR program, Omnipage does NOT work as well.)

    THEN remove the page images and keep only the text. If you keep the text image you can't resize text when reading.

    If there are any non-text images, you'll have to replace those pages in the PDF.

    AND YOU WON'T BE ABLE TO CHANGE ANY OCR ERRORS. I still get ticked off that things like "1950s" routinely comes out 195os.

    WITH a HIGH-SPEED DUPLEX SCANNER *and* experience doing it you can expect to spend 2-3 hours MINIMUM.
    • Regarding OCR errors

      If you want to get rid of OCR errors, you would have to then convert the entire text to Word or some similar format. The problem is that you lose most of the formatting and there is a lot of "non-existent" formatting ADDED. By that, I mean that the OCR will change fonts, either typeface or font weight (bold, etc.) based on "perceived" differences that don't actually exist. So you might have Tahoma, Verdana, Times Roman and bold and normal all in the same ordinary sentence.
      • about those OCR errors

        There is a piece of free software which gets the text from those pdf scans and lets you correct the errors and translate the directly into text in one step. It will even add to the file you create for the book and do so seamlessly until you have the complete book. Just make sure you have the complete book and that there are NO missing pages.
  • About time.

    Over the decades I've amassed a library totaling in the thousands of paper books, a good number if not half of them since 1995--yet today I read most everything on my Kindle or Sony Reader. It will be a boon to get even a portion of my library available electronically, especially for those few special new releases that I still want in paper for collecting, but would prefer to actually read digitally.
  • Sounds great but...

    ...Will it only include books that are available now on Kindle or all books? A lot of books I purchased were not available on Kindle like out of print ones or a few where the publisher or author wouldn't allow a digital edition.

    So the cost will be $0.00, $1.00, $2.00, or $3.00 ($2.99). Assuming the price may be linked to the size of the book it would seem that most would be $2.00 or less. Can't beat that.
    • Obviously only Kindle books

      Amazon is a retailer, not a publisher. They certainly aren't going to start scanning and OCR'ing decades-old books and then trying to determine who holds the copyright and whether any publishing rights apply to the entire work or just to print copies.

      Even Google ran into an unexpected problem with their scanning project recently because an organization for the PHOTOGRAPHY industry sued saying that even though Google set up an organization to handle royalties for AUTHORS, the rights to photographs are obtained separately and PHOTOGRAPHERS need to be given extra compensation when photos they licensed for physical book publication wind up in ebooks.
  • The used book buyers...

    I'm sure that it won't extend to purchases made through Amazon's extensive used network. I usually purchase several a month used, and only through Amazon, as we don't have many used bookstores left in my city, and I would love to get afforadable Kindle copies of them as well.

    Has anyone heard one way or the other on this subject?