Following hot on the heels of its digital replication service for music, the online retailer has just announced Kindle MatchBook, a service that offers a digital copy of physical books bought through the store.
However, unlike its musical equivalent, which automatically loads a free digital version of an album bought from Amazon (past and present) into a customer's Cloud Player, the digital versions of books come with a fee, ranging from $0.99-$2.99, though some titles for which the rights have passed will be available free of charge.
From October, US Amazon users will be able to request a digital copy of any book they have bought through the site since it launched in 1995 and, if the title in question is on the Kindle MatchBook list, they have the option to buy it at a heavily discounted price.
"If you logged onto your CompuServe account during the Clinton administration and bought a book like Men Are from Mars, Women Are from Venus from Amazon, Kindle MatchBook now makes it possible for that purchase -- 18 years later -- to be added to your Kindle library at a very low cost," said Russ Grandinetti, Vice President of Kindle Content. "In addition to being a great new benefit for customers, this is an easy choice for publishers and authors who will now be able to earn more from each book they publish."
The opt-in service, which requires writers to actively join, currently has roughly 10,000 books, including works from Ray Bradbury, Michael Crichton, Blake Crouch, James Rollins, Jodi Picoult, Neil Gaiman, Marcus Sakey, Wally Lamb, Jo Nesbo, Neal Stephenson, and J.A. Jance, and Amazon promises that more authors will have added their names before the service goes live.