Kindle MatchBook has Launched at Amazon (Updated)

Just Launched

Update: It looks like Amazon has updated Kindle MatchBook to display an advertisement about Kindle MatchBook on the top of the page for print books, where there is a corresponding Kindle edition enrolled in the MatchBook program.

Today Amazon launched the new Kindle MatchBook program. There is an advertisement for it on Amazon’s homepage, presently, and a very brief email was sent out to authors who had already signed up for it.

The idea behind the MatchBook program is to allow customers who purchase a print edition of the book to receive a significant discount off the Kindle edition of the same book (it may even be free).

MatchBook only applies to books where the same edition is available both in Kindle and in print (i.e. paperback or hardcover).

Not all books are in the MatchBook program. The publisher (or author, if self-published) must manually enroll the book in the program. Some publishers may opt not to do this. The discount is also at the publisher’s discretion, provided that it is a minimum of 50% off the Kindle edition’s list price (and must be free, 99 cents, $1.99, or $2.99).

You can learn more about the new Kindle MatchBook program by clicking the following link, which goes to a Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP) page:

If the Kindle edition offers MatchBook, you’ll see one of three things near the top of the Kindle edition page:

  • Nothing at all if you already own the Kindle edition. Why frustrate you by showing you that you could have bought it for less by waiting for MatchBook to come out? If you want to see the MatchBook offer, log out of Amazon first.
  • An offer to buy the Kindle edition at the discounted MatchBook price if you already own the print edition of the same book.
  • A note that you could buy the Kindle edition at the discounted MatchBook price if you also purchase the print edition if you don’t already own the print edition.

There are a few important things to note here:

  • If you try to give the book as a gift, you must pay the full list price. Apparently, the MatchBook price doesn’t apply to gifting. That’s too bad, as it would be a nice incentive for someone to buy the print edition to keep and the Kindle edition to gift. However, you can keep the Kindle edition and give the print edition away as a gift (or try to resell it used, perhaps).
  • It looks like you can only buy one Kindle edition at the MatchBook price. This may help to prevent possible abuse.
  • The print edition page now includes an advertisement about the MatchBook program at the top of the page if the Kindle edition of the same book is enrolled in the MatchBook program.

A cool thing about MatchBook for authors is that if you ordinarily earn the 70% royalty rate on a sale, you still earn 70% if the MatchBook price is below $2.99.

Note that if you make the MatchBook price free, MatchBook sales won’t affect your book’s paid sales rank. Instead, they will affect your book’s free rank. This is what KDP told me after a week of research. If you discover otherwise, please share the news.🙂 (It will be interesting if your book toggles between free and paid sales ranks with a free MatchBook price, since some customers will still be buying the book at the list price because they don’t own the print edition.)

It doesn’t look like the month-to-date sales report will help you see how many MatchBook sales you have, but you should be able to see it in the six-week report. Unfortunately, it will be a while before any MatchBook sales appear in a six-week report since the program started today.

Chris McMullen, author of A Detailed Guide to Self-Publishing with Amazon and Other Online Booksellers, Vol. 1 (formatting/publishing) and Vol. 2 (packaging/marketing)

5 comments on “Kindle MatchBook has Launched at Amazon (Updated)

  1. Useful detail – thanks for the information.

    It would be good to have the ‘lower priced ebook via Matchbook’ announcement on the print page. Maybe they’re afraid that if someone is already looking at the print page, they would be diverted to the possibly lower priced ebook alternative (I have no idea whether Amazon makes more money off the print version of a book, or the ebook version, and it may vary with the book).

    I think several times now about buying anything in print: storage for something I probably won’t read, at a time I’m dejunking my house, it a serious consideration.

    I ordered a print book recently because the ebook version wasn’t available. I accidentally received TWO copies. It wasn’t worth the effort to return the extra one they sent me.

    Unfortunately, I didn’t like the book! So I can’t even give it to someone – but I have to dispose of two copies occupying space. It was one of those books where the writer has enough of a facility with language, and a good blog, that the sample available on Amazon was misleading. This author, in my opinion, then changed the contract with the reader: after a slow, individual, start with a lot of fine nuance, we moved on to Dei ex machina and page after page of improbable plot to ‘save the world’ by the end of a slim volume. The ending did NOT go with the beginning. Hate those. Part of the risk of trying a new author.

    Sorry to go off topic – maybe the ebook (which I probably would have purchased had it been $.99 with the print version, and read immediately) would have been just as bad a total experience, but over more quickly.

    I grump because it is not my policy to leave bad reviews – life is too short, and karma comes around when you expect to publish yourself some day. Other people may share my opinion (I’m sure many do not – the reviews were good), and I’ll let them write the ‘fewer than 5*’ reviews.


    PS If you’d like to learn how to leave a link to the comments from the bottom of your posts, look it up on WordPress or ask me. I always have to scroll to the top of your posts.

    • Last night I saw a MatchBook note at the top of a paperback page at Amazon, so maybe this has been added (I haven’t had a chance yet to test it out today).

      Sometimes there is even a risk of trying an old author. Every once in a while, I read a new book from a bestselling author I usually enjoy reading and get a dud. More often, I know what to expect, but it still happens even with mainstream authors.

      I have a problem leaving less than 5 stars also. I wouldn’t feel comfortable doing that, so if I don’t think a book merits 5 stars, I just don’t review it (even though it might benefit that author to leave the review anyway, as an author myself, I find it a tough thing to do). The way I see it, I only have so much time to review books, I’ll just review the ones I love enough to give 5 stars. It’s balanced by those reviewers who leave mostly 1 star reviews, so I think it’s okay.

      I’ll have to think about what you mean with the links to comments. On my screen, I see all the comments at the bottom…



  2. Chris — thanks for this article. My question about Matchbook is: If a buyer buys the print version, does the Matchbook Kindle version become immediately available? Is it offered on the checkout page? Thanks for your help. — Bill

    • I don’t believe it will show at checkout, but once Amazon recognizes that you’ve purchased the print edition, when you visit the Kindle edition’s product page at, you should see the MatchBook price (when logged into the same account that you used to purchase the print book). The exception is when the current price is better than the MatchBook price (which can happen with a freebie or Countdown Deal through KDP Select, for example).

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