In October Amazon launches Kindle MatchBook, an arrangement that lets you purchase the Kindle edition of books you’ve already bought from them in print for $2.99 or less.
The agreement currently covers about 10,000 books from a variety of publishers, and the prices are valid for any book published from Amazon back to 1995, when the online bookstore opened its virtual doors.
The format switch from print to e-books in some ways recalls the one-time windfall that happened to the record industry in the transition from cassettes to CDs. (It’s also similar to AutoRip, which enables customers to get MP3s of CDs they’d previously bought from Amazon.) But instead of charging full price like the record labels did during their cassette-to-CD moment, Amazon, in keeping with its seeming ability to monetize anything, is using this opportunity to further build customer loyalty by “bundling” print with e-ink.