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Amazon’s Kindle MatchBook will let users buy cheap digital editions of print books they already own

Laura Hazard Owen

Readers have long wondered why ebooks and print books can’t be bundled together, but big publishers have been reluctant to get anywhere near the notion. Now it looks as if Amazon has found at least a partial solution: The company on Tuesday announced a new service, Kindle MatchBook, that will allow users to buy cheap Kindle editions of print books that they’ve purchased from Amazon any time since 1995. The digital editions will range in price between $0 and $2.99.

The catch is that it’s not available for every book. Print purchases “will qualify once a publisher enrolls a title in Kindle MatchBook,” and Amazon says that when MatchBook launches in October “over 10,000 books will already be available.” That includes certain titles from big names like Michael Crichton, Ray Bradbury, Jodi Picoult, Neil Gaiman and Wally Lamb. Also, not surprisingly, it includes Amazon Publishing authors like Blake Crouch, Marcus Sakey and Neal Stephenson.

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