Amazon leapt into fall with two big announcements Tuesday. What did the online retailer have to say? He’re’s a digested version, in 20 easy-to-understand points.
1. Amazon will launch a program called Kindle MatchBook in October.
2. With Kindle MatchBook, someone who buys a qualifying print book from Amazon can purchase the e-book copy for their Kindle for $2.99, $1.99, 99 cents, or download it for free.
3. People who want to read that e-book on the newest generation Kindle Paperwhite e-reader can do so starting on Sept. 30.
4. The new Kindle Paperwhite differs from its predecessor with a display in which “whites are whiter and blacks are blacker, so the pages are virtually indistinguishable from a physical book.”
5. Other improvements in Amazon’s e-reader include a faster processor, an improved built-in light, in-line footnotes and expanded parental controls.
6. Any print book purchased on Amazon, dating back to the online store’s launch in 1995, will be available to purchase as a Kindle MatchBook e-book -- as long as it qualifies for the program.
7. What qualifies a book for Amazon’s MatchBook program: Participation by its publisher.
8. Only one major publisher, HarperCollins, is adding its books to the program.
9. One minor publisher, Amazon Publishing, is participation in the program.
10. Books self-published through Amazon’s Kindle Direct Publishing can also be part of the program.
11. When Kindle Matchbook launches, more than 10,000 books will be available for readers to purchase or download as Kindle e-books for free.
12. Fewer than 200 of those books are from Amazon Publishing, meaning the bulk of those eligible will have been published by HarperCollins and its imprints.
13. Some have called the Kindle MatchBook program “bundling,” for pairing an inexpensive or free e-book with the purchase of a print copy of a book, long considered a possible benefit to readers.
14. And yet the price of $2.99 or less for an e-book, whether or not it’s a copy of an already-purchased print edition, is far lower than the price point publishers had hoped to establish as an e-book standard.
15. In a case the Department of Justice brought against Apple and five major publishers, those companies were accused of trying to move e-book prices from $9.99 to $14.99. The five publishers settled.
16. In July, Apple was found guilty in the e-book price-fixing case. “Through the vehicle of the Apple agency agreements, the prices in the nascent e-book industry shifted upward, in some cases 50 percent or more for an individual title,” Judge Denise Cote wrote.
17. Since the decision was announced, Amazon has lowered the prices of the e-books sold for its Kindle.
18. The new KindleWhite will come integrated with Goodreads reviews.
19. Amazon announced its purchase of Goodreads in March.
20. Eager Kindle Paperwhite buyers can pre-order the new $119 e-readers now.