There are two programs starting up in the publishing world employing an idea that I’ve thought should’ve been done years ago, possibly around when ebooks started becoming readily available and sold. You see, that day was the day the war between ebooks and print books began, and there really didn’t need to be a war. It should’ve been more like one of those two-in-one books where you have one book on one cover, then you flip it over and have another book with another cover.
A symbiosis that wouldn’t have called for allies coming together to battle the enemy.
Kindle MatchBook will begin next month, offering to customers the option when they purchase certain print books to get the Kindle ebook edition for $0.99-$2.99 or even free. Now, this isn’t every print book Amazon currently offers, but it’s an important start that will hopefully grow and grow and make this program seem the normal thing and eventually be omnipresent with books and reading.
Angry Robot’s is also has its bundling Clonefiles program, which was given a trial run in Britain last year and is now coming to the US, where customers who buy a paperback from a participating independent bookstore, can get the ebook for free. Again, hopefully this is the start of something that will take the publishing world like wildfire and become a common facet in the near future.
In March of this year I published my column, Where’s the Digital Copy for Books?, where I explain my hope for the publishing future where print books and ebooks live happily together, where a customer buys a print book in a store or online and said customer automatically receives a free ebook copy, so that multiple people in a family can enjoy the same book at the same time.
I think this is the beginning of a beautiful friendship.