Amazon is Shutting Down Kindle Matchbook, Its Print+eBook Bundling Program

Amazon is Shutting Down Kindle Matchbook, Its Print+eBook Bundling Program Freebies Kindle (platform)

It's only been a few short days since Amazon announced that Amazon Giveaways was ending, and now they've decided to shut down another promotion service. I have heard from multiple sources (thanks, Lindsay, Adam, and Nicole!) that the retailer sent out an email today informing authors that the Kindle Matchbook program is going to be shut down on 31 October.

Here's the email:

Starting October 31, we’re retiring the Kindle MatchBook program. If you have books enrolled in Kindle MatchBook, they’ll be unenrolled at that time.

Here are a couple things to know:

  • Readers will still be able to buy books in their preferred format (eBook or paperback).
  • We’ll issue payments from any remaining Kindle MatchBook sales on your regular payment schedule.

Best regards,
The Kindle Direct Publishing Team

Launched in 2013, Kindle Matchbook was a program where authors and publishers had the option of creating ebook+print bundles that combine a Kindle ebook with a print book sold by Amazon. The ebook could be given away for free, or sold for $1.99 or $0.99.

If you've never heard of this program, you're not alone. Aside from the stories about the publishing industry losing its shit when Amazon launched Kindle Matchbook, it has gotten almost no media attention.

Most authors have never heard of it, and the ones that do have books in the program report that there was little interest from readers. "I can see why they are retiring it. I've had all my books enrolled in Matchbook since the beginning, allowing people to get a free ebook copy of any paperback they buy," Shawn Inmon wrote on FB. "I think I've given away maybe 20 copies in all those years. It just doesn't seem to be something people are interested in."

Shawn's conclusion is born out by the fate of the ebook startup Shelfie. That company launched a competing bundling service around the same time as Kindle Matchbook launch, and it shut down in early 2017. Shelfie's tech was acquired by Kobo in April 2017, and then - nothing.

Clearly this is one of those ideas that is cooler in the abstract than in practice.

image by caligula1995 via Flickr

Nate Hoffelder

View posts by Nate Hoffelder
Nate Hoffelder is the founder and editor of The Digital Reader. He has been blogging about indie authors since 2010 while learning new tech skills weekly. He fixes author sites, and shares what he learns on The Digital Reader's blog. In his spare time, he fosters dogs for A Forever Home, a local rescue group.

9 Comments

  1. Paul30 September, 2019

    Add me to the list of people who didn’t know it existed.

    Reply
  2. Roland Denzel30 September, 2019

    Quick! Go to this link and snag any books that qualify for YOU before it’s too late!

    https://www.amazon.com/gp/digital/ep-landing-page/ref=nav_sap_bks_Matchbook

    Reply
  3. […] MatchBook, Nate at the Digital Reader speculates it may have something to do with the fact that few customers actually took advantage of the promotional pricing — I guess if you buy a physical book, maybe you plan to read it in that format rather than on […]

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  6. […] Amazon is shutting down another promotional program. […]

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  7. […] enough, I heard the news on The Passive Voice and The Digital Reader instead of Amazon. This, despite the fact that all of my books are on the Matchbook […]

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  8. […] is closing the Kindle Matchbook program, probably because it didn’t get much […]

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