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In yet another move to show its commitment to becoming a powerhouse in digital media sales, Amazon is rolling out a new program today that lets its customers convert their physical book purchases to digital ebooks.

The program, called Kindle MatchBook, allows Amazon customers to buy a digital copy of a printed book they’ve already purchased through the site for $3, $2, $1, or in some cases they can even get it free. The offer is good on any book purchased as far back as 1995, which for most people means any book they’ve ever bought on Amazon.

The move mimics an earlier strategy by Amazon to start offering its customers a similar deal for music purchases via AutoRip — meaning any physical album they’ve bought through Amazon in the past several years will now be available as a free digital download.

Both the new MatchBook and AutoRip programs show that Amazon is continually pushing its media sales business to digital, which is probably a smart move given that shipping costs should continue to rise over the years, thus eating into Amazon’s profits on sales of physical goods. The move also allows both is physical sales business and digital media business to thrive, while giving customers the flexibility to convert to digital whenever they’d like.

As for the Kindle MatchBook program, Amazon said over 10,000 books are already available to customers, including I Know This Much Is True by Wally Lamb, The Art of Racing in the Rain by Garth Stein, The Thorn Birds by Colleen McCullough, A Prayer for Owen Meany by John Irving, and The Hangman’s Daughter by Oliver Pötzsch. More titles should be added over time, the company said.


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