real-time news and commentary for investors
Tuesday, Sep 3
Amazon offers discounted e-books, temporarily lists new Paperwhite
- With Amazon (AMZN) having free reign to set its own e-book prices (and lose money on sales if it wishes), the company is offering Kindle copies of books for which a customer has already bought the print copy at any time in Amazon's history for $2.99 or less (in some cases, the title is free). The service, known as Kindle MatchBook, initially supports 10K+ titles. (PR)
- After growing at a torrid pace for several years, e-book sales growth has slowed considerably, even though e-books still only account for ~25% of total U.S. book sales. Proposed explanations include the popularity of other reader options on tablets, purchase fatigue amongst e-book early adopters, and the fact some readers simply prefer print. MatchBook appears to be an attempt to give a second wind to e-book demand.
- Separately, Amazon temporarily provided a listing for its next-gen Kindle Paperwhite e-reader before pulling it. The second-gen Paperwhite goes on sale on Sep. 30, and offers an improved display (better contrast, lighting, and touch input) and CPU. Like its predecessor, the device starts at $119.
- The current Paperwhite has been well-received by e-reader enthusiasts, but there are fewer of those these days thanks to tablet cannibalization.