Amazon has announced it will offer E-books for a lower cost if you buy - or have previously bought - a print version of the same book.

"Kindle Matchbook" is a new service which will let US customers fill in the gaps of their digital book collection, without having to pay full price for books they own in print.

It is similar to Amazon's existing "AutoRip" service, recently launched in the UK, which gives customers free digital copies of CDs they bought on Amazon's site.

The MatchBook service will only cover 10,000 titles at launch - and will initially launch only in the US - but will let customers pay just $2.999 or less for titles they already own, if bought after 1995.

The new idea relies on publishers signing up to the service, however, and it might prove a struggle to bring many of the big names on board.

Still Amazon points out that best sellers from authors like Ray Bradbury and Michael Crichton will be included.

"If you logged onto your CompuServe account during the Clinton administration and bought a book like Men Are from Mars, Women Are from Venus from Amazon, Kindle MatchBook now makes it possible for that purchase--18 years later--to be added to your Kindle library at a very low cost," said Russ Grandinetti, Vice President of Kindle Content.

"In addition to being a great new benefit for customers, this is an easy choice for publishers and authors who will now be able to earn more from each book they publish."

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