Amazon officially announced that Kindle Unlimited, an all-you-can eat reading and listening service, that we first mentioned two days ago. Dubbed a “Netflix for books” by our own Darrell Etherington, the service offers over 600,000 books for free reading on Kindle and Kindle-enabled devices as well as thousands of audiobooks from Audible. Books include the Diary of a Wimpy Kid series, the Hunger Games Trilogy, and Flash Boys, as well as other bestsellers. It also includes access to Kindle-only exclusives as well as older titles from the company’s extensive catalog of older works including To The Lighthouse and Cat’s Cradle. Most interesting, however, is Whispersync for Voice which allows you to move from reading to listening without losing your place in the book. The service, at this point, appears unlimited and you can have as many books in your library as you wish. There is a new button in the book buying interface – “Read for Free” – but it is unclear how royalties are shared with authors.
The service is very similar to Amazon Prime Video, the all-you-can-watch video service. While there are a number of very visible best-sellers on the list, the majority of the content is niche content that may receive a new audience thanks to Unlimited. It is also surprising that the big five – the major publishers – are offering some of their best and most popular titles on the service. Clearly the revenue sharing proposition is interesting, especially considering you have a captive audience of intense readers who are willing to pay $10 a month for limitless ebooks. This is also bad news for services like Oyster. Once the Amazon juggernaut lands in your back yard, there’s little to stop them from rolling over smaller competitors. All said, this will definitely be an interesting step for indie authors looking for wider reach.
Introducing Kindle Unlimited: Unlimited Reading and Listening on Any Device—Just $9.99 a Month Read freely from over 600,000 books—available on Kindle devices, as well as free Kindle reading apps for iOS, Android and more. Listen to thousands of audiobooks from Audible, or switch easily between reading and listening with Whispersync for Voice. Enjoy best sellers including the Harry Potter series, The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings trilogy, the Hunger Games trilogy, Diary of a Wimpy Kid books, and Flash Boys The most cost-effective way to enjoy audiobooks such as The Handmaid’s Tale, Life of Pi, and Capital in the Twenty-First Century Start a free 30-day trial today SEATTLE—July 18, 2014—(NASDAQ:AMZN)—Amazon.com today introduced Kindle Unlimited—a new subscription service which allows customers to freely read as much as they want from over 600,000 Kindle books, and listen as much as they want to thousands of Audible audiobooks, all for only $9.99 a month. Finding a great book is easy, and there are never any due dates—just look for the Kindle Unlimited logo on eligible titles and click “Read for Free.” Customers can choose from best sellers like The Hunger Games, Diary of a Wimpy Kid, and The Lord of the Rings, and with thousands of professionally narrated audiobooks from Audible, like The Handmaid’s Tale and Water for Elephants, the story can continue in the car or on the go. Kindle Unlimited subscribers also get the additional benefit of a complimentary three-month Audible membership, with access to the full selection of Audible titles. Kindle Unlimited is available starting today and is accessible from Kindle devices or with Amazon’s free Kindle reading apps. Start your free 30-day trial today at http://www.amazon.com/ku-freetrial. “With Kindle Unlimited, you won’t have to think twice before you try a new author or genre—you can just start reading and listening,” said Russ Grandinetti, Senior Vice President, Kindle. “In addition to offering over 600,000 eBooks, Kindle Unlimited is also by far the most cost-effective way to enjoy audiobooks and eBooks together. With thousands of Whispersync for Voice-enabled audiobooks to choose from, you can easily switch between reading and listening to a book, allowing the story to continue even when your eyes are busy. We hope you take advantage of the 30-day free trial and try it for yourself.” Kindle Unlimited features include: · Unlimited reading: Access over 600,000 books including best sellers like The Lord of the Rings trilogy, the Harry Potter series, Diary of a Wimpy Kid books, Flash Boys: A Wall Street Revolt, Water for Elephants, Oh Myyy! – There Goes The Internet, The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, All the King’s Men, Wonder Boys, Ask for It, The Princess Bride, The 5 Love Languages: The Secret to Love that Lasts, The Atlantis Gene, Kitchen Confidential, The Sisterhood, Crazy Little Thing, The Blind Side, and The Giver, plus thousands of classics such as Animal Farm, To the Lighthouse, 2001: A Space Odyssey, Cat’s Cradle, and The Good Earth, as well as books featuring beloved children’s characters from Sesame Street, and useful reference titles including books from the For Dummies series and Lonely Planet travel guides. · Unlimited listening: Keep the story going with unlimited access to more than 2,000 audiobooks from Audible with Whispersync for Voice, and switch seamlessly between reading and listening to customer favorites like the Hunger Games trilogy, Life of Pi, The Handmaid’s Tale, Capital in the Twenty-First Century, The Great Santini, The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat, Winter’s Tale, Boardwalk Empire, El Narco, Upstairs at the White House: My Life with the First Ladies, Merle’s Door: Lessons from a Freethinking Dog, The Finisher, Johnny Carson, The Stranger I Married, and Life Code. · Kindle exclusives: Choose from hundreds of thousands of books only found on Kindle, including Brilliance by Marcus Sakey, The Hangman’s Daughter series by Oliver Pötzsch, War Brides by Helen Bryan, Ed McBain’s 87th Precinct and Matthew Hope books, When I Found You by Catherine Ryan Hyde, Whiskey Sour by J.A. Konrath, Chasing Shadows by CJ Lyons, and Sick by Brett Battles. · Short Reads: For a quick escape, select from thousands of books that are 100 pages or less, including Kindle Singles from Stephen King, Andy Borowitz, and Nelson DeMille, and short fiction from Amazon Publishing’s StoryFront imprint. · Free three-month Audible membership: In addition to the thousands of professionally narrated audiobooks from Audible included in Kindle Unlimited, subscribers get a complimentary three-month Audible membership, with access to more than 150,000 titles. · Popular Kindle features: Enjoy all the great Kindle features customers love such as Whispersync, Popular Highlights, X-Ray, customer reviews, and Goodreads integration. · Read and listen everywhere: Access across Kindle devices and free Kindle reading apps for iPhone, iPad, Android tablets and phones, Windows Phone, BlackBerry, PC, Mac and Windows 8—so you always have your library with you and never lose your place. For more details on Kindle Unlimited, visit www.amazon.com/kindleunlimited.