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Kindle Unlimited: 600,000 ebooks and 7000+ audiobooks for $9.99

Screenshot 2014-07-16 08.30.57

The news of this leaked two days ago when Amazon posted this and then took it down, but the internet remembers forever. Cached pages showed Kindle’s new subscription service called Kindle Unlimited.

Amazon has now launched the service. It is US only for now but there are plans to make it available internationally. The books in the catalog are Amazon imprints, self published books and books from smaller publishers like Kensington and Scholastic. There are no big 5 participating at this time.

The self published authors are those that have chosen Kindle Select. It should be noted that some of the big name self pubs like Bella Andre are participating without being part of Kindle Select.

Kindle Select means you make the book exclusive to Amazon. The trial is FREE for one month.

The following is the press release and a promotional video:

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 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 ItThe 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 CenturyThe Great SantiniThe 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, includingBrilliance 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.

 

For the author, when you enroll in Kindle Select, you are included in Kindle Unlimited.

Kindle Unlimited is a subscription program for readers that allows them to read as many books as they want. The Kindle Owners’ Lending Library is a collection of books that Amazon Prime members who own a Kindle can choose one book from each month with no due dates. When you enroll in KDP Select, your books are automatically included in both programs.

An author is paid from a fund that Amazon sets up. Historically that fund has paid around $2.00 a borrow through the Kindle Owner’s Library. Now it will pay a portion when at least 10% of the book is read.  Kindle Unlimited selections qualify when customers select them for the first time and read more than 10% of the book; KOLL selections qualify when customers download them.

When the book is free, Amazon won’t include it in the KU or KOLL programs. In an effort to provide the best reader experience, note that on the days your book is offered for free, it will not be included in Kindle Unlimited or the Kindle Owners’ Lending Library. 

That’s about all I know folks.

Jane Litte is the founder of Dear Author, a lawyer, and a lover of pencil skirts. She spends her downtime reading romances and writing about them. Her TBR pile is much larger than the one shown in the picture and not as pretty. You can reach Jane by email at jane @ dearauthor dot com

13 Comments

  1. Fallen Professor
    Jul 18, 2014 @ 08:21:14

    I hope it does expand to other regions soon. Right now, my only book subscription choice is Scribd, which I like (nice big romance section with lots of classics), but I’d like to have more options. Although even with Scribd I’m limited by region, so not all books are available for me; I don’t expect regional restrictions to be any different with Amazon, though.

  2. Kristin
    Jul 18, 2014 @ 08:21:36

    Interesting that they haven’t bundled this with their Prime membership. If you currently have Prime, I think you’re limited to one borrow a month. If that’s the case, you’d have to pay an additional $9.99 to access this program instead of it being part of your Prime membership.

    It’s awfully tempting. Like disgustingly tempting. But my kid already removes my Kindle from my hands often enough that I might wait until I go on my maternity leave for #2 to try it out.

  3. Sirius
    Jul 18, 2014 @ 09:20:06

    Hmm, cannot believe I am saying it, but I think I will hold off for now – just not enough m/m books to make my involvement justified and not mm books I usually want to buy anyway. Especially considering that I already started free trial on Scribd and plan to stick with it and whatever m/m books they have I am ok with borrowing once a month since the selection is not huge (and I do have prime as well).

  4. ML
    Jul 18, 2014 @ 10:34:26

    I’m assuming that this is a true subscription service; that is, there is no license to the book per se but just an ability to read, and once you drop the subscription, all access is dropped as well. For a voracious reader, I can certainly see the price value. But if you like to make backup copies of your ebooks, I don’t see how that would be possible. Does anyone know?

  5. Darlynne
    Jul 18, 2014 @ 11:11:27

    Since the once-a-month lending library only worked on actual Kindle devices, this would be an improvement. But it isn’t clear whether the three-month Audible membership is limited to a specific set of titles (albeit 150,000). Inquiring minds are off to investigate.

  6. Jane
    Jul 18, 2014 @ 11:23:43

    Here’s what I’ve found out so far.

    1) 10 book limit at any given time but no expiration. Return one of the books and your allotment frees up.
    2) Amazon treats this as a sale and offers you the reduced audiobook price. Makes me rethink my audible subscription.
    3) You can use on any App/Kindle hardware. Prime used to be just for Kindle device owners (which was a hassle for me. Half the time my Kindle Paperwhite is out of battery)
    4) It is not available to Desktop programs for Windows or Macs. (Sucks to be Surface Pro owners)

  7. Sirius
    Jul 18, 2014 @ 11:26:16

    Oh I do like that it is not just on kindle itself.

  8. jane
    Jul 18, 2014 @ 13:18:03

    An edit to above. Once you borrow, you can read it on your PC or Mac software.

  9. Mzcue
    Jul 18, 2014 @ 13:28:36

    @Jane: Not available for Desktop programs? Well, shucks!

    I do all my digital reading on my laptop for a variety of reasons. That exclusion makes Kindle Unlimited a complete non-starter for me.

  10. DS
    Jul 18, 2014 @ 17:28:57

    30 day free trial. That’s irresistible.

  11. Rachel
    Jul 18, 2014 @ 19:40:41

    @Jane: Checking out a kindle edition from your (or at least my) library apparently also counts as a sale for getting discounted prices for the Audible version of that book too.

  12. Berls @ Fantasy is More Fun
    Jul 21, 2014 @ 09:13:17

    I was a definite no with this – not because I think it’s a bad deal – but because I didn’t think I would use it with how many books I already own. But with that audible deal I’m rethinking my no… I didn’t expect it to extend over to audible and that’s a place that I spend some serious change… I wonder if that free membership will go to people who already have memberships? Thanks for sharing all the details, guess I need to give this a bit more thought!

  13. Keira Soleore
    Jul 22, 2014 @ 00:08:11

    How does KU compare with Scribd? I.e., Scribd is an established service w/ a wide selection.

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