Amazon on Friday announced the launch of its new e-book subscription service dubbed “Kindle Unlimited.”
The new e-book service, Kindle Unlimited, will offer readers access to as many as 600,000 digital books and thousands of audio books for USD$9.99 a month. The service will be available on Kindle or Kindle reading apps for Apple iOS and Android smartphones and tablets along with traditional computers.
Unlike the company’s Amazon Prime service which allows subscribers with Kindles to borrow only one bestseller a month from the Amazon’s Kindle Owners’ Lending Library, the $9.99-a-month service offers readers a huge pool of popular books including blockbuster series like the Hunger Games and Diary of a Wimpy Kid, Flash Boys, the Harry Potter series, the Lord of the Rings trilogy as well as classics and best-sellers including Animal Farm and To The Lighthouse. Subscribers will also have access to thousands of audio books including “Water for Elephants.”
However, some major publishers including HarperCollins, Hachette and Simon & Schuster, have confirmed they are not making their books available through the service. Books that can be downloaded by subscribers for free as part of the service will have an orange “Kindle Unlimited” icon under the title.
Russ Grandinetti, senior vice president of the company’s Kindle division, in a press release said that with Kindle Unlimited subscribers, won’t need to think twice before trying out a new author or genre as they can start reading any e-book or listening to an audio book anytime.
Kindle Unlimited will be directly competing with similar e-book services including Oyster which allows unlimited access to over 500,000 books for $9.95 a month and Scribd, which offers access to around 400,000 titles.
In order to promote the launch, Amazon is also offering a free 30-day trial for its US customers.