The rumors are true. After some secretive beta testing Amazon officially unveiled Kindle Unlimited today — a new subscription service for readers in the U.S. where customers will be able to read as many book as they want from a library of over 600,000 titles and thousands of audio books for $9.99 a month.
The idea is that by providing unlimited access to Amazon’s wide and varied selection of books this service will give readers the ability to try new genres and discover new authors they might not have encountered before for fear of losing $0.99 – $2.99 in the process in case they didn’t like it. (Even though there is a money back return policy.)
The service also works with audio books.
Thousands of Kindle books come with the free professionally narrated Audible audiobook. With Whispersync for Voice, whenever you see “Kindle Unlimited with Narration,” you can switch seamlessly between reading and listening without ever losing your place. Just pop in your headphones, tap the play button, and keep the story going…in the car, in the gym, in the kitchen, wherever your day takes you.
Kindle Unlimited subscribers will also receive a complimentary three-month Audible membership with access to more than 150,000 titles.
It also works not only on Kindle e-readers but also across any device (phone, pad, etc.) with the free Kindle reading apps installed.
Amazon’s Kindle Unlimited service, rumored for a couple of months, will compete with other existing e-book subscription services Scribd ($8.99/month) and Oyster ($9.95/month), although they don’t offer audio books.
It seems that not all of the big publishers are participating though, but a lot are on board including Algonquin and Bloombury, so it is probably only a matter of time before the others jump on the bandwagon. For independent authors and publishers, the service is currently available only for titles published under Amazon’s exclusive publishing imprints (which I am not a part of, and have mixed feelings about).
So you will not be getting Free Love for free any time soon on Kindle via Amazon, I’m afraid, but it is still available for a mere pittance (and highly reasonable) $2.99. And it is actually free if you buy the print version. So you have that going for you. Which is nice.