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Unlike Prime Instant Video and Prime Music, you'll have to pay extra for this one

If you love reading eBooks on a regular basis, Amazon has a new service that it hopes will suck you in (just as it does with Amazon Prime). But unlike other Prime “add-ons” like Prime Instant Video or Prime Music, this one will cost you extra. Kindle Unlimited will give you unlimited access to over 600,000 eBooks and thousands of audiobooks for $9.99/month.
 
The service is available using Kindle hardware devices, Amazon’s existing Kindle apps or with the Kindle cloud reader.

 
To give you a taste of what to expect with Kindle Unlimited, Amazon is also offering a 30-day free trial of Kindle Unlimited. And paying customers will also be given a free, 3-month trial of Audible.
 
“Kindle Unlimited is also by far the most cost-effective way to enjoy audiobooks and eBooks together,” said Russ Grandinetti, Senior Vice President for Amazon’s Kindle division. “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.”
 
There are some caveats to this service, however. While popular books from the Harry Potter series, Diary of a Wimpy Kid, and Lord of the Rings trilogy are represented, Kindle Unlimited doesn’t support all of the major book publishers. Most damming, however, is that the service is currently only available in the United States.

Sources: Amazon [1], [2]



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"I'm picky"
By nafhan on 7/18/2014 11:08:56 AM , Rating: 2
So, the problem I have with Netflix and Amazon Prime (small-ish catalog), is magnified when it comes to books. I'm much pickier about what I read than what I watch, as the time investment for reading a novel is much larger than for watching a 30 minute TV show or even a hour and a half movie.

Still, as a Kindle app user, I'm definitely going to check this out, and I applaud Amazon for trying something different.

On a side note, I look forward to the day when I can give my money more directly to content creators and there are not as many layers of middlemen. Publishers are an obnoxious relic.




RE: "I'm picky"
By DaveLessnau on 7/18/2014 11:19:57 AM , Rating: 3
quote:
Publishers are an obnoxious relic.


I used to think the same thing, too. Then I started reading some of the self-published Kindle books on Amazon. Unfortunately, if anyone CAN publish, anyone WILL publish. Whether they can write or not. I swear, some of the books I tried to read wouldn't get through a high school English class. Heck, I'll bet you that some high school English teacher somewhere has a final project for the class of sticking a "book" on Amazon.

I'm not saying that books from publishers are automatically better than those that are self-published (I've read some pretty bad (well, very bad) stuff coming out of major publishing houses). It's just that it might be a tad more likely that the really bad stuff has been weeded out (or at least edited).


RE: "I'm picky"
By nafhan on 7/18/2014 12:47:36 PM , Rating: 2
I said "Publishers are an obnoxious relic", because they generally are. So, I'll stick with that. That is, however, very different from "everyone who works with a writer to make a book a solid finished a product is useless".

Editors, researchers, publicists, etc. are very useful and can bring a lot to the table in regards to making and selling a good book. There's probably very few people in the business who can push out a full length novel by themselves.

"Self published" in the context of the Kindle store and the authors you're talking about probably means someone who has not availed themselves of the services of possibly even an editor.


RE: "I'm picky"
By GulWestfale on 7/18/2014 2:39:01 PM , Rating: 2
as an author/self publisher, i want to add a few things.

yes, a lot of self-published books are pure garbage. but have you read the davinci code, twilight, or 50 shades? they're not exactly shakespearean...

amazon's rating and ranking systems can give you an idea of how well received a book is by the (admittedly rather dumb) buying public, but the one cool thing you get with amazon (that you can't get in a book store) is the fact that you can read a free sample. you can even buy a book, read it quickly, and return it for a full refund. as a prime user, you can borrow books from amazon for free.

from my (the author's) point of view, amazon is great: i get to keep 70% of the purchase price, and i do get paid for each borrow or now, free read through the subscription plan. if i had a publisher i would get maybe 10%, and i would still have to pay my agent from that, because no publisher wants to deal with you if you haven't got an agent. so i'd be making 8% of the cover price. most publishers sell books for 9.99 or more, so my readers would also have to pay more. as it is, i charge 2.99 to 5.99, and everyone is happy.

so i welcome any new readers that this scheme may bring in.


RE: "I'm picky"
By Reclaimer77 on 7/18/2014 4:25:54 PM , Rating: 2
Small catalog? I've been a Netflix member for years. My girlfriend and I frequently binge-watch Netflix on the weekends. And I feel like I haven't even scratched the surface!


RE: "I'm picky"
By rountad on 7/18/2014 5:31:18 PM , Rating: 2
I have it and like it.

It does bring a comment to my mind about the matter, though. One time I read that (streaming) Netflix is good if you want to watch something good. It isn't as good if you want to watch something specific.


RE: "I'm picky"
By nafhan on 7/19/2014 10:54:20 PM , Rating: 2
"Small-ish" was the phrase I used. :) The way I usually describe Netflix's catalogue to people is:
"There's enough stuff that I can always find something interesting to watch. If I'm being particular, more often that not, I can't find the particular movie or show that I'm looking for, though."


Rental service?
By npcomplete on 7/19/2014 2:56:10 AM , Rating: 2
It's not stated in the article nor Amazon's website what happens when you stop your subscription. This seems more like a library service/streaming-for-books and different than normal Kindle purchases, so I assume you loose access if you cancel your subscription.




RE: Rental service?
By marvdmartian on 7/21/2014 8:21:32 AM , Rating: 2
I'd guess it's like the current Amazon Prime "lending library", for Kindle owners (and Kindle for PC). You can read however much you want, but, just like any library, you return it when you finish it (or when the month is up, if you don't renew your monthly membership).

My biggest question is how the current Amazon Prime lending library list compares to the library for this new service. If they don't have much more to offer, a Prime membership would be a much better value.


RE: Rental service?
By lladnarst on 7/21/2014 11:35:04 AM , Rating: 2
Just like a book you buy from Amazon and download to your kindle, once it is in your kindle it is there forever unless you wipe the device. you can have unlimited numbers of these books at one time, and also the accompanying audible books too ( multiple audible books, and keep them on your devices).


RE: Rental service?
By Just Tom on 7/21/2014 3:24:53 PM , Rating: 2
You lose access to those books. It is right in the terms of use.

quote:
As a member of Kindle Unlimited, you may read Kindle books and listen to Audible audiobooks from a designated list of titles an unlimited number of times for so long as you are a member of the program. From time to time, we may add or remove titles from the program and we make no guarantee as to the availability of specific titles or the minimum number of titles available. The program is currently only available to United States customers. If your membership ends, you will no longer have access to the titles you selected from the program.


https://www.amazon.com/gp/help/customer/display.ht...


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