Amazon launches $9.99 Kindle Unlimited e-book and audiobook subscription plan

Amazon Kindle Unlimited (teaser 001)

As suspected, Amazon today formally introduced its brand new all-you-can-eat e-book plan, Kindle Unlimited.

Priced at $9.99 per month, the iOS-compatible service gives reading aficionados unlimited access to more than 600,000 books, including best-selling titles like the Harry Potter series, The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings trilogy, the Hunger Games trilogy and Diary of a Wimpy Kid books.

The subscription plan is available on Kindle devices, as well as free Kindle reading apps for iOS, Android and more…

According to Amazon, the plan also includes more than 2,000 audiobooks, including titles like The Handmaid’s Tale, Life of Pi and Capital in the Twenty-First Century.

Kindle Unlimited includes other popular features such as Whispersync, X-ray and Goodreads integration, Kindle-exclusive books, thousands of “short reads” (titles that are 100 pages or less), to name a few.

A free 30-day trial is available, too.

Additionally, Amazon will treat Kindle Unlimited subscribers to free access to Audible’s library with more than 150,000 audiobook titles available for 3-months, regularly a $14.95 value.

Kindle Unlimited (teaser 005)

So what’s the difference between Kindle Unlimited and Kindle Owner’s Lending Library available to Amazon’s $99 per year Prime subscribers?

First, though both offer largely the same e-book library, Kindle Unlimited brings those books to devices like the iPad.

Second, Kindle Unlimited does not limit you in terms of borrowing periods or number of titles read per month.

And third, Kindle Unlimited is a standalone service which not only offers unlimited reading, but also audiobooks.

Check out Amazon’s promo video.

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.

The service is currently available in the United States only. If you’re interested, check out Kindle Unlimited at the Amazon website.

Will you be subscribing to Kindle Unlimited?

I think the service offers fair value, especially for those who plan on reading more than one e-book per month.

With e-books typically selling for about ten dollars a pop, this is similar to the argument that Spotify offers unlimited access to streaming music for the price of a single album download on iTunes or less.