Amazon launches Kindle Unlimited, a new ebook rental service for $9.99 a month

Amazon launches Kindle Unlimited, a new ebook rental service for $9.99 a month

Amazon has today announced a new ebook rental service called Kindle Unlimited. The new service enables consumers to choose from over 600,000 books, listen to thousands of audiobooks from Audible and more for just $9.99 a month. Think of it as a music streaming package, but for books with Amazon.

The online retailer will have Kindle Unlimited logos on eligible titles, which can be read for free by those with an active subscription. Popular titles like the Hunger Games, Lord of the Rings and others are available with Kindle Unlimited. It's a neat concept and one we can see many utilizing. Amazon will be bundling a three-month subscription to Audible too.

There's also a free 30-day trial, should you be interested. Find the press release below. You can download the Kindle app from the Windows Phone Store to try the service now.

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SEATTLE--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Jul. 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 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.

For more details on Kindle Unlimited, visit www.amazon.com/kindleunlimited.


Reader comments

Amazon launches Kindle Unlimited, a new ebook rental service for $9.99 a month


This is awesome! I wish MS would offer their own bookstore to compete with this, but at least us WinPhans get to enjoy this service.

Too bad the Windows Phone app is neglected and lacks basic features. Used to be a frequent buyer but since jumping to Windows I am back to ordering books/ebooks direct from publishers.

Any reasonable ability to sort your purchased items, integration with Audible, and reliable syncing.  Just to name a few of the basics.

Highlighting, notes, search, and dictionary. Also pages don't always render and sentences go missing fairly frequently. So it doesn't even work well for reading. I use Fiction Book Reader to read epubs. Best I've found. Wish Microsoft would make a reader.

I've given up on getting Whispersync to work between my Kindle and the WP Audible app. And about one in three downloads on the phone fail to the point of having to contact customer support. Also the Audible app often forgets the last bookmark so you need to manually find where you were.

Still.. this is a pretty good deal. Although with my many credits and slow reading tempo I probably use less than $10 a month now even though I read and listen almost every day.

I wonder if this will be $15 in non US countries, like Adobe subscriptions, WP and iPhone apps and all kinds of other things that are 50% more in non US countries.

It works on WP just fine.  I personally validated that.  This was a lot of work to get out and I hope you all enjoy it.  And yes, everytime WP came up if anyone challenged whether it was worth supporting I held up my Icon and demanded we support it.  That said, it was always in the plans.

So, will the wp app be updated soon? I hardly use it now because it has so many problems and won't show books I've uploaded to my kindle account. I would be spending a lot more money at Amazon if the kindle and audible wp apps would sync together.

I'm not on the app team so I don't have any direct input.  I did validate this service on WP8/Win8 as a personal project simply because I always push to see us better support Windows in general given that my background is at MS and working as an engineer on Windows for a decade.


Rest assured though, I'm a constant voice for Windows/WP, often to the bemusement of my peers.  ;)

Can't take the credit, I was one part of a team of a couple hundred people spread across 20+ teams.  But man did this consume our lives.  Its the first real push to take books past the trappings of them being analogues of the physical book world and into "what are the possibilities for digital books once you stop trying to treat them like physical books?"


Its exciting to think about.  I grew up living in books, so this is a bit of a dream come true for me.

Hi David, I'm going on the assumption that you're on the Amazon team then!  Awesome that it supports it.  So my last question is this, do I just need to switch between the Kindle app, and Audible to utilize the whispersync voice stuff?  Thanks for the reply btw.

I honestly have no idea, I don't use Audible at all and I'm not on that team.  Audible is supported in Kindle Unlimited, and it works with Whispersync for Voice, but I do not know how that support works with the WP app.  I'll try to remember to give it a try when I go into the office next week and if it does not function, I'll be certain to put in a feature request if its not at parity with the iOS/Android apps.

One side note: I don't speak for Amazon, I'm just finally getting some downtime after spending all night getting this launched.  ;)

Download exclusive books in the fast lane if you are a Comcast subscriber! Your books will download up to x10 faster than with AT&T.

$9.99/mo is too much for my reading/listening speed - for the amount of "free" time I have. I would think if they charged $1.99/mo they would get many more subscribers who have the same usage requirements that I do. Heavy users would have an awesome bargin offset by the low frequency guys.

Why bother, I have a library card for free with 5M books available. And the Overdrive App works, uh, ok, but it gives me eBooks and audio. And again it is free. Sorry but I just feel a bit of fatigue around subscribing to ANOTHER service, especially when it is already available from my public library.

I don't like this at all. It is going to damage the authors real bad.

Books are NOT music. Singers get money from concerts, public appearances, promos, photo ups... Authors are completely dependent on the sales of their books (with the exception of those who sell the film rights).

So nobody can tell me that when I get 5 books a month for 10 dollars (less than what a paperback costs), it won't hurt the authors.

It's just what some people predicted -- Amazon is becoming a bytch and starting to force publishing companies into these unfavourable deals. And when they refuse? Amazon will do what they did to Hatchette -- they'll just increase the shipping time to 4 weeks or so. That will make the publishers think twice next time.

Amazon Prime already supports a Kindle Lending Library, so calling it Kindle Prime would be really confusing.

The selection is very meh. It looks the same stuff Prime users can borrow for free (only now they can do it more often) and the books that are on sale all the time (e.g., Vonnegut).