Amazon officially announces Kindle Unlimited

Digital Life

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(CBS News) – It’s official — Amazon has a new service that caters to book lovers, allowing them to freely read over 600,000 Kindle books and thousands of audiobooks.

Amazon officially announced the launch of Kindle Unlimited on Friday, after test pages for the new service were found — and later taken offline — earlier this week. The $9.99-a-month service is separate from the company’s Amazon Prime service, which allows members with Kindles to borrow one bestseller a month from the Amazon’s Kindle Owners’ Lending Library.

The newest subscription service will allow users to read their books across many devices, including iOS and Android devices, Macs, and Windows devices. A stark contrast to the Lending Library, Kindle Unlimited offers popular books including the Harry Potter series, the Lord of the Rings trilogy and numerous others. Amazon also will offer audiobooks for numerous titles, including “Life of Pi” and the Hunger Games trilogy.

“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,” Russ Grandinetti, senior vice president of the company’s Kindle division, said in a press release.

On Wednesday, Gigaom had reported that test pages for the new service were seen by Amazon users enrolled in the company’s Kindle Direct Publishing program. Users were speculating when the service would launch and noted that many of the books listed were either published through Amazon or already available through the Kindle Owners’ Lending Library.

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