Amazon's Kindle Unlimited offers 600,000 e-books for $10 a month

The service dissociates reading from payment, providing Amazon with another weapon in its pricing war with publishers

Even the most voracious readers will take a few months to get the most out of's latest offer: access to 600,000 e-books and 2,000 audiobooks for a monthly fee of US$9.99. What publishers and authors will get out of it remains to be seen.

Subscribers to the new service, available only in the U.S. for now, will see a "Read for Free" logo next to included titles when they are logged in and browsing the company's catalog online from a Kindle device or using the Kindle reading app on a PC.

Amazon is offering a 30-day free trial of the service, and new subscribers will get free access to the 150,000-title Audible audiobook library for three months, it said.

Although Amazon calls the service "unlimited," there are of course limitations: Customers can only borrow up to 10 books at a time, rather than keep an unlimited number on their device. The books have a DRM (digital rights management) wrapper, and borrowed books can only be accessed with a valid subscription, the company said.

The book selection contains recent top sellers such as the Lord of the Rings trilogy and the Harry Potter and Hunger Games series. However, a search for Kindle Unlimited titles also quickly reveal hundreds of short, independently-published straight-to-Kindle stories that would cost just over a dollar to buy. There are also multiple editions of classics including George Orwell's Animal Farm, one of the titles Amazon highlighted in its news release, the duplicates all counting toward the 600,000-book total.

News of the planned service leaked Wednesday, when Amazon inadvertently published details to a page on its website titled "KU Test."

The launch of Kindle Unlimited opens a new front in Amazon's war with book publishers to control prices for e-books, as it dissociates the act of reading from a specific payment to a publisher or author.

Amazon has recently been criticized for delaying delivery of books by French publisher Hachette, refusing to maintain significant inventory of the books until Hachette agrees to give it more flexibility on e-book pricing.

Kindle Unlimited will also spell trouble for e-book rental service Oyster, which also charges $10 per month. It launched its service with an iPhone app last September, and earlier this month released a version for Android users.

Peter Sayer covers open source software, European intellectual property legislation and general technology breaking news for IDG News Service. Send comments and news tips to Peter at

Join the newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection

Tags internetconsumer electronicse-readersamazon.comInternet-based applications and services

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Peter Sayer

IDG News Service
Show Comments


James Cook University - Master of Data Science Online Course

Learn more >


Sansai 6-Outlet Power Board + 4-Port USB Charging Station

Learn more >



Back To Business Guide

Click for more ›

Brand Post

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles


PCW Evaluation Team

Louise Coady

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

The printer was convenient, produced clear and vibrant images and was very easy to use

Edwina Hargreaves

WD My Cloud Home

I would recommend this device for families and small businesses who want one safe place to store all their important digital content and a way to easily share it with friends, family, business partners, or customers.

Walid Mikhael

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

It’s easy to set up, it’s compact and quiet when printing and to top if off, the print quality is excellent. This is hands down the best printer I’ve used for printing labels.

Ben Ramsden

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

Brainstorming, innovation, problem solving, and negotiation have all become much more productive and valuable if people can easily collaborate in real time with minimal friction.

Sarah Ieroianni

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.

Ratchada Dunn

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The Huddle Board’s built in program; Sharp Touch Viewing software allows us to easily manipulate and edit our documents (jpegs and PDFs) all at the same time on the dashboard.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?