Would You Buy ‘Kindle Unlimited’?

kindleEbook subscription services like Scribd and Oyster ask readers if they want to choose from a selection of about 400,000 ebooks and read as many as they want for $9 or $10 a month, or so.

Now Amazon is preparing to ask readers the same question, except with more than 600,000 titles, including audiobooks, and all within the convenient Amazon system – at least according to media reports.

The new “Kindle Unlimited” was reportedly being tested this week on Amazon.com and was spotted by some attentive bloggers before it was taken down.

CEOs of competitors Scribd and Oyster praised the launch as proof that the business model works and welcomed the competition in statements to DBW.


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Kindle Unlimited: Breaking It Down (Pub Lunch)
What happens when a user reads a book in the new Kindle Unlimited? Well, it depends on who published the book and what agreement they have or do not have with Amazon. Self-published authors: Read the fine print.

Four Ways Publishers Can (Can’t?) Compete With Amazon (Forbes)
Digital Book World 2015 conference chairman Mike Shatzkin points out a Harvard Business Review article that gives suppliers strategies for negotiating with aggregators and then interprets these strategies for book publishers interested in competing with Amazon. Problem is, they mostly won’t work for book publishers. More.

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Digital Comics Grow in 2013 (PW)
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Solution to Japan’s Disappearing Ebooks (GuelphMercury.com)
Japanese readers disconcerted to find they lose their ebooks when ebook retailers disappear are trying to think of ways to solve this issue for future readers.

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A new law that could take effect this year would level the playing field for online and bricks-and-mortar retailers.

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One thought on “Would You Buy ‘Kindle Unlimited’?

  1. Michael J. Sullivan

    When it comes to subscription services it’s all about who has the best content. So far none of the services have been all that great about signing up the top titles. The biggest problem I see with Kindle Unlimited at the present time is that it is filled with:

    * Self-published authors in KDP Select
    * Amazon Imprint Authors
    * Titles from some progressive small presses (like Open Road)
    * A few titles that Amazon has special arrangements with (like Harry Potter)
    * A few titles that Amazon has put in against the publisher’s wishes (like Hunger Games)

    I think if subscription is the future (and I think it might be), the big winner here is going to by Oyster as they already have the biggest selection of top titles and I see it as increasing. Publishers won’t want to give Amazon more rope to hang themselves, so they will keep out their titles from KU. Amazon pays a huge premium for the titles they put in against the publisher’s will so they can’t do too many of these. My guess is the traditional publishers will bolster Oyster to help defeat Amazon. That being said…Amazon has a knack for succeeding at whatever it sets its mind to, so if you bet based on track record, you have to think Amazon will, one way or another, win the book subscription war.



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