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Amazon’s new Kindle subscription service

Amazon has announced a new subscription service called Kindle Unlimited.  Here’s the company’s announcement email:

Today we are excited to introduce Kindle Unlimited–a new subscription service for readers in the U.S. and a new revenue opportunity for authors enrolled in KDP Select. With Kindle Unlimited, customers will be able to read as many book as they want from a library of over 600,000 titles. KDP authors and publishers who enroll their books with U.S. rights in KDP Select are automatically enrolled in Kindle Unlimited. Inclusion in Kindle Unlimited can help drive discovery of your book, and when your book is accessed and read past 10% you will earn a share of the KDP Select global fund. For the month of July we have added $800,000 to the KDP Select global fund bringing the total to $2 million.
KDP Select is an optional program that makes your book exclusive to Kindle and eligible for the following benefits:
• Reach more readers – With each 90-day enrollment period, your book will appear in Kindle Unlimited in the U.S. and the Kindle Owners’ Lending Library (KOLL) in the U.S, U.K., Germany, France, and Japan which can help readers discover your book.
• Earn more money – When your book is selected and read past 10% from Kindle Unlimited or borrowed from KOLL, you’ll earn your share of the monthly KDP Select Global Fund. You can also earn a 70% royalty for sales to customers in Japan, Brazil, India, and Mexico.
• Maximize your sales potential – Choose from two promotional tools including: Kindle Countdown Deals, time-bound promotional discounts for your book, available on Amazon.com and Amazon.co.uk, while earning royalties; or Free Book Promotion, where readers can get your book free for a limited time.
Learn more about KDP Select and Kindle Unlimited. Visit your Bookshelf to enroll your titles in KDP Select, and click on “Manage Benefits” to get started.
Best regards,
The Kindle Direct Publishing Team

In other words, Amazon believes your books will reach more readers through this service.

Virginia Postrell, an author and former editor, thinks selling books like Netflix may have advantages.  She writes in Bloomberg View:

Amazon has been quietly testing a Kindle subscription service offering an unlimited number of digital books for $9.99 a month, the tech site Gigaom reported yesterday. The bundled pricing model makes a lot of sense, but it’s hard to pull off. Publishers hate it, and the contracts governing author royalties tend not to accommodate it very well.

But as Apple Inc.’s agreement to pay up to $450 million to settle the federal and state cases against it for fixing e-book prices joins earlier settlements by publishers, the book-pricing environment is in flux. As an author and a reader, I hope Amazon can make all-you-can-read work.

Virginia is author of The Power of Glamour: Longing and the Art of Visual Persuasion