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In our post titled,  “Could this be Netflix? ” we wrote, “On our Purpose Page we observed that, “Just as the iPod changed the shape of the music industry,  the entire book publishing industry, is on the brink of a paradigm change.” Now, two companies outside book publishing offer unlimited downloads of e-books for a flat monthly fee.” These companies are Oyster and Scribid. The monthly fee is $8.99 and $9.95 respectively. 

Amazon is trying a different tactic to drive e-book sales and and customer to  its Amazon Prime program.  The  new program is called Amazon First, and is now part of the Amazon Prime.  Lance Whitney, in his article, for CNet  on November 1, 2013, gives a good explanation of the program:

Kindle First … offers a select number of titles that cost $1.99 for regular buyers but are free to Prime members.

Each month, editors at Amazon Publishing choose certain books from among Kindle’s most popular categories. Those books are available one month ahead of their official release.  As with all other Kindle titles, the book you select can be read on any device equipped with Amazon’s free Kindle app.

The first books up for selection are “Things We Set on Fire” by Deborah Reed; “No Place for a Dame” by Connie Brockway; “Silent Echo” by J.R. Rain, and “We Will Survive: True Stories of Encouragement, Inspiration, and the Power of Song” by singer Gloria Gaynor. These books won’t be published until December but are available through Kindle First as of Friday.

As observed by Jacob Kastrenakes in TheVerge:

For its first month of Kindle First service, Amazon has chosen titles in genres spanning from romance to mystery. None of the books come directly from big name publishers, however, so while the service may be exciting, for now it seems unlikely that you’ll be able to score the next J.K. Rowling novel ahead of the general public. Instead, Kindle First seems like a good way to please readers by stocking up their digital bookshelves. Though Amazon says that three of its four books this month come from best-selling authors, the program still appears to be a great way to give each title a bit of extra promotion before its proper release.

According to Amazon, “Kindle First  members the opportunity to download one of four editors’ picks one month before the official publication date.”


The Kindle First program does not seem to be first step toward and unlimited download of e-books for a flat monthly fee. Instead, Lance Whitney wrote,

With its new Kindle First program, the retail giant has come up with another way to lure people to Prime…Amazon has been on a tear to attract more people to Prime. The retailer recently upped the minimum purchase price that qualifies for free shipping to $35 from $25. Prime members enjoy free two-day shipping on any order. A $79-per-year Prime subscription also throws in the streaming of more than 40,000 movies and TV shows and free Kindle book borrowing.

Thus, the road to the unlimited download of e-books for a flat monthly fee seems clear for new companies to develop their programs before Amazon wakes up.

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