Rumor? or Real? Amazon about to offer a New eBook Subscription Service

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The internet (the part that is interested in ebooks, anyway :) ) is abuzz today with the most-likely-true rumor that Amazon is about to launch a new service.

This looks like it will be a new Netflix-ish subscription service with digital ebooks and audio books…… an “all you can eat” approach …. for $9.99 a month.

It isn’t available yet. As a matter of fact, it hasn’t even been confirmed, yet. But the stories about it are everywhere.

When (if) this launches, I’ll be sure to post the details. But in the meantime, here are some links to many of the stories flooding the internet, today:

Amazon Tests ‘Kindle Unlimited,’ A Netflix For Ebooks And Audiobooks

Amazon Appears to Be Testing All-You-Can-Read Kindle Ebook Subscriptions

Amazon’s Prepping a “Kindle Unlimited” Subscription Service For Books

Amazon is working on Kindle Unlimited, the ultimate subscription service for readers

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Free, Really Free: Classic Audio Books, Professionally Read

photo credit: Wikipedia


Last week, Amazon held their press conference, announcing their new Kindles and also a new feature called “Whispersync Voice.”

Let’s first back up a little bit and talk about “Whispersync” in general. This is an incredible, awesome feature of Kindle-reading. I have a Kindle, an iPad and an iPhone, and I read on all three (using the free Kindle app on the Apple devices).

With Whispersync, I can pick up any device and continue reading my book from where ever I left off on any other device. I fall asleep with my Kindle, yet when I am sitting in the doctor’s office the next afternoon, I can open the Kindle app on my iPhone, and I will be in the exact spot of the book that I left off last night. I can bring my iPad to my exercise bike, and if I open the Kindle app, I will be in the spot where I left off at the Doctor’s office in the afternoon. And when I return to bed in the evening, my Kindle will be ready for reading at the place I left off on the iPad. I have come to rely on this feature, and I’d truly miss it if I didn’t have it now.

Whispersync Voice takes syncing to a whole new level. This adds speech to the equation.

Amazon has started to “package” books so that you can buy the Kindle version with a reduced-price audio book (the audio book would cost a great deal more if bought separately).

(*Please note that this is different from the “Text to Speech” function that Kindles have enjoyed since the beginning. (I won’t digress here, but I think many people will be disappointed if Text to Speech is phased out.) With WhisperSync Voice, you are hearing professionally made audio books, not a robot text reader.*)

With Whispersync Voice, you can read your book at home, then get in your car and continue listening to the book from exactly the same spot where you left off. A cool idea, (although it might get a little costly.)

In my family, we might use this a bit differently, since I am a reader, and my husband is a listener. This could work out really well for us, not as a syncing thing, but as an opportunity to get a reduced price audio book of a book that I’ve read and I think he would really like. We’ll see….

And so ……. Let’s get to the FREE part:

Because Amazon wants people to try this new feature, they have taken 22 Classic Books and made the book and the audiobook version BOTH free:

That’s a WOW!

Here is the list:

A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens

Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte

Moby Dick by Herman Melville

The Three Musketeers by Alexandre Dumas

The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn Tom Sawyer’s Comrade by Mark Twain

Dracula by Bram Stoker

David Copperfield by Charles Dickens

The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde

The Wonderful Wizard of Oz by L. Frank Baum

Frankenstein by Mary Shelley

Gulliver’s Travels by Jonathan Swift

White Fang by Jack London

The Mysterious Affair at Styles by Agatha Christie

The Wind in the Willows by Kenneth Grahame

The Sign of the Four by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

The Moonstone by Wilkie Collins

Black Beauty by Anna Sewell

Vanity Fair by William Makepeace Thackeray

A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man by James Joyce

House of Mirth by Edith Wharton

Ethan Frome by Edith Wharton

The Fortunes and Misfortunes of the Famous Moll Flanders by Daniel DeFoe

Awesome list, right?

In order to do this, you must have a Kindle or Kindle App and the Audible App on your iPhone. (There is a version for Android users as well).

Click here to go to the list of FREE Amazon Books and Matching Audiobooks.

Scroll through, and find the book of your choice.

I chose A Tale of Two Cities and clicked on that title from the list. It brought me to this screen:

Notice that the Kindle price is $0 (that’s ZERO dollars). Just “purchase” it as you would any Kindle book.

A box will pop up and you will see this:

Since I have already downloaded and registered with the Audible App, I just breeze through these clicks… I’ll paste each screen, here:

Notice all those zeros? :)

That’s all there is (almost). You will have to download the book to your phone via the Audible App. Just go to the “My Library” section of the app, and you will see your audio book listed in the “not downloaded” section. Just touch it to download it into your phone. That’s it. You can now listen on your device, and it will sync with the book as you read it. I have tried it, and wow .. it works just great.

Audible is an Amazon company, and therefore the two play very well together. I am particularly delighted to see that in the “Manage my Kindle” section on Amazon, your Audio books are included there, as well, to be managed similarly.

And so, to summarize:

Go to the list of free books.

“Buy” a free book.

“Buy” a free audio version of the book.

Download the audio version to your device through the Audible App.

All done! Time to enjoy!

You can learn more about Whispersync voice here

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