Amazon in talks to launch digital-book library

“ Inc. is talking with book publishers about launching a Netflix Inc.-like service for digital books, in which customers would pay an annual fee to access a library of content, according to people familiar with the matter,” Stu Woo and Jeffrey A. Trachtenberg report for The Wall Street Journal.

“It’s unclear how much traction the proposal has, the people said,” Woo and Trachtenberg report. “Several publishing executives said they aren’t enthusiastic about the idea because they believe it could lower the value of books and because it could strain their relationships with other retailers that sell their books, they said.”

Advertisement: Limited Time, ends Sept. 20th: Students, Parents and Faculty save up to $200 on a new Mac.

Woo and Trachtenberg report, “Amazon has told publishers it is considering creating a digital-book library featuring older titles… [which] would be available to customers of Amazon Prime, who currently pay the retailer $79 a year… Amazon would offer book publishers a substantial fee for participating in the program, people familiar with the proposal said. Some of these people said that Amazon would limit the amount of books that Amazon Prime customers could read for free every month.”

Read more in the full article here.

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Readers “Fred Mertz” and “Lynn Weiler” for the heads up.]


  1. Book sellers and publishers will lose money. Subscribers will not like the monthly payment amount and the book numbers per month restrictions. Amazon will not get every major publisher to join up leaving big gaps in the choices offered.

    Yes, this will work out just fine.

  2. I am not as pessimistic as the previous posts. If Spotify could convince the music labels to provide their almost entire catalogues for a $10 monthly subsciption, which includes new releases, I don’t see why book publishers cannot be persuaded to do the same. I would gladly pay up to $20/mo to be able to read unlimited new & old books.

    1. I am somewhat skeptical, mainly for the reason of who is behind this (Amazon). If Apple tried to do something like this, I would have had no doubts that it would have been successful. Unfortunately, Apple does not believe in the concept of subscription in the first place; not for music, not for video, and probably not for books either. The idea of iTunes Match is probably the closest Apple has (or will) ever come to recurring-payment content offering.

      As it stands, Amazon has little corporate vision and culture to properly pull of a service of this type and make it consistent.

      I do believe, though, as THE largest retailer of books (print or electronic) Amazon has a pretty powerful arm with which to wrestle the book publishers into a subscription deal.

  3. Amazon’s new “digital” library attempt is just a weak try to overcome Nook’s huge advantage over Kindle as Nook (unlike Kindle) provides ability to check out library eBooks, and there are a huge number of libraries that provide ebooks in ePub format ( that Nook supports but Kindle doesn’t.) Also, if one goes to any Barnes & Noble store with a Nook, one’s allowed to read any available eBook for free while in the store via free provided in the store Wi-Fi – another “library” option that is already there.
    Current e-Ink Nook Simpletouch is much better than current e-ink Kindle as Nook has the latest generation touch screen display, no page turn lag, it weights less, its battery lasts twice as long, and it doesn’t blink on each page turn – much better than current Kindle 3.

  4. I totally agree with iRobot
    actually I think this is the future. the concept of paying for one single content usage is obsolete. music (rhapsody, spotify, etc) movies and tv (netflix, hulu) should teach something. the fact is not that apple does not believe in this model as suggested by Predrab. they want a 30% chunk from each item. for apple the adoption of such a model would imply a massive loss.

Reader Feedback

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.