Amazon delves into book subscriptions with Kindle Serials

Amazon is trying to bring back the once-popular subscription-based book model, offering Kindle owners a way to subscribe to serialized novels.

Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos announces Kindle Serials at the company's event today.
Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos announces Kindle Serials at the company's event today. James Martin/CNET

Amazon already offers subscriptions to newspapers and magazines, and today the company announced plans to do the same for serial novels.

A new service for Kindle owners, called Kindle Serials, lets customers subscribe to a serial novel. Buyers purchase the content up front, then have it delivered to their device automatically as new installments are published. Along the way, readers can provide feedback about the series, something Amazon hopes will bring a modern approach to the genre.

The feature is launching with eight series, including a yoga murder mystery called "Downward-Facing Death." Each is priced at $1.99, the company said, including a re-release of "Oliver Twist" and "The Pickwick Papers," by Charles Dickens, who is credited with popularizing the serialized novel:

The eight launch titles in Amazon's new serials feature.
The eight launch titles in Amazon's new serials feature. James Martin/CNET

The feature was just one of Amazon's announcements this morning. The company also refreshed its Kindle lineup, including new versions of its e-ink models , along with expanding its Kindle Fire line with an additional, high-end model.

Update at 2:07 p.m. PT: Amazon's posted a full list of the launch titles, and a store section highlighting Serials titles.

About the author

Josh Lowensohn joined CNET in 2006 and now covers Apple. Before that, Josh wrote about everything from new Web start-ups, to remote-controlled robots that watch your house. Prior to joining CNET, Josh covered breaking video game news, as well as reviewing game software. His current console favorite is the Xbox 360.

 

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