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Amazon Prime members can now get new Kindle books for free

With its new Kindle First program, the retail giant has come up with another way to lure people to Prime.

Screenshot by Lance Whitney/CNET

Amazon Prime subscribers can get a free Kindle book each month ahead of the title's official release date.

Known as Kindle First, the new program announced Friday offers a select number of titles that cost $1.99 for regular buyers but are free to Prime members. Here's how it works, according to Amazon:

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. Along with each title are a note of recommendation and a behind-the-scenes view of the book and its author. Just choose the title you want to download, and it's added to your Kindle library.

At the Kindle First page, you can sign up to receive an e-mail each month that details the new titles up for grabs. 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.

"Prime just keeps getting better for our members, and any customer will find something interesting in our Kindle First picks," Russ Grandinetti, VP of Kindle Content, said in a statement. "We also love that these amazing books by Amazon Publishing authors will get a chance to reach a much wider audience."

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.

The company recently revealed that it added "millions" of new members to Prime last quarter.