Amazon wants you to be the envy of your book club. Well, to be more specific, Amazon wants your moola, but it wants to earn it by selling you book worm-y bragging rights with access to books before they are officially released.
The company's new Kindle First program provides access to a handful of pre-selected books before their official release date. Customers can choose one First title for $2, while Amazon Prime members will be able to choose one for free. The books will be made available on any Kindle device or on other devices via the Kindle reading app.
For November, the company has selected four books for digital pre-release that are scheduled for an official release date on December 1. The choices will rotate out on a monthly basis.
One note: Be careful what you click on when ordering. When we clicked through to purchase Things We Set on Fire by Deborah Reed, in addition to the $2 Kindle First option, we were still presented with the full $5 digital pre-order option--which would not be available until the original December 1 release date.
Free access to Kindle First is another selling point for the company's $80 per year Prime program, which gives users free two-day shipping, unlimited streaming of all the movies and videos in the Amazon catalogue, and free access to thousands of Kindle titles.
However, the real significance of First may be the fact that it shows that the book industry has the ability--if not the intention--to divorce the digital release date from that of the print version's logistics-bound release date.