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Kindle-exclusive e-books get lots of business

Amazon said most of the books are borrowed or bought by members of its $79 a year Prime program

August 28, 2012 12:52 PM ET

Computerworld - Kindle-exclusive books have been purchased, downloaded or borrowed more than 100 million times, Amazon announced Tuesday.

The number of exclusive titles in the Kindle library has grown to 180,000 from 130,000 in April, Amazon said.

The significance of the new Amazon data is that nearly all these books are available for Kindle device owners who also have a Prime membership.

The Prime membership program -- $79 a year after a free, one month trial -- allows borrowing for free, up to one title a month.

Analysts say Amazon's line of e-readers and the $199 Kindle Fire tablet are likely profitable partly because of sales of online products. The Prime offering not only allows borrowing of books, but also instant streaming of movies and TV shows. Members get free shipping of thousands of products on sale.

Kindle-exclusive titles include "War Brides' by Helen Bryan, which has been purchased or borrowed 270,000 times, and three titles by Karen McQuestion that have been purchased more than 500,000 times, Amazon said.

Amazon said it plans to continue to invest in the library of exclusive books.

Amazon has scheduled a press conference for Sept. 6 in SantaMonica, Calif., where many observers expect it to announce a next-generation Fire tablet, possible one that's larger in size than the 7-in. original that went on sale last year.

There have also been reports that Amazon may unveil its own Kindle smartphone.

Matt Hamblen covers mobile and wireless, smartphones and other handhelds, and wireless networking for Computerworld. Follow Matt on Twitter at Twitter@matthamblen, or subscribe to Matt's RSS feed Hamblen RSS. His e-mail address is mhamblen@computerworld.com.

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