Amazon rolled out two new e-book features for its line of Kindle devices and free Kindle app today. There’s Kindle First, a new added benefit for Prime members, and Kindle Countdown Deals, which rewards users for buying e-books early with heavily discounted prices.
With Kindle First, all Amazon Prime members will get the chance to download one free e-book each month ahead of its official launch. Amazon will pick a list of new titles from popular categories and offer them up a month ahead of their regular release. The new promotion represents the company’s latest attempt to lure more customers to a Prime subscription, which already includes access to Amazon’s streaming video service and free two-day shipping for all purchases.
Kindle Countdown Deals is open to all Amazon users, and helps highlight discounted e-books while putting the pressure on customers to make a quick purchase. If you visit the page for a discounted title you’ll now see a price—usually $0.99 or $1.99—along with a note that counts down the days, hours and minutes until the deal expires. Publishers can opt-into the program for exposure as long as the title is exclusive to the Kindle platform and discounted by at least a dollar.