My Kindle Unlimited Review for 2020
eBooks and online subscriptions have grown significantly over the past few years, even managing to convert some fans of the physical paper book over.
While at home you will never catch me with an eReader, on the train or while travelling, it has truly been a game changer.
No more worrying about the extra weight or loosing luggage or if my hostel have a book shelf that you can swap with. I now have a device that is as light as my phone and just as thin that can hold thousands of books.
But now comes the next conundrum… eBooks are only a little cheaper than physical books. Which as some people have found with now obsolete publishers/sellers of eBooks – you lose access to if they close down.
So what is the solution?
Subscription models… such as Kindle Unlimited have come to the rescue there. Think of going to the local library but online.
What is Kindle Unlimited?
Kindle Unlimited is Amazon’s dedicated subscription service for eBooks, magazines and audio books with over a million titles.
For a flat monthly fee ($9.99USD per month plus taxes) you can ‘borrow’ up to 10 titles for as long as you want.
A little like Google Ads, Kindle Unlimited will give you suggestions based on your shopping and browsing history. Which is good in that it will show you titles related to topics/genres that you like. Bad in the sense that it kind of picks for you and you might miss a title that you could have loved reading.
However feel free to skip that and go straight to browse all categories and make sure you click on the yellow button that says ‘read for free’. If there is an audio book version, the button will say ‘read and listen for free’.
When you are done reading, just making sure to click on ‘Return’.
You can subscribe to Kindle Unlimited from this page.
You will need an Amazon account but that is free and easy to sign up to as well.
What are the benefits of Kindle Unlimited?
Quite simply the thousands of titles that I can choose from and that I don’t need a Kindle to access it. You just need to download the app on whatever device you choose (phone, iPad, tablet, laptop etc).
You can create your own ‘library’ of titles that you want to read so you don’t forget which ones were on your list to read (A lot better then taking photos of books I see in stores so I don’t forget them!)
You can read the books offline, however you do need internet access to browse or download/borrow.
There is also a great range of books available for Children from a number of popular authors.
Bonus: there is no limit to the number of devices that can access the same subscription – have your family all use the same account while reading or listening to different books!
Also, anyone who is part of the KDP Select (Amazon’s ebook publishing section) automatically has their book added to KU. Which is great because book stores tend to be full of main stream titles, and small authors often get left behind.
Try Kindle Unlimited for 30 days for free to see if this is for you.
What are the negatives of Kindle Unlimited?
As a member of Kindle Unlimited, the biggest issue I have is geo-restrictions.
Being based in Australia means there are titles that I can’t access, however on the other hand, there are titles on there that I can’t get in paper form in Australia.
If you are a member of Amazon Prime, then unfortunately it is not included in the price. Amazon Prime has its own, separate ‘library’ as part of its subscription service (along with discounts for titles purchased outright).
As much as the library is significant and there are thousands of books to choose from, many of the titles are self published and you will find that there are not as many contemporary/big name titles as you would expect from a company like Amazon, as none of the major publishing houses have their books available as part of Kindle Unlimited.
Also keep in mind that if you sign up for a long term subscription (6 months/12 months) and you want to cancel early (which is easy enough and you will be refunded), you lose the titles you have read or saved. Okay maybe that is the inner nerd in me – I hate that even if I resign up I won’t be able to see previous titles!
So is it worth subscribing to Kindle Unlimited?
While there are dozens of different services available on the world wide web… Amazon is a massive presence which makes it difficult to avoid.
It really comes down to the following:
What is your reading style? Do you prefer to borrow or own?
What genres do you normally read? If you prefer main stream then you won’t find as many titles as you would prefer. However if you like self published, a little left of centre books then Kindle is definitely worth trying.
How many books do you read in a month? Some people only read one or two, some read a book every few days. Balance the value to how much you read. It might be better value to buy a book a month (if that is all you read) then it is to sign up to monthly service.
Either way, Kindle Unlimited do have a 30 day trial which you can cancel anytime, so it really doesn’t hurt to sign up and have a look for yourself at the titles they have on offer. It is a subscription not a contract, so feel free to cancel once you’ve read your fill!
It is easy to forget that Amazon started as a book seller, it is still a big part of what they offer online (which is a lot!) so there is no reason not to give them a try at what they do best.