With over a million titles in its collection, Kindle Unlimited is by far the most popular e-book subscription service. But it’s not included with Amazon Prime and costs $10 a month — a steep fee for a service that relies primarily on self-published authors.
It’s an embarrassing situation that leaves customers and critics polarized. This is understandable. Kindle Unlimited is a steal, but if it doesn’t appeal to your interests or reading habits, it’s not worth your money.
What is Amazon Kindle Unlimited?
Much like Audible, Kindle Unlimited is an additional service for Amazon customers. He. She no It’s included with Prime and costs $10 a month, though Amazon sometimes offers a one-year Kindle Unlimited membership at a discount. (You don’t need Prime to sign up for Kindle Unlimited.)
Kindle Unlimited does what you expect – it unlocks millions of e-books for free. You can download and read these books on any device, including your Kindle, smartphone, Fire tablet, iPad, or computer. But you don’t own the books you read through Kindle Unlimited, and the service only lets you download 20 books at a time.
While Kindle Unlimited is one of the most popular ebook lending services, it’s not the only option. Services like script compete directly with Kindle Unlimited’s business model, and you can rent digital books from your local library for free with Libby.
Kindle Unlimited mainly offers self-published books
Authors who submit their books to Kindle Unlimited are not paid per download. Instead, they are paid for every page subscribers are able to read. And the rates are very low — less than half a cent per page, according to the Amazon Post FAQ.
It’s a questionable payment system that major authors and publishers don’t want to deal with. So, Kindle Unlimited’s catalog is full of self-published romance, sci-fi, and thriller novels. There is also a large selection of magazines, including People else popular sciencePlus a decent number of history books.
And while Kindle Unlimited lacks many contemporary classics, it is Do Lots of books come from long-dead authors such as Mark Twain, Virginia Woolf, and Zora Neale Hurston. These titles are published by Amazon Classics and, in my experience, rarely have misspellings or other issues.
But the AmazonClassics series tends to focus on public domain books, which means they’re actually free to download on sites like Project Gutenberg (and are already included in your Prime account). It also lacks the supplementary materials and annotations that are typically included in reprints by Penguin Random House or HarperCollins.
Kindle Unlimited rarely offers classic books still under copyright. And if you want to read any of the contemporary bestsellers, like Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s AmericanaIt is better for you to visit your library or buy the book directly.
You already got some free books with Prime
If you are already a Prime member, you may not need Kindle Unlimited. Your Prime account already comes with a service called Prime Reading. This gives free access to over a thousand e-books, including the Amazon classics I mentioned earlier and complete Harry Potter series.
Overall, the Prime Reading selection is much more powerful than what you get with Kindle Unlimited. Every book submitted through this service is hand-picked by a group of editors — there’s less fluff, fewer pulp, and less to choose from.
But Kindle Unlimited gets a lot more books than Prime Reading. It’s also a haven for self-published novels and includes a slew of popular magazines, which you wouldn’t tell Prime Reading.
And at $10 per month, Kindle Unlimited costs significantly less than a Prime membership (which is currently $13 per month or $140 per year). Then again, Prime comes with a lot of extra perks, so that’s probably a moot point.
Only avid readers will get their money’s worth
Kindle Unlimited subscription unlocks millions of books for just $10 per month. In theory, this should Make Kindle Unlimited a great deal. But it really depends on your reading habits.
Again, most of the books on Kindle Unlimited are self-published. And if you were to buy these books directly, many of them would only cost a dollar or two. Therefore, the average Kindle Unlimited user needs to read at least four or five books every month to get their money’s worth.
If you’re an avid reader, you’ll have no problem reading five books a month with Kindle Unlimited. Especially if you are a fan of romance novels, thrillers, science fiction, etc.
But those who only read a few books a month will struggle to achieve this goal. It may be better for them to just buy the books piecemeal. Hey, buying books isn’t so bad — you have to actually keep them.
Now, if you like to read magazines, Kindle Unlimited will pay for itself very quickly. Kindle Unlimited included PeopleAnd the Food and wineAnd the popular mechanicsAnd a large number of other popular magazines that usually cost 6-10 USD without a subscription.
Our suggestion: Try the Library app first
Like the library, Kindle Unlimited lets you rent a large selection of books for free. But subscribing to Kindle Unlimited costs money, and the millions of books Amazon offers are essentially independent, self-published titles.
That’s why I suggest trying out a library app before using Kindle Unlimited. Most public libraries work with Libby to provide free e-books, audiobooks, and movies. You can download this content to your Kindle (or any other device) with the awesome power of the Internet. All you need is a library card.
The only downside to your local library is that they cannot rent a digital book to more than one or two people at the same time. There is no such limitation on Kindle Unlimited, and of course, there is no due date to return a book from Amazon’s service.
Once you rent some ebooks from your library, you’ll know if Kindle Unlimited is worth a try. Keep in mind that new subscribers get the first month for free – you should probably try comparing Kindle Unlimited with your digital library services to see which you prefer.
I should also reiterate that Amazon Prime customers get some books for free. And if you’re not satisfied with choosing Kindle Unlimited, competitors love that script that might tickle your fancy.