What’s so special about…
Kindle Unlimited is advertised as a type of digital library card where one can read over a million titles on Amazon in return for a flat $9.99 monthly fee. But even with all the Amazon banners, I never realized you can try Kindle Unlimited for free for a month, just like any other respectable service.
If you decide to give it a try, a word of warning! Be sure to go into your Kindle Unlimited Account from the drop-down menu and cancel your membership right away. It’ll stay active for 30 days, and you won’t have to pay a penny! (But if you don’t do this step it’s going to automatically renew. Tricky tricky.)
Onto the Pros and Cons…
Con: Books I Know About Still Aren’t Free
Usually heavily established authors aren’t going to make use of this program. They’re confident readers will pay top dollar for their books. That means most of the titles available on Kindle Unlimited are not-so-well-known authors. But it’s kind of like Netflix where you try out a movie you’ve never heard of before and sometimes it’s really great. Sometimes it’s really not, too, but that’s what reviews are for. It’s safe to say if there are some good reviews you’re going to get what you’re expecting.
Inside look: As someone who has published a book and participated in the Kindle Unlimited Program, I can vouch for how it works on the author’s side and why an author would be interested in participating. The author receives special royalties for their book being read through the Kindle Unlimited program. For every page read, the author will receive 0.005 cents. This means the author only gets paid depending on how good their book is.
Pro: Non-Fiction & Self-Help Books
There are TONS of books on how to do…well…anything. I spent a few hours reading tons of books on how Kindle works and how to manipulate the Amazon search system to get your book higher in the ranks. It’s stuff that established publishers already know, but I’d no idea about. Even though these books were self-published, they were useful because it came from people who had gone through this the hard way and wrote what they learned from their experiences. That’s exactly what my new book “A Guide to Writing Your First Novel” is about. I learned about writing from the ground up and then shared all my embarrassing pitfalls so hopefully others don’t make the same mistakes. (Yes, it’s available on Kindle Unlimited so you can read it free with your one-month Kindle Membership!)
Con: You have to follow this blog’s advice and CANCEL THE MEMBERSHIP
I find it sneaky and annoying for any membership to automatically renew without asking first. If it’s really a 30-day trial then it should last for only 30-days and then deactivate. If you really like the service, you’ll go to try to use it on the 31st day and voila, it’ll say you can’t unless you activate the paid membership. That’s fair, and would be a lot less sneaky than “Oh crap it renewed!”
Pro: Makes having an eReader more cost-effective
While books are far from obsolete, you may have an eReader or are thinking of getting one. The latest is Kindle Oasis which came out April 27th of this year. Although, it’s basically the same cost of a low-end tablet, so I would recommend sticking to the more reasonably priced Kindle Paperwhite.
Even though digital books are generally cheaper than paperback, the price tag depends on the publisher. There are plenty of high-value books that participate in the Kindle Unlimited program and you’ll save money by being a subscriber rather than purchasing these books individually if you are reading more than one book a month.
Tip: When having one of these fancy eReaders, it sure would be nice to have plenty of books ready to read. To get started, check if your existing Amazon purchased paperbacks are part of the Matchbook Program. If you’ve bought the paperback, the digital version might be available for free or at a discount. However, this is a voluntary program and not all authors participate.
Con: Kindle Unlimited isn’t efficient unless you read a lot and consistently
Think of Kindle Unlimited as a gym membership for readers. How many times have you gotten a gym membership and stopped going, only to keep paying your monthly fee? I don’t feel like many people consistently read 10$ worth of digital books a month, but if you’re one of them, then this membership is for you. It’s not hard to cancel, so make sure you remember to cancel the membership when you know you’re not going to be reading much that month.
So there you have it, Kindle Unlimited Pros, Cons, and 30-day trial explained! If you’ve tried it out, let me know any good titles you’ve come across. And of course, give this blog’s published book a gander and let us know what you think. Happy reading!