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!
8 thoughts on “Pros and Cons of Kindle Unlimited”
Hey, what are the titles of those books you found and liked? I’d be interested to check them out.
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There’s a lot but I’ll list a handful so far I’ve found on Kindle Unlimited you might be interested in.
“Make a Killing on Kindle (Without Blogging, Facebook, or Twitter)” — http://amzn.to/1qPybvD
This one is so far my best find because it really explains how Amazon’s search and ranking systems work. You can actually become a “bestseller” on Amazon quite easily since there are so many categories. This book explains how to get into “secret” categories and how to improve your search results actually finding your book. I’m playing with the advice from this book now, so I’ll see how it works out. But I think I’m better off knowing this stuff than not!
“Writing Deep Point of View” — http://amzn.to/1Tb8j4x
I’m always on the lookout for good prose books. Even though this isn’t advertised as prose, that’s really what it is. And it has advice I can apply to my work as well.
“Picture on Kindle” — http://amzn.to/1VUMo7y
This was helpful as a general book on how to add images that’ll format well for kindle. Honestly though, if you know how to use Scrivener this isn’t completely necessary. Regardless, it’s a lot of nice information for free.
“The Book on Writing” — http://amzn.to/1rxlir9
A traditionally published book about 5 years old from someone who teaches writing. It’s pretty lengthy and is a large overview of writing. I’d consider this one of my comparison books but it just approaches the topic as a writing class so it feels a little technical. Listed right now as #18 in the authorship Kindle store (I’m still trying out how to get into the elusive hidden category of authorship…)
“How to Write a Novel in 30 Days” — http://amzn.to/1QyJLR1
Ok so this one I read as one of the books which compares to mine. And while he has a good personal story about getting into writing, and realizing how hard it was, and then providing an overview of what a typical book should look like, he still has a lot to learn. That’s just my opinion. He’s got some grammar errors in his book and seems to like to talk about himself just too much, and most of all his content doesn’t match the title. According to his content you have to first learn all the basics (which takes way more than 30 days) and THEN you can write a book in 30 days… but it won’t be worth publishing until you edit. So, it’s just misleading. But the reason I’m listing this book is because it is a good example of what the typical learning curve is for writing and what people can expect, I just think it’s a bit more wordy than it needs to be. (But he’s made more sales than me so he must be doing something right.)
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Thank you. Fantastic resources, per usual. Yep, I definitely don’t feel ready to self-publish. But then again, I over-research and over-analyze anything before I jump in, that’s how I am. So I probably have at least a couple month’s more learning to do before I feel comfortable self-publishing on Amazon under my erotica pen name.
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My husband and I tried Kindle Unlimited as well. I agree it’s great for non fiction books. He found various books on retail management and cycling (for his job/interests) and I found some good writing books. Also now I’m making connections with self pubbers a lot of them are in KU which is great.
However many mainstream trad published books are not. Of my reading list I’ve only come across the odd one or two in the service.
Our money got tighter recently so we decided to quit the membership for now. For £7.99 I can buy 2 or 3 books anyway. Might join again when money improves though as it does give more options and variety.
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I agree it’s an extra luxury. That’s why I’m making use of my free trial lol. I’ll be sad when it’s over 😦
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I actually like Kindle Unlimited and whenever I cancel my subscription I usually end up going back to it since I enjoy reading a lof of nonfiction books and stuff by new indie authors. But other times the books just sit on my Kindle and don’t get read. So it does have a lot of pros and cons.