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Life, Law & Libros

Is Kindle Unlimited Worth It?

15 comments
I'm just over a week into my Kindle Unlimited 30-day trial. I talked about different subscription reading services a year ago, but this is the first time I've tried any of them myself.

So far, I've read Seirsha of Errinton (which was a major disappointment) and Dead Spots (which wasn't bad), and I'm currently reading No Good Dragon Goes Unpunished (so HAPPY to finally get book 3 of this series).



The Good:
Kindle Unlimited has a couple of big name titles (e.g., Harry Potter and The Hunger Games), but the majority of its offerings appear to be small press (like Skyscape and 47North) or indie. Which isn't necessarily a bad thing, depending on what you're looking for. For instance, if you're a voracious romance reader who goes through five novels a week, $9.99 a month here might be a good deal for you.

The Bad:
While I like the freedom of trying books without worrying about price (or feeling compelled to finish them so they're not a waste of money), I'm personally not thrilled with Kindle Unlimited's selection. I really have to dig to find stuff that looks good, and--while there are definitely quality indie books out there--there's more than a little truth to the "poorly written/proofread  and/or unoriginal indie" stereotype. And there are a ton of indies here. Most of the better indie authors I've read aren't available through Unlimited, and I'm a little picky about paying for subpar writing/storytelling--with big publishers and indies alike.

The Verdict:
With its current selection, Kindle Unlimited isn't worth it.

Before signing up for the free trial, I looked through the KU catalog and ID'd a couple of books from my TBR list. I have five left in my queue. At this point, unless there's a big change in product offerings, I probably won't be keeping Kindle Unlimited past the trial period. If I wanted a paid subscription service, I'd be more likely to go with Scribd. I found a bunch of books I want to read after a quick glance without searching for anything in particular. I'm pretty confident a little digging would reveal a lot more.

Have any of you tried Kindle Unlimited or another subscription service? What was your experience? Would you think about giving the free trial a shot? (The answer to that last one should be yes so you can read The Heartstrikers series, but they're totally worth buying, too.)

15 comments :

  1. I think it's a good idea in theory, but would only really be worth my time if ALL Amazon Kindle books were available. I understand why that's not the case, but that's the only thing that would tempt me to get it.

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    1. It looks like the logistical/payment problems publishers were talking about for subscription reading last year at BEA still apply. At least that's my best guess for why Amazon hasn't pushed to include all the big publisher catalogs in Kindle Unlimited. But until/unless they do, I think they'll miss out on a significant portion of the reading population.

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  2. I looked into it last year I think? Or maybe early this year, but the list of titles didn't really grab me. A few looked interesting, but most weren't really something I wanted to shell out money to read. I was hoping the selection would get better after it had been around a while, but I guess not.

    Glad you found at least a few that were worth the trial though!

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    1. That's the same problem I've run into, and I'm betting it's the same for a lot of readers. It is interesting though that they haven't altered the selection. I wonder if they're making enough money as is with their current readership...or if they're hoping to condition Amazon users to use the service as is because it's part of the Amazon ecosystem.

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  3. Huh, I didn't know the choice of books for Unlimited was so ... limited. :D I'm glad you got the newest Aaron book, I'm currently about 3/4 through and I like it a lot!
    I don't think Kindle Unlimited is even an option for Slovenia, so it's a non-issue for me so far, but I'm always leery of these "everything for 10$" deals - some months, I spend three times that amount on books and some months, I spend even less, so I can't really say I'd be interested in such a service.

    I also understand why the choice of "big" titles is limited and I know authors themselves probably aren't thrilled about their books being on there, but yeah, the limited selection thing is definitely a deal breaker.

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    1. Haha, the irony of the name! :D I didn't go into it in detail, but I bet Unlimited is also limited to certain countries, or at least certain books will be depending on licensing.

      I love the idea of unlimited subscription models, but they're only a good deal if there's enough good content to consistently keep you happy. Even if I had the service, I'd still be shelling out money elsewhere for most of the books I want to read. Definitely not worth it. :P

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  4. Kindle Unlimited never caught my attention, not when I already read so much for free. Scribd might be worth checking out as I like the idea of getting an audio book as well!

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    1. Scribd definitely has the better offerings right now (in my opinion). If they haven't changed the rules since I last checked, I think it's only 1 audiobook per month with the subscription, but it's still not a bad deal--a ton of ebooks + 1 audiobook for $9 a month. Let me know if you try it and what you think! :)

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  5. I've done the Scribd free trial and my brother has KU. I think Scribd does have a better selection of non-Indie books. I do like that KU also has some audiobooks though. But I don't currently have a subscription myself, since I prefer not to pay for books I don't get to keep. I use the library for borrowing digital books instead.

    My Most Recent Discussion: Oh the Horrors... or Not: Spoilers

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    1. I know what you mean about wanting to spend money on books you can actually keep...though I'm not as bothered by Netflix or even cable packages, which are essentially subscription services. I guess I've been conditioned to it. And tv series/movies aren't really something you can hold like a book either.

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    2. I've actually never had cable either, but that's because I refuse to pay for commercials.

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  6. I'd be worried about not being interested in the titles offered as well! I don't think this would be worth it for me. :/ This is a very informative post, Kel - thank you!

    Alyssa @ The Eater of Books!

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    1. I think, if you can't immediately find a bunch of books you're interested in, there's a good chance the selection will turn to slim pickings fast. And depending on how badly you want those few reads (and how much they'd cost you in the wild), the subscription's probably not worth it. Thanks, Alyssa!

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  7. There are a few books on Kindle Unlimited that I would love to check out (and aren't available through my library), but overall, I don't think it's worth it either. I think you raise a great point about how it could be for some people, but not for others. Glad there were a few books you enjoyed on there!

    - Eli @ The Silver Words
    #commenting365

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    1. Thanks, Eli! I'd definitely do the Kindle Unlimited trial if it has a couple things you want to try. (Just make sure you cancel before the 30 days are up if you're not interested in continuing.)

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