Service Review: Kindle Unlimited

**This is in no way affiliated with Kindle Unlimited or Amazon! It is simply my take on using the service!**

A couple months ago, I shared my experience with Amazon’s Audible (audiobook subscription) service. Now I’m going to share my experience with Amazon’s eBook subscription service, Kindle Unlimited.

When I first looked at subscription eBook services last year, a lot were not available to me because I live in Canada. I think that has changed now but I chose to try Amazon’s Kindle Unlimited because it is a company and interface I am already familiar with.

Oh yeah, and they had a free 30 day trial period and I had nothing but free time for the month of August!

How Does it Work?

Kindle Unlimited is a monthly eBook subscription service .

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For $9.99 CAD a month, you can read as many titles from the Kindle Unlimited catalogue as you want. You can only send and hold 10 books at a time on your device, but once you’ve “returned” one, you can take out another.

I’ll talk more about the selection of books you can choose later on.

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I don’t have this feature in Canada so I never got to use it and don’t really know how it works.

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As much as I love using my tablet, I don’t like it for reading. So I waited until I had an actual Kindle device to try this service. But it’s nice to know that you don’t have to own a Kindle eReader to read so long as you have a device with the app installed.

My Experience:

–Signing-Up–

Nothing exciting here. If you already have an Amazon Account you just have to sign into it, select a credit card for the subscription (you won’t be charged for the free trial until your 30 days are complete and it automatically assumes you are keeping the service for another month).

>>Helpful Hint: You can immediately cancel your subscription (or cancel it a few days before your trial ends) to prevent your credit card from being charged once the trial is done. You will still have access to the service and titles until that very last day of your trial. It just gives you some piece of mind knowing you won’t be charged for a service you may or may not want to keep.

–Title Availability–

A lot of the major publishers don’t have titles available for the Kindle Unlimited program, so you get a lot more self-published or Indie authors. Which is fine for me because those are the books I typically purchase from Amazon/Kobo on a regular basis anyways.

>>If you are curious about how much an author makes from the Kindle Unlimited service, check out this article.

What books are those? If you’ve ever browsed the Kindle store, you’ve probably noticed some books have the words “Kindle Unlimited” above their cover.

These are the books you can read when you are a part of the subscription service. You can also use the “Kindle Unlimited Eligible” filter when searching the Kindle store or browse the Kindle Unlimited Homepage for readable titles. They do have a nice “most popular” list for you to start your selection process with. It can be a little overwhelming, but once you dig a little deeper, you’ll (hopefully) start finding lots of interesting titles.

–Reading Experience–

Before I started my trial, I wanted to create a list of books to read to maximize my reading efficiency. I came up with a list of 29 titles: a combination of series sequels; indie reads my library lacks; books I saw on Netgalley; and books that caught my eye on the “Most Popular” lists.

Browsing the available titles, I find, isn’t the most intuitive. While the lists are great, they do have a lot to them and it is a little overwhelming. I found the easiest thing to do was search for a title I had on my TBR to see if it was available for Kindle Unlimited.

Once I had the trial and picked a book, it was super easy to send the titles to my Kindle. I usually sent a few titles at once and they would download right away. When I was finished, I would use my laptop to return the titles (via the “Manage my Content and Devices” folder on my account). It was pretty seamless overall.

–Is it Really Worth the $9.99 a Month?–

As I near the very last year of my post-post-secondary school year, I’m very conscientious of where my money is going. Sure, I can spend $10 buying 3-5 eBooks very easily, but $10 for “unlimited” novels could mean I spend $10 on 1 book or 20 books–just depends on my reading habits for the month and they vary something fierce during the school year. It’s like my Netflix subscription–sometimes I use it, sometimes I don’t!

So, I kept track of all the books I read during my trial to see if it totalled $9.99:

  1. More Than Forever — $5.18
  2. First Comes Love — $ 3.86
  3. No Pants Required — $ 3.90
  4. Porn Star — $4.99
  5. Coast — $5.18
  6. Beautiful Broken Promises — $5.24
  7. Edge of Glory –$3.88
  8. Filthy English — $3.90
  9. Where the Road Takes Me – $2.00
  10. The Charlotte Chronicles — $6.65
  11. Taming Cross — $5.05
  12. Anything but Minor — $5.20
  13. Unmaking Marchant — $4.43

Basically, I got my money’s worth by the time I finished the second book. It was by chance that most of the books I read were on the pricey-er side of things. Given my initial list of 29 reads, the average price was $3.78. So if I read 3 books a month, it would be worth the monthly fee. The list of 29 books I created and added to did total more than what I would pay if I subscribed for a full year. But like I said before, there’s no guarantee I would read all of those.

So, Am I Keeping It?

You know, I was really tempted to keep my subscription for another month once my trial ended. I loved having all of these titles at my disposal and there were so many more that I wanted to read!

But in the same breath, I knew I was reading so much from this service because it was a trial and I wanted to get as many books in as I could. I also had no responsibilities besides vacation. But once September hit, I knew I would be loaded down with my clinical placement and studying for my licensing exam. I also had my bigger city libraries still at my disposal for another year and I had a lot of books I had purchased still to read.

So, at this time, I’m not keeping it. But it is definitely a service I will consider looking into once I lose my library sources. Because, essentially, this is a library service you pay to use on a monthly basis. I don’t mind the fact that I can’t keep these novels because I usually only read novels once. Plus, you can always take them out again and all your notes are saved (not that I make any). It’s a great resource for people who lack a larger library or eBook enthusiasts who likes the ability to swap books whenever necessary. Definitely worth the trial!


Helpful Articles:

These are some sites I looked at while researching subscription services and Kindle Unlimited itself:

Do you use Kindle Unlimited? Any tips or feedback on the service?

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Comments 10

  • Oh, thanks for this! I’ve thought about getting it – but I haven’t found many books i would actually read. That sounds bad once i say it out loud! I think it’s worth it if you know you’ll read your money’s worse each month. (Like, when I first got my kindle and i Downloaded ALL THE THINGS)

    • It’s so true! At first I didn’t think there were many books I would want to read either and Amazon doesn’t exactly make it easier for non-subscribers to browse the Unlimited library. So I was surprised when I found as many as I did. It also sucks because only some books in a series are part of the subscription but other’s aren’t. So at this time, I’m going to stick with the regular old library card I get for living in my town 🙂

  • This is so smart – reviewing books services so us fellow book geeks are in the know… I love it. 🙂 I also appreciate your strategy of breaking down cost per book and figuring out how many you’d have to read per month to make the service worth it. I just discovered that my library system has a pretty extensive online e-book and audiobook collection, so I probably have to take it one step further and see if the titles I’d use on Amazon unlimited were available on my library app. Subscriptions make me nervous though, I’m always afraid as soon as I sign up for something I won’t touch it lol. When you’re done with school are you moving back to a place with a smaller library system?

    • When I was first looking at Kindle Unlimited, all I could find were “reviews” on what the service was and how it worked–not any reviews on what a book reader thought about it practically so I decided “why not me”?

      I’m the same way with subscriptions. The only reason I keep my netflix one even though I only watch things on it occasionally is because it is a family account.

      Yes, once I’m done with school I’ll be going to a smaller library system because my town has a much smaller population than Toronto 😉 However, I’m discovering that my library has a LOT more books than it used to now that it is a part of a “interloan” system with the other libraries in the area. They just move books around whenever people request them locally and I find that most of the popular titles are rarely checked out–unlike my bigger city library I currently use. Yesterday I went to the library and found 5 titles I’ve been on holds lists for just waiting to be checked out on the shelf…so maybe a smaller library isn’t so bad

      • LOL – glad I’m not alone.

        That’s awesome! Although I can imagine that will severely cramp your style when it comes to trying to limit the number of library books you have checked out at once if a lot of good ones are readily available haha. I live in a fairly small town but they also have the interloan system which allows me to essentially check out from the library that actually has all the cool stuff (mine sucks). The online thing is cool because all the digital titles are shared throughout the state. The trouble is that it’s a fairly new program and as soon as people start catching on it’s going to be a colossal wait to get a hold of anything.

        Btw, congrats on almost being done with school. 🙂

  • I got the free trial this month because my husband wanted a specific book. Like you, I don’t know if I’ll hold onto it past the trial. While I’m definitely reading more than $10 worth of books from it this month, I have SO many books already on my shelves and on my Kindle that I can’t really justify spending $10 a month on “extra” books.

    • I know what you mean…I have so many unread books that I’ve already bought just waiting on my Kindle and Kobo. It’s definitely something I will look into in the future once I’ve read most of those because the idea of returning them (thus freeing up space on the eReader) is appealing. But at this time, I’d rather use that $10 when I want/need to.

  • This was really informative! There were a couple books on the list you mentioned that I wouldn’t mind reading, but definitely weren’t ones I would buy, so I can see how this could be a good subscription, but at the same time my reading life is already pretty busy with books I get through the library and Netgalley (and the occasional one I buy), so these books would be really low on my priority list. I would mind a trial, but I don’t think I would want to end up paying for this.
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    • Glad it was helpful!

      I think if you’re an avid library user (and you have a library that stocks what you like to read), it isn’t really worth it. If I was only reading books I owned, this would be a great service.

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