Tuesday, March 26, 2019

Kindle Unlimited: A Good Deal or Not?


I am almost done with my trial FREE Month membership of Kindle Unlimited. I had been fighting the urge to try it for a long time.  It only amounts to pennies a day, and Amazon claims you can read all you want for free. That is truly not correct. You can read all you want for $9.99 a month. To an avid reader like me, this could turn out to be a great deal.

Before trying the service, I took inventory of my reading expenditures. In the last six months, I spent $150.69 in paid books. That averages out to $25.12 a month (the amount does not include taxes). Compare that to $9.99 for KU, and KU seems like a great deal. However, a little analysis is necessary.

Of my total expenditure, $131.79 was for books by authors who are not offering their books on KU. Most of those authors are published by traditional publishing houses, but some are self-published authors too.

My entire collection of Elizabeth Peter’s Amelia Peabody Mysteries is not available on KU. I paid for Game of Thrones, J.R. Ward’s Black Dagger books, etc. In fact, only $18.90 of the $150.69 would have been covered in KU. That’s less than $3.15 a month.

This month I have borrowed ten of J.R. Rain’s Vampire for Hire (at 4.99 each), four of Mark Dawson’s John Milton series (at 3.99 each), three of Alex Lidell’s Power of Five series (4.99 each), and five of Auryn Hadley’s Rise of the Iliri books (3.99 each).

Total read is $100.87. Subtract $9.99 monthly charge, and I had a savings of $90.88. The savings is slightly more because I did not include sales tax. I think I like the savings very much! Keep in mind that I can read a book in a day, depending on its length and how much time I can spare for reading.

If your favorite authors are self-published, you may be getting a very good deal from Kindle Unlimited. Do keep in mind that many self-published authors are not offering their books on KU. KU requires us to keep our books exclusive to Amazon. Many authors are unwilling to miss out on Apple and other online sales outlets. My own books are not available on KU at the present time. That may change from time to time.

An interesting point to mention is that because of the cost advantage of KU, I discovered two new authors I am really enjoying. Auryn Hadley and Alex Lidell are authors I’d never read before, but because I could read them without buying the books outright, I gave them a try. I loved both of them.

On March 7, I examined Amazon’s paid best-selling fifty books. (I took the top fifty from the best-selling one hundred).
--- Only four appear on the USA Today Bestsellers list. These four are published
      by traditional publishing houses.
--- Of the four above, none is available on Kindle Unlimited.
--- 34 of the 50 are offered on KU. They are exclusive to Amazon and cannot be found at
      B & N, iBooks, Kobo, etc.
--- Of the 34, eight are regularly priced at $0.99 cents.

So, is Kindle Unlimited a good deal? A better question would be, “Is it worth it for you?” Consider the following questions.
--- Who are your favorite authors?
--- Are they on Kindle Unlimited?
--- Are you willing to explore and try new, self-published authors?
--- How many books do you read a month?


I realize there are numbers of readers out there who are highly critical of self-published books. They refuse to accept that there are many authors worth reading who are self-publishing. They refuse to try those authors. The rhetoric is often fueled by some traditional authors and publishers who obviously fear the new competition and the way self-publishing has changed how readers buy.

If you are willing to begin exploring on KU, then you might find a great deal. It will depend on your expectations and your discoveries. My advice is that you try the One-Month Trial Membership. It costs nothing and you can quit at any time with a click. At the least, you’ll really get to read for “FREE” for one month! Every month after that, you will pay $9.99 per month, no matter how many books you read.

I will be keeping my Kindle Unlimited membership. For me, it's a very good deal. Some of my favorite self-published authors such as Rick Mofina and J.R. Rain have multiple-book series which are available on KU.  

I've placed the link below in case you want to try the trial membership.




4 comments:

  1. I'm with you on KU being a good deal for those of us who devour books--one a day is about my average depending on the book. And I've also found many authors that might not come to my attention any other way.

    Lately, however, I've seen a number of favorite authors move to traditional publishers and no longer be on KU. At the Penguin price (or other commercial providers), I can't afford to get their new books.

    And the resources for complimentary books are incredible! I have so many than it will take a couple years to catch up at my typical rate. So I'm off KU for a while. And it's nice to save up the monthly fee for something else!

    Thanks for the post--the data points were much appreciated.

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  2. I agree. New traditional books are being priced so high that most of us who read a lot can't afford them, especially when your favorite five or six authors put out books so often. Thanks for your comment.

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  3. I did join KU and then got taken for 2 months worth of membership and not able to get books. It was a fight just to get 1 month of the 3 I was on it by Amazon. As I don`t spend much money on "other" activities and reading is my main one.....I don`t mind spending the money, plus I take advantage of the great sales especially box sets that go as low as .99 + tax USD ( 1.32 + tax CDN) - I will never return to KU.

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  4. Wow! That's crazy. Why were you not able to get books? What did Amazon do to resolve the issue?

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All comments are welcomed!