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I love my Kindle Books Suck: Why I Love My Kindle More Than Dead Trees Books Suck: Why I Love My Kindle More Than Dead Trees Modern e-readers hold thousands of novels, weigh next to nothing, have built in lights, and don't give you a concussion when they hit your nose. Read More — it’s the best way to read books. You can have hundreds of titles in one tiny package. I also love subscription services The End of Ownership: Netflix, Spotify, and The Streaming Generation The End of Ownership: Netflix, Spotify, and The Streaming Generation Read More — I’ve signed up for Netflix, Spotify, and a few others. So when I found out about Kindle Unlimited I was pretty excited: a subscription service for Kindle books? This I could get on board with.

Unfortunately Amazon’s promise of more than a million eBooks for just $9.99 a month is too good to be true. Let’s look at why.

There’s a Poor Selection of Books

Amazon likes to trumpet that Kindle Unlimited has more than one million books available for subscribers to read. Unfortunately, you won’t find many bestsellers or popular books in there. None of the major publishing houses have made their books available on Kindle Unlimited. That means no Penguin Random House, Hachette, Macmillan, HarperCollins, or Simon & Schuster. If you have a favorite author, there’s a good chance their work is published by one of these Big Five.

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While writing this article I decided to dig a little deeper into the problem. Right now, there’s 1,293,482 books available on Kindle Unlimited. That number will have changed by the time you look; Amazon is adding new books every day. Of that, 1,259,598 books are Amazon Exclusives. This means they’re not available for sale anywhere else; in other words, they’re all self-published. That leaves just 34,884 non-exclusive books which is about 2.7 percent of the total. A large portion of these are also self-published, but some are likely to be from small publishing houses.

While there’s nothing inherently wrong with self-published books, and success stories like Twilight and The Martian show there are some great books to be found, the lack of any books from popular authors is a problem. I don’t have the time or the interest to dig through the heap to try and find the next The Martian. I want to know that the books I’m reading are well written, properly edited, and entertaining.

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The other side of this is even if you love reading indie titles, you’ve probably got a few major authors whose work you want to read too. For most people, Kindle Unlimited simply can’t replace buying books. If you want to pick up the latest George R.R. Martin or Bill Bryson title, you’ll have to buy them in addition to your Kindle Unlimited subscription.

It’s Expensive

Although $9.99 a month may sound pretty reasonable for all-you-can-read-eBooks, when you consider the price of the titles available it’s actually quite expensive.

The vast majority of self-published books on Amazon sell for less than $5. Many are less than $3 and some are even less than $1. This means that to make up for the $10 subscription fee, you’re going to need to read quite a few books a month.

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If you only read the most expensive titles you can find, reading two books a month will see you saving some money, but you’ll most likely have to read three or four to make a saving. While plenty of readers can get through a book a week without any hassle (myself included), the temptation to read non-Unlimited books is going to be high.

Looking at the selection and the prices, I just don’t see many people being well served by a Kindle Unlimited subscription. If you like self-published books, you can easily pick up two or three a month for less than Unlimited costs, without the recurring payments. That way you can be far more flexible with how you spend your money.

You Need an Internet Connection

The best thing about the Kindle is that, unlike your phone, it doesn’t need to be charged every night or constantly connected to the Internet to be useful. If you use Kindle Unlimited, you lose some of this flexibility.

With Kindle Unlimited you can only have 10 books checked out at once. While that sounds like a lot, for many readers, this simply isn’t enough for an extended period away from WiFi. If I’m on holiday, I’ll get through a book a day. If even one or two books proves to be boring, or short, or any of a number of other things, then those 10 books won’t stretch to a week. That means that at some point I’ll be off hunting for a way to connect my Kindle to the Internet.

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Although this might be an extreme example, the thing I love most about my Kindle is that I don’t have to update it all the time. Every couple of months I’ll load up on books. Unless something special catches my eye, I won’t connect my Kindle to the Internet from one month to the next.

Amazon Prime Is a Better Deal

If you’re an Amazon Prime subscriber you already have access to Kindle Unlimited’s library for free. You can only take out one book a month, but if there’s a few titles you want to check out without paying for them, it’s a decent way to do it.

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Amazon Prime is awesome 6 Amazon Prime Benefits You Might Be Ignoring Right Now 6 Amazon Prime Benefits You Might Be Ignoring Right Now Scratch the surface. Amazon Prime has so many more benefits that people have forgotten about or simply don't realize exist. Read More and well worth signing up for with or without the free eBooks. Unless you’re ripping through self-published Kindle Exclusives, an Amazon Prime subscription costs less and offers countless other benefits like free shipping, great TV shows 10+ TV Shows That Make Amazon Prime Worth the Money 10+ TV Shows That Make Amazon Prime Worth the Money Netflix is undoubtedly the king of the movie and TV show streaming services. However, Amazon Prime has some fantastic television shows that make it worth the asking price. Read More , and Amazon Prime Music Why You Should Give Amazon Prime Music a Second Chance Why You Should Give Amazon Prime Music a Second Chance There are several reasons why you might want to give Amazon Prime Music a second chance. It certainly deserves much more credit than it's currently getting. Read on to find out why. Read More .

Other Services Are Better

While Oyster appears to have been acquired by Google Oyster's Dead: What's the New Netflix for eBooks? Oyster's Dead: What's the New Netflix for eBooks? The popular eBook subscription service Oyster just shut down, so where are you supposed to get your ebooks? Read More , Scribd is still around and for $8.99 a month you can read three books and listen to one audiobook. The big difference is that Scribd’s catalogue includes books from HarperCollins Scribd And HarperCollins Launch All-You-Can-Read Book Subscription Service For $8.99/m Scribd And HarperCollins Launch All-You-Can-Read Book Subscription Service For $8.99/m Scribd is getting into the digital book distribution market with the launch of a new subscription service, offering a significant amount of the HarperCollins catalogue to subscribers. Read More and Simon & Schuster. You’ll actually find books from bestselling authors like Stephen King or Walter Isaacson available for you to download.

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You can’t use your Kindle to read books you take out on Scribd — you need to use a Web browser, or an iOS or Android device — but that seems to be a reasonable trade off for access to a far better library. If you want to sign up for an eBook subscription service, it’s a better option.

Wrapping Up

Kindles are amazing and eBooks are the future. While Spotify and Netflix have managed to be really successful at turning music and movies into a subscription service, Amazon hasn’t seen the same results. Kindle Unlimited is a great idea but until the Big Five come on board it’s always going to lack the books most people want to read. When that finally happens, and it will happen, I’ll be the first to sign up.

Have you tried out Kindle Unlimited? What did you think of it? Do you agree with us that it’s not yet worth the money? Or do you love it, and couldn’t live without it? Please let us know in the comments below.

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  1. Elinor Ruskin
    July 27, 2017 at 11:57 am

    I didn't know that as of August 22, there will be a monthly charge. I do not want to pay this. I had no idea that there would be a charge. I'm very disappointed. Is Kindle unlimited from the original Kindle ordering from the library. I want this clarified. If there is a charge for what I have been doing I want to unsubscribe. As a retiree, and Amazon Prime member, I cannot pay any new charges. Amazon should be ashamed..

  2. V Richards
    July 22, 2017 at 4:49 pm

    Can anyone tell me how the XXXX I unsubscribe to Kindle unlimited? Followed directions from "How do I unsubscribe" but the last necessary step did not lite up as a possibility. Totoltally disgusted with Amazon at this point. Got my money--I guess they are happy!

  3. Drew
    July 12, 2017 at 6:49 pm

    Even after a few years, KU is still the wild west of publishing. It connects readers, with a limited budget, with a nearly unlimited amount of material. I've been subscribed for two years or so and have read 3-6 books per month. I have discovered a few gems and others that I would gladly defenestrate. I have crucified a few authors for inflicting their ineptitude on me, but frequently I'm happy to find a cool concept. Most self published books lack the polishing that comes with a 2nd, 3rd or even 4th edit, but the best of the self published authors on KU have learned how to polish their book and make it worth the time and effort to download the books.

  4. Karen Beg
    July 10, 2017 at 3:38 am

    I love kindle unlimited I always find lots of book to read and enjoy. I'm an avid reader and read quite a few books a week. I couldn't afford my reading habit if I had to pay for each book. I read hundreds a year. Plus... During prime day, you can get a discounted price on Kindle unlimited.

  5. Emmett
    July 6, 2017 at 12:09 pm

    I agree with the author of this post. I'm not one who reads best-sellers, and I didn't join KU expecting to get them. I did, however, expect to get some of the big loss leaders: poetry, short stories, mysteries, classics. I'm not one to browse all that much. Typically, I look for an author or a topic in non-fiction. Not once in three months of KU membership did I find a book that suited me. I didn't understand, but now, with the author's numbers indicating the vast majority to be self-published, it makes sense.

  6. Jeannine
    July 3, 2017 at 2:59 am

    I agree. In the time it takes to find one good book, I've wasted too much time to make it worthwhile. I want to read great books, not just average or self-published. When I see a ton of type-o's or bad grammar, I lose all respect.

  7. Priya shankar
    July 2, 2017 at 4:56 pm

    Kindle unlimited is another money spinning , people disillusioning , and the greatest scam and rip of - of the modern age. There is an extremely poor selection and low quality authored reading material on unlimited which makes one want to throw up their arms in dismay ! All the best sellers are not on , the well researched and authentic - also not on , booker prize winning ... forget it , so it's a total waste of time and money . I tried it on a one month plan and actually hated it from the first moment ....why is it a scam ? It costs hardly 3$ per month in india for the unlimited subscription.... but imagine if everyone including your neighbour's cat paid for a month .... that's a whole lot of money that Amazon has made ! However in the long term it spells a lack of credibility which they have to try very hard to win back lost goodwill before then next rip off of the century !

  8. Lisa
    June 25, 2017 at 8:16 pm

    Please don't let this review dissuade you. You may not get to read the big publishing house books on KU but what about all the other authors who never make to publishing. I've been a member of KU for 2 years and I love it. What I've done is sign up for bookbub and manybooks, both free. When signing up they ask what type of books you like to read and then everyday they send me titles that are either free or very cheap and what I've come to discover is that many of the cheap books are free in the KU world. Just click on the Amazon link next to whichever book your interested in and it will take you directly to description. They also usually suggest high rated books so this is a great way to sort out the garbage. KU may not be for everybody but if you're an avid reader it's well worth the cost. I actually found a trilogy that now sits on my top five fave books ever. Has every book I've gotten big good, hell no, but I've learned after the first few chapters if a book is worth my time. I would suggest getting KU for a month and finding out for yourself if it's worth it and not taking the word of someone else. Everybody has an opinion, I suggest making your own.

  9. Jeannette
    June 20, 2017 at 9:33 pm

    I disagree with the review I have signed up for kindle unlimited and have enjoyed the books I read at least ten or more a month so I get my money's worth as far as best sellers u can watch for the sales or buy . I was spending 20- 25 a month on books

  10. Elizabeth Dunlap
    June 10, 2017 at 9:40 pm

    I'm an author with a novel on KU, and I'm extremely saddened by hearing how much people dislike it and think that every book on it is written by stupid people. My book is extremely well edited, I am very strict about typos in my work. I also care deeply about the structure of every paragraph I write to make sure it is well written, and am always working to make my stories as entertaining as possible.
    I've been considering moving my novel to other places and taking it off of KU, but I keep hearing "No, you need to be able to have the free weekend." My first and last free weekend, I had over 150 copies go out, and no one left me a review.
    I'm beginning to wonder if my book remains unread because people are firmly convinced that my novel is crap, simply because it's on KU. And I can assure you, it is not crap.

    • Hannah
      June 20, 2017 at 8:13 pm

      I completely disagree with this article. When people tell me they have audible, my first question is why? Are you listening to a book you have been dying to read? Do you care what book you are listening to? I don't. I just want a good book, I don't care about the publishing house. It's beyond worth it to me, but I am in the group that listens to and reads over 4 books a month. Please don't feel like we think your book is "crap".

    • Jeannine
      July 3, 2017 at 3:04 am

      I want to disagree with the article, and I keep returning to KU only to be disappointed again and again. I find only crap and more crap. I would like to read yours if you want to tell the title. I'm sorry we can be snobs, but that reputation (KU's reputation as a vanity press of stuff no one wants to read) is one that comes from combing through tons of books and finding nothing worth reading. I go back to my classics and I download from the library. There are probably some really good books in there, but who has the time to wade through all the soft-porn or poorly written garbage that is also on there?? Not me.

    • Ara
      July 4, 2017 at 6:24 pm

      Elizabeth, I wouldn't make assumptions either way. I found my way to this site because I did feel the same as the author and was astonished at the number of books that receive high ratings on some of the popular sites. Your novels appeal to a specific demographic and age group that may simply love a free book and not comment. That is the problem in a way with the whole free ratings and free self written books. Each reader finds their own tribe so to speak and then loves a book and rates it accordingly. Then others who may not like that type book read it and wonder why it got a rating at all. It's a form of advertising gimmick that works for some. Even books with high ratings don't necessarily make their authors money. Don't give up or base your skill on these sites approvals.

    • Jaime
      July 17, 2017 at 12:12 am

      I'll check your books out! ;-). I'm awful with leaving reviews. ?

      • Elizabeth Dunlap
        July 17, 2017 at 12:17 am

        Knight of the Hunted is my first book. My second, Child of the Outcast, is releasing this Thursday. I appreciate the responses and the interest ??

  11. Des
    May 18, 2017 at 10:11 pm

    The reason you don't see the Big 5 books in Kindle unlimited is that Amazon requires exclusivity on KU books. That means any book available on KU can only be purchased on Amazon for the duration of the contract. A very small number of high-clout authors (think JK Rowling) can negotiate their way around this, but for the most part, putting a book in KU means pulling it from wider distribution. Until Amazon changes that, their selection is going to be limited to Indies that can afford to promise exclusivity.

  12. Erin
    May 16, 2017 at 10:03 am

    Another thing that I have discovered about KU is that the reviews you write for the books you get through your subscription don't fall under the "verified purchases" category. That means after you've taken your time to write something thoughtful and objective, it gets buried at the bottom of the pile, not likely to get many views. And I'm sick of reading all these glowing, "OMG the BEST BOOK EVER!" nonsense reviews for books that have no business being 4-5 stars. Of course, that's my opinion, but I've read some really crappy books from my subscription. I've also read some very good ones, but it's a little bit of a crap shoot. You really have to wade through a bunch of reviews to find a few that sound like they are actually from someone who actually gets what makes a good book. I'm sure I can't be the only one who enjoys sharing their thoughts about a book, whether they liked it or hated it. And also, I may have become a bit more picky than some about what I enjoy reading over time.

    I happen to be currently reading a book I actually like from my subscription, but this article is right. I'm cancelling as soon as I finish it.

  13. Shirley Oliver
    May 11, 2017 at 9:10 pm

    I agree. Kindle unlimited seems to have mostly poor quality writing that would never get published any other way. In my first month I found one book worth reading but also wasted a lot of time and energy starting then giving up on several titles that were really boring immature trash. So many rubbish books that it nearly put me off reading! And I'm a keen reader!
    Oh, and the one good title then had a sequel that had to be paid for.

  14. Lauren
    May 7, 2017 at 9:53 pm

    I love KU! I read about a book a day and it is a great way to save money and always have new reading material. It's also easy to simply send a book back if you don't like it. I always felt really bad about not reading any books I had bought. I still occasionally buy books when I want to read something specific that isn't on KU but I still feel that I get my money's worth. I agree that there are a lot of lower quality books on there but now that I have been using KU for a while most of the books Amazon recommends for me are KU and my preferred genre.

    • Lexii
      June 2, 2017 at 11:21 pm

      I agree completely. For those of us that read a book or more a day KU makes perfect sence.
      For other books I search online or go to the library.

  15. Randy
    May 6, 2017 at 4:47 am

    I'm ending my subscription. I browsed unlimited for the top 20 next books to read from my GOODREADS shelf ..... none were on unlimited

  16. Jessica D. Adams
    April 11, 2017 at 11:53 pm

    I self publish books for kids. I was not having any luck finding readers who use KU, so I took most of my books off KU. I use it only when I have a new book published. I currently have one book on KU and I have not had a single download for it through KU. I do wish I could find someone before I take it off KU.

    • Erin
      April 26, 2017 at 2:06 pm

      That is such a shame :(

  17. Amber Argyle Smith
    April 11, 2017 at 6:15 pm

    Twilight was never a self-published book.

  18. Angela Linton
    April 10, 2017 at 11:35 am

    You have a point - most of the books are unreadable trash, authors you never heard of (of if you had the misfortune to already download one of their books you never want to hear of again), amateurish writing, ridiculous plots, in other words authors who would never be published with KU.

  19. Jodib
    April 9, 2017 at 7:19 am

    I disagree. I was very hesitant to try kindle unlimited, but it is now one luxury I won't allow myself to do without. I read...a lot. A lot, a lot. And I get a chance to read authors I probably would never have given a second look at. Some are now favorite authors. And these indie authors can self-publish a book so quickly. Anywhere from one to two every couple months to sometimes one a month. No more waiting a full year. Sometimes the editing is atrocious, but I have found horrible editing in big name published books, also. And if I want one of those books, I buy it. No where does it say I can't have KU, and buy books I want. I get this is your opinion, but try to give an unbiased view next time. If you are a light reader, or only want to read 'established' authors, kindle unlimited is not for you. On the other hand, if you are an avid reader, or want to find new authors, or experience new genres, kindle unlimited is probably right up your alley.
    Here is an opinion for you, I don't understand why people keep stressing that prime gives you a free book to borrow every month. I can and do read a book a day. That is utterly useless to me. I can go to a real library and borrow 10 books a time. And if I finish those 10, there is no time limit before I can borrow my next 10.

  20. Lisa L.
    April 7, 2017 at 8:06 pm

    I have been a kindle unlimited member for going on 3 years and LOVE it. It is well worth the money. I have a few hobbies and the kindle unlimited library has a huge assortment of "pattern" books on the hobbies I practice. If I had to purchase these, it would be a heck of a lot more than $10 a month. Last month alone it would have been over $100. I also have kids in college and there is a huge assortment of college books that's that are saving me tons of money. Yes, many of the books are self published, but every famous author began as such. There are valuable books on gardening, canning, any craft you can think of, educational topics, pets, etc. Its endless. For those who are looking to read only the best sellers and nothing more then it may not be worth the money. But for those who have hobbies and or kids who will go through a different book each day, its far worth the money. I have not found any other online service that offers even close to the number of selections and my town library is full of very outdated and very damaged books and even then, there are few of them. To say kindle unlimited is not worth it - is definitely not a true for all statement.

  21. Maggie-Ann Smith
    March 22, 2017 at 1:11 am

    Thanks for sharing your research. I was thinking of unlimited but if it doesn't give me the books I want to read there is no point. I'll just keep buying them, but I wonder what happens when my dear little paperwhite runs out of space. Maggie-Ann

    • rainy_dat
      June 17, 2017 at 5:54 pm

      you can remove books from your device and keep them on your Amazon account (for a later re-read). I own about 250 Kindle books (not as many as some, obviously) - but I only keep about 20-30 at a time on my actual device.

  22. DeEdra (Debi) Phillips
    March 21, 2017 at 9:03 pm

    I am old turning 70 in April. I am not into vampires the undead sci-fi or dirty books of any kind, unless they are on gardening. I love Agatha Christie, Jane Austen, History about America, God and the biographies of great men and women. I do not do magazines, or cookbooks or sewing books. I guess my tastes are pretty limited. I would like to go into a library on line and just kind of rummage around. Is there such a thing? And I want to pay my bill. I think I owe $1.99. I hate owing money. I have fixed my credit card at Amazon so am I alright now? Well this comment should keep you busy for a minute. Let me hear from you. I would like that. Thanks DeEdra Phillips

    • Gem
      April 11, 2017 at 9:01 am

      Overdrive, it's an app that links to your local library (if they've signed up( and allows you to borrow ebooks/audiobooks. Some libraries have better stock than others but it's a free service.

    • Lisa
      June 25, 2017 at 9:29 pm

      Debi, Your library should have some sort of online book rental. Mine did but it can be complicated to use and you sometimes have to wait for a book if it's popular. Call your local library, they may help you.

  23. Jack Ballas
    March 9, 2017 at 4:54 am

    I agree with Harry Guiness. Fortunately, I have taken advantage of the free trial period. After reviewing the Unlimited Library I found very few books worth reading unless you have a penchant for romance novels and fictional and non-fictional murder stories. Very few authors of any significance are on the huge list of titles and even less chatter about the books on the list. Almost no historical volumes and, other than entertainers, not much in the way of biographical material.
    In short, it was extremely disappointing.

  24. zachary Huss
    February 25, 2017 at 12:03 pm

    I have bought e-books for a while now and their fantastic. When I get into a want for reading I read 600 pages in 2 days maybe 3 all depends on my work schedule and if the book is good. For instance i just read a 300+ page book in roughly 1 day at $2 for it, however there's times I don't read for months. At $10 a month when I read it's well worth the money however when i don't well it's a waste of money. Recently I bought $15 of e-books and didn't want more on the bill so I had to wait which was very frustrating due to wanting to read the rest of a series. All around the unlimited seems a good deal for me when I'm reading, Especially when I could buy way more books then I do now.

  25. Chad Nichols
    February 24, 2017 at 3:32 am

    Hi.
    You make some very good points. However, I want to point out that while you are likely correct for the majority of people, there are going to be some whose "mileage may vary", to use internet parlance. I personally enjoy the Urban Fantasy genre, and for that, at least, there are plenty of examples: Melissa F. Olson, Jasmine Walt, and John G. Hartness come to mind first. As I can easily go through three books a week, Kindle Unlimited is a godsend.
    As I mentioned, I'm an exception to the rule, though. Most people will likely find you to be correct.

  26. Pam
    February 11, 2017 at 1:09 am

    I love Kindle unlimited. Before I discovered it I was spending well over $100 a month in books. Yes, I do have to still buy some of my favorite authors which are not included but the vast majority of my reading material comes from unlimited. This month I spent less than $20 on books including the $9.99 subscription. Sooo worth it for me!

    • zachary Huss
      February 25, 2017 at 12:09 pm

      I believe there's more of us that read heavily then people that read very little taking advantage of e-books. I for one don't wanna buy hard copy books or else I'd run out room and money very quickly. I do believe kindle unlimited is fairly priced and is a good choice.

      • Judy
        March 20, 2017 at 3:42 am

        I ran out of room for hardcover books about four years ago. Even after giving away those I could bear to part with, I still have at least 2000. Kindle was obviously the answer but I've been spending at least $100 each month so I've just joined Kindle Unlimited. It will be interesting to see how my free month goes. I like trying different writers but at 79 have lost my appetite for anything too heavy. Escapist adventure is the thing for me. I'll let you know what I think of the value after the trial.

  27. YODAT
    February 9, 2017 at 3:39 pm

    The one thing that this fails to account for is those of us that listen to audiobooks. On kindle unlimited, you can listen to a lot of books for free with the subscription. Or if they aren't 'read and listen for free' titles, you can check the book out on KU, then buy the audiobook straight from audible for $2. I'll listen to 5 to 10 books a month, and even if I'm paying $2 for each one, at $30 for 10 audiobooks, that's a bargain considering an audible credit costs $15.

  28. Kelly
    February 6, 2017 at 3:10 am

    I have only had Kindle Unlimited since December 2016 and so far I love it. I read a lot--I go through 2-3 average size books a week (3-400 pages) and prior to KU I was spending one to two hundred a month on books. I have found many choices from authors I like (Koontz, King) and have discovered several authors and titles I never would have tried had I gone into a bookstore and had to pay $10-$15 dollars each for them. Since the books are free (except for the monthly subscription fee), I don't feel cheated if I try a new book that turns out to be something I don't like or want to finish. The way I see it, if I find one book each month that I really like, I'm breaking even. So far, in 2 months, I have read 10 books that I have thoroughly enjoyed and am waiting for the next books in 2 of the series to be available.

  29. Carla
    January 25, 2017 at 6:45 pm

    Since I often read 2 to 3 books a day and love fantasy, it is not unusual for me to read 30 or more books a month. for me Kindle unlimited is a bargain as I am not interested in who wrote the book per se', I am only interested in whether or not I wanted the story to continue.

  30. Mary
    January 23, 2017 at 6:46 pm

    I totally agree with all of the points made about Kindle Unlimited. Yes, if you really search you can find some talented authors but I always end up reading many subpar books in the long run. I read about two books each week so based on pricing I am getting my money's worth. However, they are not the books I would LIKE or CHOOSE to read if I really had unlimited options. Go to your library or an in town thrift book store. Skip Kindle Unlimited.

  31. Darlene Malley
    December 19, 2016 at 4:50 am

    I have begun to realize that I can't read that much in one month. I wish to stop the subscription but can't find where to do this.

    • MJ
      December 23, 2016 at 6:21 am

      Go to your Kindle Unlimited library (using a web browser). From that page you'll see either "manage my subscription" or "cancel my subscription". Just cancelled mine yesterday.

  32. Barb f
    December 19, 2016 at 2:28 am

    Unlimited sucks, for the reasons the article stated. And prime is only OK. The best is using my local library, free! Especially with an overdrive account on my kindle!

    • Darren Downs
      February 15, 2017 at 12:03 pm

      Between using my library's e-book program & Bookbub, there's no need for KU. Amazon is great for shopping, especially living in a rural area but KU just isn't a good fit. Love my Kindle Paperwhite. Had the same one for about 3 years, love that it doesn't need to be charged but about once/month.

  33. stacie markham
    December 5, 2016 at 2:26 pm

    I disagree...as someone who loves to read and goes through a book every 2 or 3 days, I can't imagine having to pay for 2 or 3 books a week. And yes, you do have to dig to find descent books. But you can always find one if you bother to do some research. Sure you find a lot of cheesy books, but you can also find good ones. I like to read new authors and have managed to find some really talented writers through kindle unlimited.

    • Nana
      December 14, 2016 at 6:05 am

      Exactly. I was just going to write nearly the same thing. The article itself states "The vast majority of self-published books on Amazon sell for less than $5", so that's less than the cost of two books at $5 each for an entire month. If, like us, you read 15 to 25 in a month, it's a bargain and a half!

  34. Dawn
    November 29, 2016 at 4:01 am

    I am a big reader and I love Kindle Unlimited. I have been turned on to a lot of new authors that I wouldn't have normally read.

  35. Robert DeNike
    November 22, 2016 at 2:37 am

    Harry, this is exactly what I sensed from the trial membership. I'm now GLAD I canceled my subscription before I got my first bill! Thanks for corroborating my suspicions that it would be a waste of money!

  36. Angela
    November 14, 2016 at 2:45 pm

    I love Kindle Unlimited but I hate Amazon and their exclusivity . Way to kill competitors Amazon and make authors depend on your kindness.

  37. Nancye Jolly
    October 29, 2016 at 4:31 am

    I love unlimited You can have. 10 books at a time when u are finished you delete the one you read. Some of the best books I've ever read are self published. There are several popular authors that occasionally offer a book on there. Give it a try. I love the mysteries and thrillers and humorous ones.

  38. Velma Bourn
    October 25, 2016 at 4:40 am

    I wish to cancel the kindle unlimited. Velma Bourn. DO NOT TAKE ANY MORE MONEY OUT OF MY ACCOUNT FOR IT!!!

    • Nathan Hancock
      November 28, 2016 at 6:27 pm

      Are you aware that leaving a comment on a random comment section on the internet will not actually deactivate your Kindle Unlimited account? I'm curious if, now being one month later, you've successfully deactivated your account or if you've blown up on a random call center employee who works for an unrelated company because you were charged for another month of the Kindle Unlimited service.

      • Tanya
        December 16, 2016 at 7:26 am

        Haha! I was thinking the same thing.

        • Joy
          January 8, 2017 at 4:56 am

          "I declare bankruptcy!!"

  39. David Hefner
    October 14, 2016 at 1:34 am

    I've been using Kindle Unlimited since March '15, and have used it for at the absolute least, 200 books (by my guestimation, most likely closer to 300). For me, it's definitely worth the money. Just the Star Force series by Aer-ki Jyr was 105 books (at 3.99 each, as I read them singularly, not in the multi-packs). I've found myself giving authors I'd never heard of a chance simply because the books were available for free, and found several series I quite enjoyed. I do still buy the occasional new book by my favorite authors (Charles Stross, Larry Correia, David Brin, etc) when they are released, but supplement the time between their releases by delving into others I've never heard of (like the Star Force series, if I hadn't had Kindle Unlimited, I'd never have given it a chance). I find that I read much more than I did before flipping the switch on Unlimited, and I'm now reading several books a week, where I used to read maybe a couple a month at most. For me, it's absolutely worth the monthly fee.

  40. Christine
    October 9, 2016 at 10:34 pm

    I think it depends on how much you read. I read way more than $10 a month of books. I'm currently reading an entire historical fiction series that runs $1-3 a book, and I'm on book #23 in less than two weeks. These are shorter books; I average about 3-4 books a week. Even at $1 each, that's still more than $10 a month. :)

    • Jennifer Robinson
      May 23, 2017 at 9:03 pm

      Depends on how much your read AND WHAT YOU READ AND HOW MUCH TIME YOU ARE WILLING TO SPEND SEARCHING FOR ANYTHING WORTH READING. i made good use of the trial subscription by using it to work through the entire Harry Potter series (interested in what kids are reading and the books are not trash). After that, I found a few things that were good. But the trash I had to sort through to find anything I would want to read made me sick. So much semi porn romantic crap, often as part of a multi-part series, some posing as fantasy or some other genre. Four or five dubious stars. Holy shit, those stars mean nothing. Downloaded several books and abandoned them mid-stream. One more formulaic 'thriller' with a macho hero, a clever sexy partner (whom the hero manages to conquer after proving himself), very predictable plot development.
      Waste of time.

  41. Momoko Y
    October 7, 2016 at 5:25 am

    Thank you for your review. I was thinking about giving Kindle Unlimited a try. But sounds like it's better to stay with Scribd.
    With Scribd, I could find my favourite authors & if you pay annually, it is way cheaper ($48/year).
    Audiobooks are available as well.
    I loved Audible. But since Scribd started audiobook service, I've cancelled that too.

    Maybe I will check out again next year, my annual renewal time.

  42. Romancefantasy
    October 6, 2016 at 11:39 pm

    Interesting article. I love my kindle unlimited subscription and would not want any other. The kindle unlimited program was made for people like me. A ravenous trashy romance novel reader. Historically, romance novels account for about 50 percent of all paperback novels sold. Many romance novel readers are notorious for reading a book a day. Back in the old days I would carry two books in my purse, just in case I finished one on the bus going back and forth to work. I spent every payday in the bookstores buying five or six romance novels. I was a member of Doubleday book club, and the literary guild, and love swept book clubs. I read romance exclusively. I started reading ebooks back in the early 2000s on a palm pilot. I was buying ebooks from Amazon back when they were adobe pfd and Microsoft reader format. I was a member of peanutpress.com when it was mostly sci fi and fantasy marketed towards geeky guys. I was buying indy romance ebooks from small publishers who are now long gone out of business back when everybody was saying ebooks would never catch on and they would never read one. I recall getting mad when my favorite indy author was published mainstream because back then that meant they would not be available on ebook format anymore. It took mainstream publishers a long time to get on the ebook bandwagon. And all that time indy authors and publishers were cranking out interesting romance in niche genres that the big boys wouldn't touch. LBGT romance, erotic romance, speculative, sci fi, paranormal, etc. So I will read indy self published romance until I die. Amazon knows there are a lot of women like me out there. We are their bread and butter. We will read anything with a happily ever after ending and a baby in the title lol. Kindle unlimited was made for me and people like me who like reading a specific genre and don't care who wrote it or published it as long as it is fun to read.

    I haven't bought a novel in a bookstore in years and don't intend to ever again if I can help it. The amount of ebooks in my tbr pile will last me forever already. I still have peanutpress/ereader.com books I have not read in prc/pdb format yet. I don't like Stephen King or any of those types of authors anyway. I used to read Dean Koontz and out of curiosity I joined his mailing list. For the price of his new book in ebook format I can buy a used textbook. I need the textbook, I don't need Dean Koontz.

    I wrote a whole lot just to say that Kindle unlimited was made for a base audience of hard core genre fans. And I am sure Amazon is making money on us and so are the authors we support. If I like a good author I will read all of their books and I will even buy the ones that are not unlimited books too. If you are reading a niche genre then Kindle unlimited is the way to go and not a waste of time and money.

    • Mindy
      November 17, 2016 at 7:33 pm

      Thank you for this review of Kindle Unlimited! It was very helpful. I, like you, am also a strictly Romance reader. More Comtemporary Romance bordering Erotic. I can plow through about 5 books a week, so it CAN get costly even at $3.99 per ebook! I find myself going on a LOT of " no buy" periods...not ALLOWING myself to purchase anything unless it's free or $.99...this month I think I bought something like 10-12 $.99 books!...LOL! I don't work anymore and have health issues that cause me to stay home, so reading my "smut books" as my adult children call them, is my sole enjoyment! I think Kindle Unlimited would pay off for me. I LOVE Indie writers, and almost all the books I see on Amazon that I want to buy are on Kindle Unlimited. Before I looked into and started reviewing it, I thought you got to KEEP all the books you downloaded. Now I see they are just BORROWED. Yes, on a rare occasion, I WILL re-read a book I love. I'm not sure you can re-borrow a book if you wish to re-read? Do you know the answer to this?

      • Nana
        December 14, 2016 at 6:09 am

        Yes, you can re-borrow, as many times as you want. You are allowed up to 10 at any time, so if you want, you could even keep a title or two on your device, if you re-read it often.

        I love the service. It's really lightened the cost of my book devouring habit.

    • Kelly
      April 1, 2017 at 4:29 am

      THANK YOU. Your honesty hit me right between the ears. When looking back on the posts, seems more author specific peeps weren't happy. Anyone whose been a harlequin (intrigue) devotee knows that there's certain standards harlequin has, to the genre, that holds the fans... new or established authors.

      How else can the authors get their stuff out there?

      I'm sold! Signing up!

  43. Cherise Kelley
    September 15, 2016 at 10:42 pm

    Twilight was NOT self published. Perhaps you're thinking of Fifty Shades of Grey.

    • Harry Guinness
      September 16, 2016 at 7:58 am

      Would you believe if I said it was a test? ;) You're 100% right.

    • Helen Karol
      December 9, 2016 at 1:06 pm

      Fifty Shades of Grey wasn't self-published either.

    • Helen Karol
      December 9, 2016 at 1:10 pm

      Fifty Shades of Grey wasn't self published, either. Popular myth.

  44. Alexandria Constantinova
    September 2, 2016 at 3:18 pm

    I had KU for over almost two years, but I cancelled after getting exhausted searching for books that were not romances. Seems like virtually every self-published book on Amazon is a romance, no matter if you're looking for suspense, mystery, thriller, literature, etc. No matter which genre I picked, the same titles came up in KU, and there's no way to get to titles nearer the end of the list. Amazon calls books with 2 reviews "Best Sellers." I was sick of reading romances that were pretending to be other genres, books published by Amazon imprints (they are the definition of formula fiction), and poorly written/edited self-published books, all of which dominate Ku. As you wrote, I also couldn't find any books published by New York publishers or NYT bestsellers that were eligible for KU. After the 15-billionth romance parading as something else, I dropped my KU subscription.

    • Harry Guinness
      September 16, 2016 at 7:58 am

      Hahahhaha that sounds like some other reports I've heard. There's a really healthy romance scene but not much in the way of anything else.

  45. Janae
    August 30, 2016 at 2:25 pm

    I wholeheartedly agree! I signed up for the free trial before a vacation and was disappointed to find none of the three titles I was specifically looking for for my book club were available. With two young kids I have less time for reading and don't enjoy wasting that time searching for something I'm interested in when I already have a long list backlogged. Thanks for the article.

    • Harry Guinness
      September 16, 2016 at 7:59 am

      Exactly Janae. It's not that there aren't books there, it's just that there aren't the books most people want to read there.

  46. Mike
    August 21, 2016 at 2:56 pm

    I have been reading e-books for a few years. I started by buying from Smashwords and have spent a couple hundred dollars there. Gradually, all my favorite authors migrated to Amazon. I get good value from Kindle Unlimited for 3 reasons (which you may not have):

    1. There are 2 readers in my household who use the service, so the price is effectively half (something to use those old phones for - as long as I still own the phone, it is "my device", even if it is in another family member's pocket/purse.)

    2. We both like Zombie, Post Apocalyptic, and Space science fiction. There is a HUGE, and I mean really huge, growth in books in these genres.

    3. When you find an author you like, they usually have 3 - 10 books they have written and usually keep writing more in the same series or in a similar series.

    I have my own music playlist and am not interested in new songs. I already have over 100 hours of purchased songs. Between Librivox (free audio recordings), super cheap old time radio recordings, Gutenburg (free public domain classic books), netflix (watch a series at a time), and Kindle unlimited, we spend less than $20.00 a month for in-home entertainment. This allows us to spend entertainment dollars supporting live performers in our community (plus the occasional Director's cut DVD's, such as the Lord of the Rings and the Hobbit trilogies.)

    • Harry Guinness
      September 16, 2016 at 8:02 am

      Glad to see you're finding value Mike, and most importantly, that you're going to actual live performances. Way too many people miss out on how awesome the theatre and live music is.

  47. Laura
    August 16, 2016 at 12:30 pm

    As someone who reads 2-3 books a week, I find Kindle Unlimited really useful. Yes, I still buy some books outside of the subscription, but I would anyway. I have prime as well, which I use for videos & music. I've just cancelled an audible subscription because a lot of the kindle unlimited books now also come with narration (useful when I'm driving / in the allotment).

    Some of the books aren't great, but I've tended to find series or authors I like and then done a load of them together.

  48. Colin
    August 15, 2016 at 9:11 pm

    The points you make are excellent. There are certainly kinks that need ironing out. Amazon ought to develop a method for clearing the smog from the dark satanic mills of hacks and scammers if they expect the customer base to continue to grow.

    But as an indie author, I have not found a more promising program than Kindle Unlimited. I'm using it for a sci-fi series.

    https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01J9SAEUE

    Currently rated 4.5 stars, readers liken it to Douglas Adams and Terry Pratchett.

    (And yes, it's well written, properly edited, and entertaining.)

    • Harry Guinness
      September 16, 2016 at 8:04 am

      Yeah, great points Colin. It is good for Indie authors. It'd just be great if Amazon stopped bragging about how many books they had, and started making it so that they had a lot of good books readily available.

  49. Tany B
    July 8, 2016 at 3:02 pm

    I have been a member of Amazon for over a decade, Prime for over almost three years and Kindle Unlimited for over a year. I love to read and as a mom who works a 9-5, Monday through Friday, I devour books on my downtime. On a weekend when there is nothing going on or when I'm waiting for the kids at one of their events, I have my Kindle and I'm reading. Having access to over a million different genres of books, is amazing. No, you're not going to have access to bestsellers but I have been introduced to many self published outstanding authors that I've followed from their first book to their 14th. These authors have well-written and edited books that can often compete with mainstream published authors. Bonnie Lamer, Nicola Claire, A&E Kirk, or one of my favorites - Elle Summers.

    Anyone that reads this article is being misled and as an avid reader and Kindle Unlimited subscription holder, I can attest that you will find excellent paranormal, romance (historical, time travel), science fiction and even cookbooks. My children are older but I've found excellent YA novels that compare to the Twilight series that are clean and "free" for my daughter.

    While KU isn't for every reader, it is still worth the price for us because we can easily go through 40 books (sometimes more) every month. For my family, KU is an amazing value.

    • Donna Flynn
      October 9, 2016 at 11:50 pm

      I agree. I love Kindle Unlimited. I read anywhere from 30-50 (sometimes more) books a month and that would add up if i bought every one of those books. Yeah, KU only lets you check out 10 books but I can return them and get 10 more any time I want. As for the books that are available, yeah I can't get James Patterson (so I will buy those or go to the library) but the authors that I do get are great. I have found so many new authors that I didn't know were out there. Some of the best books I have ever read are by self-published authors. If you only read 2-3 books a month, yeah you probably shouldn't get the membership but if you read at least 10 then you are getting your money's worth.

  50. Joann C
    June 23, 2016 at 3:27 pm

    I recently joined a Book Club and the last 2 books have not been available on Kindle Unlimited. I joined the Kindle unlimited and cancelled my Audible subscription just to find out that I can't get the books I want and have to pay extra for the audible version. Very disappointed and just order from Kindle or try Google Plus.

  51. Mindy Pollock
    May 24, 2016 at 12:52 pm

    I agree! I kept it because my husband was reading Robert J Thomas - Jess Williams series. There is something like 50 books in the series. He got half way through and they pulled them out of Kindle Unlimited. Meanwhile the author raised the price on the books. They are simple one day reads and so I cancelled my Kindle unlimited because I don't see anything else to get. The other problem is because he was reading this, everyone got a recommended book on our Kindles. It was a porn western with a nude woman on the front. This also went on my grand kids Kindles. When I complained to Amazon they said to just do a search for other types of books......so this won't be recommended anymore.....Those are the types of books you find on Kindle Unlimited..

  52. Adam
    May 1, 2016 at 5:18 am

    I totally agree with you Harry - Kindle unlimited just doesnt have the kinds of books I would expect to be able to download for $10 a month. It does have a lot of self-help books and easy to read romance and mystery novels, but is sorely lacking in authors who have achieved national or international prominence. Better to take advantage of the public library in my opinion.

  53. Theresa
    April 30, 2016 at 7:47 pm

    Luckily I get free kindle and audio books through the library. I think they let you check out 11 or 12. I barely use up the credit each month.

  54. Pravin
    April 30, 2016 at 3:49 pm

    Harry,

    I completely disagree with this article. You know why?

    1) I have used Kindle Unlimited in the past and it's worth more than the price we pay. I was very much satisfied with the collection of books offered in all genres. Yes, you don't get all best-selling books on Unlimited. But there are many many many good books out there.

    2) I love reading and writing, pen(cil) and paper mostly. During my subscription period, I would have read at least 8-10 books a month on Unlimited. If I had to buy those books, it would be between 35-50 USD.

    There's a limit on number books you can read/borrow at a time. That's absolutely fair. I always take notes and concentrate on a few books at a moment, that doesn't bother me at all.

    The only reason I stopped my subscription was due to time constraint. I didn't have much time besides my freelance work. I still enjoy paper books and notes when I get time. That's still my cup of tea.

  55. ChaiSpice
    April 28, 2016 at 1:21 pm

    $9.99 is expensive for access to over a million books? I have a subscription and read about 3 books a week, fiction and nonfiction. Most good, some bad. I frequent Barnes and Noble each month and buy 2-3 books. Most good some bad. But I get it you're trying to sell people Oyster. Kindle Unlimited is a wonderful service for voracious readers.

  56. Royale With Cheese
    April 28, 2016 at 1:35 am

    Just plain wrong. There are tons of great indie fiction authors and the cost of the subscription more than pays for itself when you factor in non-fiction. But, if you do(read) what you're told by groupthink, then of course you would lament not being able to find the limited scope of books and authors provided by the big 5.

    • Isabella
      December 27, 2016 at 4:24 am

      This! I have no interest in reading James Patterson, or Stephen King, or Danielle Steel, or Nora Roberts. I PREFER to read indie authors in the genres I like. So much good stuff out there. And I find not having to wade through the NYT bestsellers that I have zero interest in to be a BONUS. It is very rare for there to be anything on the NYT list that I'm remotely interested in reading - but I usually get some good gems from Amazon's recommendations.

  57. Tanieka
    April 28, 2016 at 1:27 am

    I hate to be the bad guy but I have several points that make this post false. Most of the good romance writers are self published and many have there series on Kindle unlimited they are amazing authors with huge amounts of readers but are not publish by the big houses. I go there 40 to 50 books a month with my unlimited scribd use to be unlimited but now only give you 3 books a month that a joke. For a serious reader of mc romance, or paranormal that is the way to go

    • Harry Guinness
      August 30, 2016 at 4:30 pm

      I'm glad you're getting good use out of KU. It's not that there aren't people like yourself, it's just that the vast majority of people aren't going to get enough use from it.

  58. Anonymous
    April 28, 2016 at 1:27 am

    I think KU is for voracious readers who devour a few books a week. A limited group for sure, but i've met a few.

    Also, it's great for previewing books. Looking for a book on subject x? Previews 10, 20, 100, for "free." If you search a lot, it can come in handy.

    Prime is certainly the better deal though. KU is for a niche market and oversold. Nice writeup!

    • Harry Guinness
      August 30, 2016 at 4:29 pm

      Yeah you need to really be plowing through books for it to make a difference. Glad you liked it!

  59. Brad
    April 27, 2016 at 7:20 pm

    I very much disagree. My wife and I share an Amazon account and between us we read about 15 Kindle unlimited books a month.

    There's never buyers remorse. There are a lot of good self-published series. Several have been turned into TV series, movies, etc over the years.

    If you want to read a specific book or author; and you don't read much - then I agree - it's not worth the money. But for anyone who is a voracious reader - it's amazing.

    The fact it works anywhere in the world is amazing. I live in the US; but spend 3-4 months a year in Africa or Europe and I can be sitting in the outback of Kenya, where there is an internet connection, and just grab a new book if I want. Many online systems have country lock-out where you can only get books from a single country; since these are amazon books - the system works in any country and there's no messy copyright laws.

    While its not for everyone; for those who spend hours trying to figure out what $5 book to buy - they will save a lot of money since you can just return a book so you can just pick one and see if you like the author; for those who just like to read, for people who have kids and they want to quickly grab a new bedtime story (there's a decent amount of Children's tales on Kindle Unlimited); it's a can't miss product.

    • Harry Guinness
      August 30, 2016 at 4:28 pm

      "Can't miss" is a little strong but I'm glad to see you're getting use from it. I read a lot (60+ books a year) but that's got nothing on your 15 a month. For me, I want to read certain books, not any books. Amazon's Kindle Store also works as normal around the world.

    • Jeremy
      September 25, 2016 at 11:25 pm

      Hi Brad (or anyone else who may be able to help)--

      I have a random questions that it seems like you may be able to answer for me. I'm making the leap to eBooks as opposed to hard copy...i just purchased a Samsung tablet and i was just wondering how "sync'd" my eBooks will be moving forward. For instance, I plan on buying a Kindle Paperwhite in the future...will any books I purchase now on my tablet be able to be transferred over when I make that purchase? Or if I purchase an eBook on my tablet is there anyway to read it on an iPhone or anything like that? Thanks in advance for any help!

      • Debbie
        February 23, 2017 at 1:54 pm

        I know with the nook it keeps all your books on your account so if you log in on another device through barnes and noble they will show up. I'm pretty sure it's the same with the Kindle.

  60. Susan
    April 27, 2016 at 4:56 pm

    Most public libraries have ebooks now, many use the OverDrive system which has the ability to download kindle versions of the ebook. All you need is your library card and for most public libraries it is free.

    You may have to be on the waiting list for popular titles, but they email you when it is available.

    • Dann Albright
      April 27, 2016 at 5:00 pm

      I was just about to say that! Kindle Unlimited really isn't very impressive, but getting books for free from the library is fantastic. You won't be able to load up on a ton of books, but you can probably offset the cost of buying a bunch before you go on vacation by getting popular books for free while you're not on vacation.

    • Harry Guinness
      August 30, 2016 at 4:26 pm

      That's a great idea. Thanks for suggesting it.

  61. Anonymous
    April 27, 2016 at 3:46 pm

    I find the DIY section, the dimestore novellas, the instructional books more than make up for what you perceive as 'poor selection'.In the last couple of months I have downloaded and I have a used a cookbook on to teach me the basics of dorm room cooking, a book on making jewelry, a boxed set on photography, sewing for beginners, photography 'hacks', DIY blacksmithing, a boxed set on gardening, budgeting, upcycling old clothing, making my own bread, baking, decorating AND photographing my child's birthday cake, drawing the human form, painting with oil and acrylic, and how to brew my own beer if I wanted to.

    So maybe it's just that you are not the kind of person who finds value in these things. It's not a waste of my money at all. It's saved me literally thousands of dollars in classes and the gas spent, and time cost of going out to do all those things.

    • Harry Guinness
      August 30, 2016 at 4:25 pm

      I'm glad you found it useful, but most people aren't in your boat. And Amazon certainly doesn't position Kindle Unlimited as a place to learn blacksmithing!