Kindle Unlimited Review 2019: Is It Worth It?

Ease Of Use

Effectiveness

Price

Support

As the world becomes more digital, various industries must adapt to changes in the marketplace. Publishing is one of the many industries that is experiencing drastic changes. There are now millions of readers around the world that use eBooks instead of traditional paper novels.

Amazon has been at the forefront of the eBook market for years. While the company began by delivering low-cost books to customers around the United States, one of its new specialties is in offering affordable eBooks to readers around the globe. Recently, the company launched a new subscription eBook service called Kindle Unlimited.

So, is it worth your time? Let’s find out below in this Kindle Unlimited review.

Please note that this post has affiliate links. We talk about the product in an unbiased way, but rarely review products we dislike (to avoid disputes). We do recommend the app, we also talk about why it’s not for everyone.

Kindle unlimited review

What is Amazon Kindle?

To understand the product, you need to understand Amazon Kindle. In 2007, Amazon created Kindle, a digital reading program that quickly set the standard for modern eBook platforms. The service allows you to download various books, magazines, articles, and texts onto eligible eReaders.

Since its inception, Amazon Kindle has grown to be one of the most recognizable eBook options on the planet. The platform hosts most major books and magazines, with over three million titles available to its subscribers.

Kindle is famous for being easy to use. The costs of Kindle’s eBooks are often much less than purchasing traditional books on Amazon’s platform. Also, Kindle devices can download and store hundreds of books and magazines at a time. It’s the perfect device for an extended vacation or your commute to work.

Because Amazon has also emerged as a popular self-publishing service, there are thousands of books written by independent writers on the platform as well. In fact, there are plenty of Kindle eBooks that you won’t be able to find anywhere else on the internet.

Unlike many of its competitors, Amazon’s eBook platform has global reach; you can purchase books while you’re overseas, or if you move to a different country.

What is Kindle Unlimited?

In 2014, Kindle decided to change the way that readers could access titles on its interface. Instead of purchasing each book, Amazon brought out a subscription service that charges you a monthly fee for access to over a million titles. Like Spotify and Apple Music, Kindle Unlimited is a service that allows users to mass consume content for a set monthly rate.

How Does Kindle Unlimited Work?

Kindle Unlimited works by providing you with unrestricted access to a broad range of eBook titles. Once you sign up for an account, you’ll be able to choose from the full library of titles. If you search for a Kindle book on Amazon, it will tell you the purchasing price, as well as notify you of whether it’s included free with the subscription.

It’s important to keep in mind that not all titles are included on the platform. Many of the largest book publishers in the world have yet to sign up because they don’t believe the revenue sharing mechanism will be beneficial to their business model.

Nonetheless, there are several books to choose from and you can read them on any device that is compatible with Kindle.

Reading a Kindle Unlimited by the beach

Hardware Options

One of the core benefits of subscribing to Kindle Unlimited is the number of hardware options that come partnered with this platform. Ever since Kindle’s inception, Amazon has been striving to bring a range of different devices and compatibilities to its user base.

The eReader itself has changed the industry. There are several different devices available at various price points. The primary benefit of the Kindle eReader is that the screen appears like traditional paper, which makes it much easier on the reader’s eyes.

Also, the devices are lightweight, WiFi enabled, easy-to-use, and come packed with extensive battery life. You can purchase and download books directly on the device.

Do I need Kindle devices?

Users used to be restricted to Amazon’s Kindle eReaders. While these are excellent and affordable devices for reading eBooks, people were looking to gain access on devices that they already own. Amazon answered the calls, and now you can now download a Kindle app to your iOS or Android device.

With Kindle Unlimited, eReading devices are not necessary. It can be downloaded from the app store or play store and be used on the phone.  This means that users will be able to access eBooks on Kindle eReaders and phones at the same time; you won’t have to worry about forgetting your book on your next holiday.

Kindle’s mobile app makes its eBook platform one of the most practical options on the planet. This app also works for all major Android and iOS tablets (iPads). The downside of not having a device, you need a wifi connection to access books. 

Is it Free with Amazon Prime?

If you’re an Amazon Prime subscriber, you might assume that Kindle Unlimited is part of your overall subscription package. While Amazon Prime does offer a range of benefits to its users, Kindle Unlimited is not included in the monthly subscription. You’ll need to pay for your plan separately, but you can link it to the same Amazon Prime account you’re currently using on your Kindle.

With some of Amazon Prime’s other platforms receiving discounts, you may expect to get a few dollars off the monthly subscription cost. Again, no luck. Unlike Amazon Music, which offers a discount to Prime members, Kindle Unlimited will cost you the full price.

Prime Reading

Prime Reading is another membership-based reading platform for Amazon users. This comes free with all Prime subscriptions, and like Kindle Unlimited, it gives you access to a range of different magazines and books.

Unfortunately, Prime Reading is a much more ‘watered down’ version of Kindle Unlimited. You’ll only have access to around 1,000 titles, and you can borrow up to ten at a time, which may be a bit limiting if multiple family members use your Amazon Prime account. It may still be a good option to use Prime Reading if the usage fits yours. Titles are rotated so you do get access to more than 1,000 titles theoretically.

Kindle Library

The Library

One of the essential components of Kindle Unlimited is the library, which is the primary feature that you’re paying for. So, what’s included in the library?

Amazon has been working hard to increase the amount of self-publishing on its platform. For this reason, a lot of the books in the Kindle Unlimited library are from the ‘self-publishing’ wing of the Amazon Kindle database. However, there are also plenty of traditionally published books on the platform as well.

At present, there are over 1.4 million titles available for download on Kindle Unlimited. While this seems like a ton, there are over 3.5 million eBooks on the overall Kindle platform, so you’re still getting access to less than 50% of the total eBook collection available on Amazon.

Customer Service

If you’re investing in a subscription service, it’s essential to work with a provider that understands the value of your business. Using a team with poor customer service can be frustrating and costly; you may not get your money’s worth if something goes wrong. Fortunately, the customer service team is powered by Amazon.

Amazon is well-known for having one of the most extensive customer service teams on the market. You can contact its team via live chat 24/7 by logging into your account to gain access to the portal. There’s also an excellent resources center that makes it easy to troubleshoot any problems with your Kindle or Kindle Unlimited subscription.

One thing I like about Kindle Unlimited is how easy it is to cancel the service. Many subscription services make it next to impossible to cancel; you may have to call a company’s team or submit a range of forms. With Kindle Unlimited, you can easily cancel in a few seconds by logging into your account, and if you have trouble figuring out how, there’s a comprehensive tutorial available on the Amazon website.

From my experience dealing with Amazon, my attitude towards their customer service team is only positive. It’s clear that Amazon is a team that truly values its customer base. They’re keen to resolve problems and to ensure you have a favorable opinion of its company and its operations

Kindle Customer Rating System

One of the primary benefits of Amazon’s platform is its rating system. Because Amazon is such a large online retailer, it has access to feedback from millions of worldwide customers, which can help you make better purchasing decisions when it’s time to buy a product.

This same benefit extends to Kindle Unlimited titles. While you don’t have to pay to access books on Kindle Unlimited, it’s nice to have a feedback mechanism that can help you avoid reading lousy books. Many top books on Kindle Unlimited have thousands of reviews.

If you’re looking for a platform that offers extensive user review features, Kindle Unlimited is far above the competition.

Additional Features to Keep in Mind

While most of the focus on Kindle Unlimited is related to eBooks, it’s important to highlight that many of the world’s most massive magazine titles are also available on Kindle Unlimited. If you’re someone who enjoys reading the latest magazines, it’s an excellent platform that can help you avoid the cost of buying magazines off the rack each month.

Also, it’s important to keep in mind that Kindle Unlimited is only available for US-based customers. While Kindle has a presence in a broad range of countries across the globe, its subscription service is currently just for United States customers. If you’re planning on moving or traveling for extended periods, make sure to cancel Kindle Unlimited before you leave!

Kindle Audiobooks Vs Audible

In addition to traditional eBooks, you’re also able to access audiobooks through its Audible platform. Audible is the audiobook wing of Amazon’s book platform. While these traditionally cost money, you can access free Audible recordings for plenty of Kindle Unlimited titles. This is a hugely beneficial feature if you’re someone who sometimes prefers to listen rather than read.

The difference, Audible is a subscription based app that gets you 1 audiobook a month while being able to purchase more. It makes sense if you want to choose specific books that are usually top sellers not included in the Kindle Unlimited subscription. Check out our review on Audible here

How Do the Major Competitors Stack Up?

If you’re going to purchase an eBook subscription, it’s always important to look at the competitors. Fortunately, there are plenty of other options available on the market. Let’s go through some of the other favorite eBook subscriptions available to readers. Can they compete with Kindle Unlimited?

Scribd ebook platform

Scribd eBook

Kindle Unlimited’s primary competitor is another eBook subscription service named Scribd. It’s important to note: Scribd didn’t start as an eBook subscription service; it originally published academic papers and court documents. You’ll still have access to these forms of texts as well, which makes it an excellent choice for students and academic-types.

Scribd is slightly cheaper than Kindle Unlimited, and the company claims to provide access to over one million titles. Like Amazon Unlimited, you’ll find that many of the world’s most popular titles aren’t available on the service. One primary benefit associated with Scribd is that it has a global presence; you can access the subscription service in a range of foreign countries.

There is much evidence online that Scribd’s unlimited plan doesn’t offer truly limitless choices. Some users are finding their accounts restricted after downloading multiple books per month. Also, another downside associated with Scribd is its customer support team. The company’s reputation has suffered because of numerous bad reviews on many of the top consumer watchdog sites.

Project Gutenberg books

Project Gutenberg is another online eBook platform that aims to provide users with access to some of the world’s most popular titles. One of the best things about Project Gutenberg is that the platform is entirely free. So, what’s the catch?

Unlike Kindle Unlimited and Scribd, which have over one million texts available, Project Gutenberg has just over 50,000. The organization aims to provide users with access to books with expired copyrights, which means that they don’t have to pay for the rights to the book.

One of the best things about Project Gutenberg is that they have some decent texts available. Because many old classics no longer have copyright restrictions, Project Gutenberg has some very well-known titles on its platform. Just keep in mind, you won’t find nearly as many options or benefits on this platform when you compare it to Kindle Unlimited or Scribd.

Is Kindle Unlimited Worth It?

The answer to this question is slightly complicated. Kindle Unlimited is an excellent service and is an industry leader in the subscription book industry. Still, there are aspects of Kindle Unlimited that may mean it’s not worth it for some customers.

If you’re someone who is constantly reading, Kindle Unlimited is most likely a good option. While many of the books on Kindle Unlimited have relatively affordable prices, if you read more than two or three a month, you’ll most likely recuperate all your subscription cost. However, it’s important to make sure that the books on your Kindle Unlimited platform are the types of books you’ll want to read.

While there are millions of options, the lack of current best sellers may mean you don’t find what you’re looking for on the service. Regardless, if you’re someone who is continuously looking to consume new authors, or you enjoy reading on your way to work every day, this provides an excellent way to avoid paying extra for your love of reading.

The Free Trial?

If you’re going to fork over your hard-earned money for a subscription service, you need to make sure it’s worth it. One of the best ways to make the right purchasing decision is to take advantage of a free trial. So, do they offer users access to a free trial?

Yes, you can try Kindle Unlimited free of charge for 30 days. It’s the perfect way to give this platform a spin before you make any financial commitments. Just make sure to cancel your subscription before the trial is over if you don’t want to continue.

Kindle Unlimited Pros

  • Unlimited access to over one million titles
  • No cost for titles (after you pay for the subscription)
  • Exclusive access to self-published books on the Amazon platform
  • An extremely affordable pricing structure
  • A range of compatible devices, including the Kindle eReaders
  • Kindle app is easy to use
  • An excellent customer support team
  • Reliable rating systems
  • Access to audio books included with subscription
  • Tons of magazines available
  • Much more extensive than many of the industry competitors

Cons

  • Continuous monthly payments to receive access
  • Don’t have access to many top titles
  • Only worth it if you read consistently (multiple books per month)
  • Needs a Wi-fi connection
  • Amazon Prime might be a better deal (depending on what you’re looking for)

The Verdict

After taking in all this information, you may still be wondering: is Kindle Unlimited right for me? There’s no denying the power of this eBook subscription platform. With it, you’ll receive access to over one million book titles and a range of supported hardware devices. You’ll also benefit from working with one of the most trusted retail giants on the globe.

If you’re looking for a way to indulge in an endless list of books, Kindle Unlimited is your best option. Best of all, using its free trial means you don’t have to make any financial commitments before you give it a try.

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Kindle Unlimited
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