Amazon has launched its Kindle Unlimited subscription service in Australia and for many ebook readers it’s considered the Netflix for books. The service offers customers access to over one million titles for a monthly subscription fee.
Whilst the service offers an abundance of reading material, is its offering as good as other countries? After launching over two years ago in the United States Amazon still has left parts out of the Australian launch such as audiobooks, plus it’s more expensive than some TV subscriptions. Therefore we ask the question, what type of reader is this service good value for money?
Amazon’s Kindle Unlimited subscription will cost $13.99 per month and will offer access to over one million titles including prize-winning novels such as; The Sellout, the Harry Potter series and The Dressmaker. Also included will be Australian authors such as David Malouf, Chrissie Swan and Colleen McCullough.
Users can try out the service for free for the first 30 days, after which point they will be charged monthly. Whilst some top sellers will be included within the price, the service offers the opportunity to explore the literature of local authors too.
In comparison to other services, Kindle Unlimited will cost just under $1 less than its Australian audiobook subscription called Audible. In comparison to other services however, it’s slightly more expensive with Netflix and Stan charging $9 and $10 per month and Google Play and Apple Music costing $12.
‘How many books can I read per month’ isn’t the right questions with regards to Kindle Unlimited. The correct question to ask is ‘how many of the offered books will I be willing to read?’
When narrowing down to your favourites, the word unlimited may seem more limiting than its initial surface value. The Kindle Unlimited service heavily relies on titles published within the Amazon publishing ecosystem which for the time being is strong.
Kindle Unlimited offers over one million titles across all categories, however, only about 40 – 50 thousand titles are not exclusive to the Kindle store. This means that books from big publishers, new releases and big bestsellers are not generally available via the service, because they simply aren’t interested in the platform enough. Below are some of the publishers and authors you wont find.
Publishers excluded: Hachette, MacMillan, Simon & Shuster, HarperCollins and Penguin.
Authors excluded: Janet Evanovich, Stephen King, Dan Brown, Harper Lee or Nora Roberts.
Saving money is the main reason users sign up to subscription services, because where an ebook may cost $14.99 and above, the service allows you to save that little extra, especially if you read one book per month. If you tend to read a book every three months, the service may prove more expensive than simply buying the ebook online.
If the lack of bestsellers and big publisher books is a deterrent but you still want to see if you can save money using Amazon’s Kindle Unlimited service then you need to immerse yourself in titles costing between $1 to $10. It’s these books that more broadly cover Kindle Unlimited offering and they come from the KDP self-publishing platform or one of several Amazon imprints. Whilst they may be self-published it doesn’t mean they are not worth reading, quite the opposite in fact with many being Kindle bestsellers. However, to receive good value for money you would need to read the following:
- At least one $13.99 book per month.
- At least two $6.99 books per month.
- Three or more $4.99 books per month.
- Fifteen or more $0.99 books per month.
Finally, if you think that you may be able to outsmart the system to save money then I will have to stop you there. Kindle Unlimited comes with a limit of ten books that can be stored on your device at any one time. Additionally, when you cancel your subscription those books will be deleted from your account. The only thing those crafty thinkers out there can do is disconnect the device from the Internet, deregister it from the account and keep those ten books on the Kindle. Ultimately though, it proves to be an expensive waste of money and defeats the object of buying a Kindle if you only plan to read 10 books on it.
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