My short experience with Amazon Kindle Unlimited

Amazon launched Kindle Unlimited in the United States on July 18th. Then, they extended the service to the United Kingdom (September) and Germany (October). I do not know if they plan to make it available in Spain. The membership fee is considerably cheaper in the US ($9.99 per month) than it is in Europe: 7.99£ in the UK and 9.99€ in Germany (in both cases, almost $13).

I was staying in the US on July, so I signed up for a 30-day free trial and I tested the service. I read two books and I used the service in four different devices: a Kindle, a Kindle Fire, an iPad and a Nexus 5.

First of all, I have to say that I am a frequent customer of Amazon. I buy to them almost all the books I read, among other products, and I am very satisfied with their service. The physical goods shipping is always on time and I find very convenient reading digital books on Kindle.

However, I discontinued my membership to Kindle Unlimited after my free trial expired and I kept buying books to Amazon as I was doing before July. Why is that?

The main reason in my case is that not every title is available in Kindle Unlimited. I do not want to pay a monthly fee and having to buy anyway some books I need to read. If they included every single book they have in the catalog, I would sign up again. Actually, I would be willing to pay a bit more for the monthly fee if that means everything is included.

But there are another two possible reasons why other people might not be interested in becoming a Kindle Unlimited subscriber:

  • Most of the people do not read more than one book per month. If the regular price of a single book is $10 or less, why would they pay a monthly fee that costs the same or more than the amount they spend normally? I said that I would be willing to pay more than $10 per month, but that is because I usually read more than a book per month… so it would easily be a saving for me.
  • As a Kindle Unlimited customer, you are not buying books but a limited access to them. That means that if you discontinue your membership, your books evaporate. At least, you will conserve your highlights… but not the books. This is not crucial for me, because I do not normally read a book twice, but some people do.

Some people refers to Kindle Unlimited as the Netflix for books. I understand the parallelism, but I do not agree with this statement. The principle is the same, and it is the monthly fee, but we are not speaking about the same kind of content: reading is entirely different from watching TV, so it does not have to work the same way. In fact, I am a Netflix customer and at the end of the month my family and I have watched a good number of films, chapters of our best-loved series, TV shows and documentaries. If we had to buy them individually, that would be simply unaffordable.

So, in summary, I would like to be a Kindle Unlimited member but I do not see it as a good deal for me right now.

These are my thoughts about this topic. Any comments? 🙂

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