I have been a Kindle Unlimited subscriber since October 2014 and I often get asked if it’s worth it. I have been waiting to evaluate the service and as I reached the one year milestone of being a subscriber thought it would be a good time to reflect on my use of Kindle Unlimited. So today I dedicate my blog post to answering this question.
For those who don’t know, Amazon offers a book borrowing service, where you pay a monthly subscription of £7.99 and borrow up to ten books at a time for an unlimited period of time (provided you remain a monthly subscriber). Recently subscribers have been given access to a Your Kindle Unlimited page where you can see all the books you have borrowed under the subscription, which was a good springboard for my analysis.
From October 24th 2014 to October 24th 2015 I have borrowed a total of 66 books. The total cost of my subscription from this period is £7.99 x 12 months = £95.88. So it is costing me on average £1.47 per book to use this service.
If I was to purchase the 66 books I borrowed it would cost approximately £170. The majority of books I borrowed cost more than £1.47 to purchase.
Providing you read, return and borrow books regularly the subscription does work out more economical than buying the kindle books. However, in my situation, I find myself paying for books that I would have received from authors for free for review, but I am swayed by the convenience of having the books in the correct format to fit into my reading schedule and find myself content to pay for the service.
Another problem with Kindle Unlimited occurs if you are also a Prime customer and have access to the Kindle Owners Lending Library. Once you have borrowed ten titles on Kindle Unlimited, Amazon will not let you borrow from the Kindle Owners Lending Library if the book you wish to borrow is also part of Kindle Unlimited, which then leaves you with a severely limited choice of books that are only available on Prime exclusively (incidentally you are also not able to search just Prime titles and have to wade through lists of books looking for those with only Prime eligibility without Kindle Unlimited). I have complained about this to Amazon and am waiting to see how they resolve it.
In conclusion, if you are a reasonably fast reader with a good turnover of books, which include titles in the Kindle Unlimited scheme, you are likely to financially benefit from the Kindle Unlimited subscription, however it will cost you just under £100 a year if you subscribe monthly. Buying the books I borrowed would definitely cost me more than my Kindle Unlimited subscription.