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Old 05-18-2017, 04:29 AM   #1
Jo69
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Question Kindle Unlimited is it worth it?

I now have an Android tablet and an old Kobo (Though the new Kindle 7 is also tempting me lol).. For reading in the garden.
I buy lots and lots of 99p to £2 books from Amazon. As always reading.

My question is, would it pay me to join Amazon Unlimited? Or has it got its downsize? Normally spend £10 to £15 a month on 99p books
But would they all appear to buy through Unlimited?

Also is it true if I cancel after a while they all disappear?
Is it possible to convert them and add to calibre to keep them?
Thank you
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Old 05-18-2017, 05:53 AM   #2
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My understanding of Kindle Unlimited is that the books are borrowed not kept, but they are borrowed for the entirety of the length of time you are a subscriber, and you can read as many books as you like on a Kindle (or desktop Kindle, or cloud/app, whatever) (I could be wrong, but I looked into this myself)

I pondered Kindle Unlimited, but I am in Canada, and most of the "good stuff" tends to be USA-centered. Canadians tend to be an afterthought to the US when it comes to selection of media/entertainment. (As a result it took me a while to get into Netflix, but I digress)

I wondered if I would read enough books to make it worth it, and b) do they have enough titles that I am interested even for the "one month free", so I looked at my Kindle wish-list items, the books that I couldn't find at my local Overdrive library, and none of them were listed as KU available. So that sealed the deal for me. I'm also not a voracious reader.

I don't know what the Kindle landscape is like in the UK where you seem to be, so you would have to figure out if you think it would be worth it. It depends how much you read, and whether the titles offered in your area are appealing to you.

I personally just keep a wish list, and I'm notified of price drops.
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Old 05-18-2017, 08:04 AM   #3
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Thanks for replying.
I too keep a wish list, and don't often buy best sellers, just books I like.
Some in my list seem to be in Unlimited.

It says you can download 10 a month, but does that mean they disappear when you download 10 the next month?

Also is it true if I cancel after a while they all disappear?
Is it possible to convert them and add to calibre to keep them?

Last edited by Jo69; 05-18-2017 at 08:06 AM.
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Old 05-18-2017, 08:28 AM   #4
darryl
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The only reasonable way to decide about Kindle Unlimited is for you to give it a try. There is of course a free trial. If you don't have a Kindle you can read on your computer, Android device or IOS through apps, or even in a web browser. KU is not 10 books a month. It is up to 10 books at the same time whilst you are a member. So if you have 10 and you want to borrow another you need to return 1 of the 10. The books are never yours. Think of it as borrowing them. As such you do not have access if you cease to be a member. But how many books do you actually want to keep after you have read them? These are generally not very expensive books, so it is not exactly going to bankrupt you buying the ones you want to keep if there are only the occasional few. The large publishers generally avoid KU totally. It is mainly self-published and books from Indie publishers, including books from Amazon imprints.

Some here will tell you it is good value. I find it so. Others will tell you it is a complete waste of money. You need to make up your own mind.

Adding to Calibre would be a waste of time without removing the DRM. Many Mobileread members are supportive of removing DRM from EBooks you have purchased, but not from library books and similar. KU ebooks fall into the similar category. You should not do it, and no one here will help you to do it. And yes, I know I didn't answer your question.

My advice is to give KU a try.

Last edited by darryl; 05-18-2017 at 08:34 AM.
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Old 05-18-2017, 08:31 AM   #5
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Kindle Unlimited is not for everybody. (Like, duh.)
It might be for you if...
... you read a lot...
...owning is secondary to reading (its not for hoaders)...
...you aren't hung up on vetting or gatekept content...
...you are always looking for new authors to try...
...you aren't looking for specific, familiar books or authors...
...you read a whole lot..

Still there?
Still interested?
Okay, to understand Kindle Unlimited you need to keep in mind that it exists to serve both readers and authors.

For readers it is meant as a way to discover new good authors, risk-free.
New goes first.
You almost certainly will not find big name authors on KU. They don't need discovery; they have no shortage of fans. Amazon salts KU with a few dozen (hundreds?) of familiar titles here and there but KU is primarily a channel for small traditional publishers and Independent author-publishers, Indies in the US sense (not the UK usage).
This is because, for authors, KU is a marketing tool. A place where they have a chance to shine and find fans without having to deal with the shadow of the big names. It's a place for quirky, experimental stories, niche material, new voices, and old. A place where veteran authors can be more than midlist afterthoughts on a bottom shelf deep in the back of a dusty bookstore. There are almost no BPH titles. That is a feature not a bug.

If you walk into a bookstore and ignore the payola-infested front tables and head instead for the back shelves (or used to) then KU might be for you. A place you can pick a book from a new to you author to see how long they can keep you engaged, risk free. If they lose you half way, you just walk away, no big loss. If they manage to delight you, well, jackpot! A new favorite author.
KU is a grab bag. You roam around sample the wares and see how lucky you get. There's well over a million titles waiting for somebody with enough free reading time to take a chance...

Not for everybody.
But it does have some 2-4M subscribers finding good reads...

Last edited by fjtorres; 05-18-2017 at 08:49 AM.
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Old 05-18-2017, 08:44 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jo69 View Post
Thanks for replying.
I too keep a wish list, and don't often buy best sellers, just books I like.
Some in my list seem to be in Unlimited.

It says you can download 10 a month, but does that mean they disappear when you download 10 the next month?

Also is it true if I cancel after a while they all disappear?
Is it possible to convert them and add to calibre to keep them?
It's not ten books a month, it's ten books at a time. There is no monthly limit.
They don't disappear. You just can't check out more until you return one.

But if what you're looking is for way to rip'em off, you're better off hitting the torrents and ripping them off wholesale, ten thousand at a time, instead of piecemeal.

Kindle Unlimited is for readers not hoaders.

Not for everybody.
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Old 05-18-2017, 08:47 AM   #7
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Quote:
As a member of Kindle Unlimited, you may read Kindle books and listen to Audible audiobooks from a designated list of titles an unlimited number of times for so long as you are a member of the program. From time to time, we may add or remove titles from the program and we make no guarantee as to the availability of specific titles or the minimum number of titles available. The program is currently only available to customers located in the United Kingdom, (including Gibraltar, Jersey, Isle of Man and Guernsey) and Ireland. If your membership ends, you will no longer have access to the titles you selected from the program.
From the Kindle Unlimited (UK) Terms of Use (emphasis mine).

It's a lending service. You can borrow/read 10 books at a time. Some may become unavailable if they are removed from the system overall. All will become unavailable to you if you cancel your membership. Converting and adding them to your own library would be copyright infringement.


[ETA: cross-posted with a few folks, still might be useful]

Last edited by latepaul; 05-18-2017 at 08:48 AM. Reason: edit the edit, gah!
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Old 05-18-2017, 09:06 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jo69 View Post
I buy lots and lots of 99p to £2 books from Amazon. As always reading.

My question is, would it pay me to join Amazon Unlimited? Or has it got its downsize? Normally spend £10 to £15 a month on 99p books
But would they all appear to buy through Unlimited?

Also is it true if I cancel after a while they all disappear?
Is it possible to convert them and add to calibre to keep them?
Amazon Unlimited doesn't (on the whole) have books from the big five publishers. If you currently read mostly indie publications, this might not be a problem to you.

Amazon Unlimited is streaming for ebooks. You only have access so long as you keep paying the subscription. If you cancel, you lose access to all the books, including any you have already read.

I've no idea whether it's possible to add books downloaded via Kindle Unlimited to calibre and convert them to other formats.

It would certainly be unethical to do so, and possibly illegal, and not a subject for discussion at MobileRead.
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Old 05-18-2017, 10:21 AM   #9
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I love KU. I have a lot of favorite authors who publish in KU. I read KU books voraciously. Lots of good science fiction, post-apocalyptic, zombie fiction, and lots of paranormal romance and SF romance. I read in all of those genres. I'm sure there are good books in other genres.

One warning, books do disappear out of KU. Authors put them in the program for a certain time (90 days?) and once the contract is up, they can choose to pull them out. (You won't lose access if you currently have it checked out). Sometimes authors will announce their intentions, if you subscribe to their newsletter of follow them on social media. Sometimes it's just, surprise, guess I won't be reading THAT book. Some authors publish some of their books in KU, some of their books out. So, get to know the habits of your favorite authors, and you might be able to predict which ones you need to check out right away, and which ones you can stick in your WL until you are ready for it.
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Old 05-18-2017, 11:15 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pdurrant View Post

It would certainly be unethical to do so, and possibly illegal, and not a subject for discussion at MobileRead.
Most definitely unethical.
This is not a simple transcoding scenario or a backup concern, like DeDRMing a book that you bought a "perpetual" reading license for.

It's not even DeDRMing a library book where a rationalizer might argue their taxes paid for the license and the author got paid. (False, but still some might use that excuse.)

But DeDRMing a KU book has no excuse or rationalization possible because authors *only* get paid *if* the book is read. Downloading a KU title, DeDRMing it "to read later" and returning it unread means the author never gets paid. Same as outright piracy.

More, since most of the books in KU are Indie or small press, their sale price is already more than reasonable to start with. These aren't overpriced agency ebooks. Why go out of your way to ripoff somebody playing by reader-friendly rules?

Come on!
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Old 05-18-2017, 11:20 AM   #11
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I accidentally tried KU but didn't keep it. I didn't find that I would get my money's worth.

Little tip: Put any books on your wishlist over at ereaderiq's price watch. Many KU books go on sale for free for 5 days or less every three months.


And as to the last part, don't even try it. Small authors need to get paid.
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Old 05-18-2017, 11:46 AM   #12
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I think the way to decide if Kindle Unlimited is for you is to first consider if you read enough books a month to justify the price and then to see if it has enough books that you want to be worthwhile to you.

I typically read between about 3 and 6 books a month, mostly depending on their length. Because of that I compared the selection on KU with the books I'd read in the past year. I found about 20% of my years' reading on KU and the rest not. Since I watch for sales and buy long before I read, most of the books I read cost about $2. A very few were over $10.

Considering all this I decided that Kindle Unlimited made a bit of economic sense for me if I didn't mind changing what I read just a bit, and that there was enough good stuff in KU to make it worthwhile for me, but that I like the way I choose my books now and I wasn't ready to change that. Given that I decided not to join.

I look at this again every few months. I'm not a hoarder. I do keep a lot of books but they're books I intend to read and, unless I plan to re-read them, which I only do with a few books, I don't care about them after I've read them.

I keep deciding not to try KU but I'm not sure that I won't change that at some future time.

Barry
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Old 05-18-2017, 11:47 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cinisajoy View Post
I accidentally tried KU but didn't keep it. I didn't find that I would get my money's worth.

Little tip: Put any books on your wishlist over at ereaderiq's price watch. Many KU books go on sale for free for 5 days or less every three months.


And as to the last part, don't even try it. Small authors need to get paid.
Oooh! Thank you for that tip, I am not the OP but finding ereaderiq is great! excellent way to find deals.
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Old 05-18-2017, 02:34 PM   #14
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Just sign up for a free trial and it will be simple enough to see if it's worth it to you. I'm on a free trial now. I've enjoyed being able to get a lot of Open Road titles, and I've especially enjoyed getting reduced prices on Audible books when I borrow the corresponding title through KU. I don't see myself keeping KU long term, but I may pay for another month or two, depending on the selection.
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Old 05-19-2017, 01:47 AM   #15
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I've subscribed to KU since its inception. But for the last couple of years at least, Amazon has offered a reduced rate (33% off monthly rate for a one year commitment, I think 40% off for a 2 year commitment) on Prime Day (towards end of July). I am not sure I'll renew this year; I find myself borrowing from public library more of late, which apart from being free, is by and large the kind of reading I prefer to what is available in KU (though the best of KU is very good). So I think some months I do not 'get my money's worth', since there's more pressure to finish the PL borrow within 21 days (with no assurance I can renew right away) than the KU borrows, which has no time limit. Still $6.68/mo is not a lot of money, and I'm sure KU authors do not complain that the payout pool is larger when there are more subscribers doing less reading. So I'll probably renew again, unless I have no internet access on Prime Day.
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