Amazon’s Kindle Unlimited

This program is new, and if you’re a reader, it’s a heck of a good deal.

Consider: for just under $10 a month, a bit less than $120 a year, you can read as many books as you want.

It’s like moving the public library into your home, but without the need to store all those books.

So how many books does it take to ‘break even’?

If you read only one bestseller in a month, you’re ahead. Ebook versions of many new books run $15 or so; I paid that for Jim Butcher’s new Dresden Files novel. If you like the Longmire TV program, you can buy Craig Johnson’s books; he’s the author, and each book runs about $10, mas o menos. (Note that I don’t know if either author’s books are listed and available through this service, but one would hope they would be. I didn’t check. But it appears to be an extension of the Kindle Lending Library system. A few of my books have already been ‘borrowed’ through this service.)  Such works as the Lord of the Rings books and the complete Harry Potter series ARE available; I simply didn’t browse all the titles or authors.

Or you could try all those new authors; people like me. Both the Darwin’s World books cost slightly more than $10 and the next book (hopefully finished before the end of the year) will cost about the same. Meantime, the two books in the Wizards trilogy cost that much, and the next book (due about the end of this month or the middle of August) will be introduced at the same price.

Cost: we’re debating whether to extend our newspaper subscription. That costs about $200 a month. I recently canceled a magazine subscription, The Economist; that one cost half again as much as KU, and for only one magazine each week.

So how about writers? It’s a wonderful thing for writers, according to what I’ve read. If you read at least 10% of a book, the writer gets paid. Amazon’s software keeps track of what you’ve ordered and how much you’ve read; it’s useful to sync the book over several devices. I usually read on my iPad, sometimes read on my desktop computer, occasionally read using my old Kindle; but whichever device I use, I don’t need to search for where I left off reading; the device does that for me. It also updates my list of new purchases, so I can download a book when I order it, regardless of which platform I’m using.

Something else; once you’ve paid for the service, all those books are essentially free for you. No additional charge. Try as many as you want, read only the ones that appeal to you (just like the library!)m and when you find an author whose work you admire, read all his books. I’ve done that…and paid a lot more than $10.

There’s a drawback, however; Amazon’s been in a legal dispute with a legacy publisher, someone who sells books written on paper. I suspect you’ll hear the howls of dismay, because IMO Amazon just drove the nail in their mass-publishing coffin. I don’t see how they can compete. Sure, people like me still love the feel of a real book; but price and storage requirements put that many ‘real’ books out of reach.

I recommend you try this; get in before the price goes up. And let me know how it works out for you, OK?

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