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Tuesday, 25 July 2017

Free books with Amazon Kindle Unlimited

Do you like books? I like books. Do you like paying for books? No, me neither. I re-read books time and time again to keep my book intake up without thinning my wallet.

Normally this is where you'd get a recommendation for a magical place called a 'library'. Except to get to a library you have to go outside where there are people, or wait weeks to borrow an e-book.

Thankfully, there's another option!

Amazon Kindle Unlimited

Amazon Kindle Unlimited is offering a 30-Day Free Trial where you can download and read any book you want immediately (assuming the author has signed up for Kindle Unlimited). It's like a library, but better because you don't have to wait for someone else to return the book.

If you're a big reader Kindle Unlimited can be amazing for your budget. I tend to buy a book a month for somewhere between $6 and $17. Kindle Unlimited is a measly $13.99 a month (or $10 if you're in the States).

I keep my book budget down by re-reading things constantly. I don't buy a new book in a series until I've re-read the start of the series, which means buying things less often and generally not at brand new prices. However it does mean that I don't get to read as many new things as I would like.

I read an average 2-3 books a month. With Kindle Unlimited I could be reading 2-3 new books each month, for pretty much the same price as buying one book. So it's not unlimited free books, but 30 days of free books, followed by heavily discounted books.

Read anywhere, without a Kindle

Okay, but LadyFIRE, I don't have a Kindle - no worries at all my good friend! You can download the Kindle reading app to your phone, tablet, or you can just read on your computer. This actually works out great for me because I have a tendency to forget my Kindle at home, or just forget to charge it.

Authors get paid!

Here's something important that happens with Kindle Unlimited that doesn't happen at your local library - authors still get paid. This is kind of important to me because I want authors to be able to eat, and put a roof over their head. These nice amenities tend to lead to authors wiring more books that I can read.

After a bit of digging around I've pulled together some numbers. For a straight out sale via Amazon, an author pays a 30% commission. So for that $10 book you purchased, the author only recieves $7. When Amazon does their daily deals and you pay a measly $1 for a book, the author only sees 70cents.

On the other hand, when you are using Kindle Unlimited, authors are paid by page read. This appeals to me in two ways - one, when I buy something that sounded great but turned out terrible the author still got my money, and that makes me a little grouchy. However, point two - if the author writes something amazing and I read it again and again, they get paid every time!

Kindle Unlimited uses a system called Kindle Edition Normalized Page Count (they're up to version 2.0). This is to prevent authors from using large font or paragraph breaks to try and push up their page count. With this system authors are paid approximately $0.005 per page. While that doesn't sound like much, it means that a 300 page book is worth $1.50 every time it's read.

Of course, for a well known author like Margaret Atwood (read the Handmaidens Tale! It's been out since the 80s!) $1.50 for 300 words is well below their usual earnings, but for an indie author just starting out Kindle Unlimited creates a great system where they don't have to convince people their books are worth paying for. You can test out a new author without committing money to them.

Not another subscription service

I'll be honest, I'm normally against subscriptions. A lot of people are wasting money with them by paying for things they don't actually use (remember Foxtel and having hundreds of boring channels) or they are wasting time by watching way too much Netflix. If you want to go to the library and wait for weeks for books to become available then that is better for your wallet.

However, Kindle Unlimited skips both of these issues because books are amazing. Non-fiction books can make you a better investor, teach you woodwork or a whole new language. Fiction books, well escapism is great and depending on your chosen genre you might end up knowing a lot more about the difference between a dragon and a wyvern that you could ever need (hint, count the legs).

Plus, in case you missed it at the start of the post, you can try it for 30 days for free. Don't like it? Don't pay for it. But give it a crack and see how you feel about the bliss of endless books.

Boring disclaimer time! Links to Amazon Kindle Unlimited are affiliate links. You still get a 30-day free trial, you pay the same price as everyone else, but I get a teeny tiny kickback from Amazon. If enough people sign up I could buy a coffee!!

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