Is Kindle Unlimited Worth It in 2021? This Librarian Says Yes (2023)

The title of this article says it all: Is Amazon’s Kindle Unlimited worth it in 2021? If you’re wondering whether or not to purchase Kindle Unlimited, look no further. This Kindle Unlimited review has you covered. We’ll go through all the pro’s and con’s about subscribing to Amazon’s on-demand free eBooks.

Is Kindle Unlimited Worth It in 2021? This Librarian Says Yes (1)

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I’m approaching this from my own perspective as a librarian. As a Master of Library and Information Science grad student, I took a fair bit of courses on digital library topics, so I feel qualified to assess Kindle Unlimited, which is, after all, a digital library subscription service, to high standards.

Let’s get started!

First: The Basics of Kindle Unlimited

Kindle Unlimited is a paid monthly subscription that gives you access to an extensive catalog in Amazon’s Kindle library.

For $9.99 a month, all Kindle Unlimited books are free to you (your location might charge sales tax).

You can borrow up to 10 Kindle Unlimited books at a time.

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Once you have 10 out and are looking to borrow another one, Amazon lets you choose which book or multiple books to return.

You can cancel your subscription at any time through Amazon.

You can enjoy books, audiobooks, and magazines enrolled in Kindle Unlimited.

Is Kindle Unlimited Worth It in 2021? This Librarian Says Yes (2)

You cam read wherever you want:

  • On a Kindle
  • In your web browser
  • In the Kindle app on a digital device, and so on.

Your settings are synched across devices so you never lose your place.

So you don’t have to own a Kindle or Amazon device in order to enjoy the benefits of Kindle Unlimited.

Now let’s explore the pro’s of Kindle Unlimited.

Pro’s of Kindle Unlimited

There are plenty of pro’s about signing up for Kindle Unlimited. Let’s go over a few of them:

1) Huge catalog of books to read or listen to for free

Kindle Unlimited boasts over a million books and counting in its catalog, far more than anyone can actually read in a lifetime.

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Is Kindle Unlimited Worth It in 2021? This Librarian Says Yes (3)

But if you’re up for the challenge, go right ahead… you’ll have plenty to pick from across every genre you wish to read.

2) More major publishers adding books to Kindle Unlimited

It used to be the case that very few “traditionally” published books were available in Kindle Unlimited. Sure, the Kindle Unlimited catalog had books like the Harry Potter series that you could read for free, but early on KU got the reputation of just being a collection of mediocre books no one wanted to read.

I’m so glad to tell you how much things have changed. More of the Big 5 publishers are now joining Kindle Unlimited. For instance, HarperCollins has recently added more titles to Kindle Unlimited.

3) You can binge through a book series

Ever get frustrated about having to buy each individual book in a series? I do! I’m on a very limited budget, which makes me reluctant to start a book series that I know I might get hooked on and feel obligated to buy each and every installment. That can get expensive real fast.

Enter Kindle Unlimited.

Kindle Unlimited means you get to marathon read your way through a book series without paying for each individual book separately. That’s a great way to save money and an even better way to experience reading, with the next book ready to go in just a few clicks.

4 – You’ll be supporting indie authors

Many indie authors—like myself—offer their books for free through Kindle Unlimited. How exactly does that work, you might be asking. Well, for each page read on Kindle Unlimited, the author gets a commission. For many indie authors, Kindle Unlimited reads bring in more of a profit than selling their books just as paperbacks or Kindle eBooks.

Personally, I have published my books in the Kindle Unlimited program because it lowers the barrier to access Brave Brain: 365 Quotes about Hope and Healing for Mental Health Recovery available in Kindle Unlimited at various times—like during Mental Health Awareness Month—because it’s a helpful resource for people going through mental illness. That is so important to me because it offers a free way for people to read the book without a big cost. My goal in life as a writer is to help other people, and enrolling Brave Brain in Kindle Unlimited is one way to do it. You can bet that other indie authors have a similar stance… that Kindle Unlimited gives readers a chance to access their books without financial barriers.

That’s just one reason why a Kindle Unlimited subscription is worth it: helping indie authors.

(Video) Let's Talk About My Kindle! + kindle unlimited recommendations

5) You can cancel anytime

I’m definitely not a fan of subscription services that are overly complicated to cancel or renew. I hate getting tied up with a subscription that I can’t cancel because I’m locked into some multi-month package. Like anyone, my finances fluctuate, and I expect my subscription service to adaptable to changes.

So, say you’re unhappy with Kindle Unlimited… it should be super hard and complicated to cancel the subscription, right?

Wrong! If you just want to take a month or two off, you can handle that all manually by deactivating your subscription and then reactivating it when and if you come back.

Amazon cuts out the middleman and lets you handle these tasks yourself. Though, of course, you can always reach out to customer service for more help.

Con’s of Kindle Unlimited

1) Designed for people who read digitally

I read primarily physical books. I’m just more used to it, though I’m slowly reading more eBooks and audiobooks. If you read on paper almost exclusively, then Kindle Unlimited might not be a good fit for you since its offerings are all digital: audiobooks, books, and magazines.

2) The catalog changes a lot

As an indie author whose books are available in Kindle Unlimited, I know from experience that a writer or a publishing house might pull a book from KU.

That is a bit different from traditional publishing: it’s not like a publisher or author could just withdraw their book from a library without warning.

This setup gives more power to writers and publishers, but what if you’re in the middle of a series and suddenly the final books leave Kindle Unlimited and you have to pay for them? That could be pretty inconvenient.

3) It can be hard to find what you’re looking for

One thing I love about Amazon’s book coverage is the Best Books of the Month feature that comes out every month. I usually go right down the line and pre-order or request books of interest from the library.

Unfortunately, that’s not the case with Kindle Unlimited. There’s no original content being created by Amazon to show you the Best Kindle Unlimited Books of the Month or “Best Kindle Unlimited Contemporary Romance” and so on. Instead, you have to do a fair bit of searching because Amazon relies on an algorithm of your past purchases and views to “curate” what KU books you might like. That can be pretty daunting. And if you can’t easily find what you’re searching for, what’s the point of paying for it?

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4) You can get free eBooks, audiobooks, and digital magazines from most libraries

Kindle Unlimited isn’t the only way to access free digital book and magazine content. Many libraries now offer free eBooks, audiobooks, and magazines at no cost to you. These services, like OverDrive and Libby, also boast wide selections. So why spend money on a subscription service? If you’re tech-savvy and your library has these services, Kindle Unlimited might not be worth it.

Ultimate Verdict: Should You Sign up for Kindle Unlimited?

Kindle Unlimited is a great way to expand your access to books, audiobooks, and magazines. If you’re on a tight budget, committing to $9.99 a month could help save you money the more you take advantage of what Kindle Unlimited has to offer. For instance, rather than purchasing two $9.99 or up books a month, you could subscribe to Kindle Unlimited and cut that total spending in half.

Additionally, new titles are added all the time, including books by Big 5 (major) publishing houses, you’d support indie authors by joining.

You can easily cancel if subscribing to Kindle Unlimited isn’t right for you.

If you don’t plan to read a lot from the Kindle Unlimited library, then it probably doesn’t make sense to sign up for the service.

Kindle Unlimited is also ideal for people who read digitally; in other words, if you don’t read on a Kindle or device, you might not enjoy Kindle Unlimited because it does not include physical books.

Also, you can get eBooks, audiobooks, and digital magazines for free from many libraries.

Still, given that the first month is free, there’s a low risk to trying Kindle Unlimited and explore what the catalog does and does not have to offer.

How to Sign Up for Kindle Unlimited

Signing up for Kindle Unlimited is easy and takes no time at all. Plus, you get your first month free when you sign up here.

Is Kindle Unlimited Worth It in 2021? This Librarian Says Yes (4)
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It can’t hurt to try this subscription service on for free and see how you like it. So give it a go and see if unlimited reading is something you’ll enjoy.

And that’s the Freelance Librarian’s verdict!



Do books get taken off of Kindle Unlimited? ›

Do you own the books you get from Kindle Unlimited? No, it's like a lending library – once you cancel your subscription, you'll no longer have access to those books.

How many books can I borrow Kindle Unlimited 2022? ›

A subscription to Kindle Unlimited gives you access to borrow from a large selection of titles without due dates. A Kindle Unlimited subscription costs $9.99 a month and you can cancel anytime. Use your Amazon account to borrow up to 20 eligible Kindle Unlimited titles at a time.

Why are some authors not on Kindle Unlimited? ›

Authors put their books into Amazon's Kindle Unlimited via an opt-in system called Kindle Select. This means that for 90 days at a time, we can't publish our eBooks anywhere else and, unless we give Amazon a very good reason to release us from that 90 day contract term, we're stuck there.

Do authors still get paid for Kindle Unlimited? ›

You'll get one royalty payment for Kindle Unlimited (KU). We'll pay according to the same payment schedule and payment method you selected for your other KDP sales. We review the size of the KDP Select Global Fund each month in order to make it compelling for authors to enroll their eBooks in KDP Select.

Is Kindle Unlimited free with Prime? ›

Does Amazon Prime Include Kindle Unlimited? No, Amazon Prime doesn't come with a Kindle Unlimited subscription. Prime Reading is the Prime-member equivalent of Kindle Unlimited but at a significantly reduced range. Compared to Kindle Unlimited's 2 million titles, Prime Reading only has up to 1,000 titles.

How many books can you read per month with Kindle Unlimited? ›

Kindle Unlimited is separate from Amazon Prime and the Kindle Owners' Lending Library. Instead, it is a service that stands apart and comes with a monthly fee of $9.99 with no limit on how many books you read in a month. The only limitation is having ten titles at one given time.

What is going on with Kindle Unlimited? ›

Amazon let customers know on Tuesday they can no longer rent or buy books or pay for Kindle Unlimited subscriptions using the Kindle app. In an email, the company explained people will have to pay for the digital content on a web browser and then access the books through their app's digital library.

What is happening to Kindle Unlimited? ›

“To remain in compliance with updated Google Play Store policies, the option to buy or rent Kindle books or subscribe to Kindle Unlimited will no longer be available in the Kindle app for Android with the release of app version 8.58,” read an excerpt of an email sent to users of the Kindle app for Android.

Can 2 people use Kindle Unlimited at the same time? ›

Best answer: Technically speaking, Amazon Kindle Unlimited is an individual subscription service that is not designed to be shared. However, there may be a way around that if you're comfortable living in a gray area. What is Amazon Kindle Unlimited?

Is Kindle Unlimited good for new authors? ›

Even if you're not ranked number one, you can still get better visibility by being on those lists. Thomas: One of the nice things about Kindle Unlimited is that readers can try out a new author for a very low risk.

How do authors get their books on Kindle Unlimited? ›

To be included in Kindle Unlimited (KU), you must meet the KDP Select requirements and enroll your book in KDP Select. If you do not want your eBook(s) in KU, you have the option to remove your eBook from KDP Select at the end of your enrollment.

Why are so many books not available on Kindle Unlimited? ›

Amazon requires exclusivity — what that means to readers.

In order to make my books available in the Kindle Unlimited umbrella, I would have to take them away from every reader who reads through or shops on iBooks, Barnes and Noble, Kobo, GooglePlay, Tolina, and a whole lot of other places around the world.

Is Kindle publishing still profitable in 2022? ›

The short answer is no. The challenge with making a lot of money publishing books on Amazon is that you are selling low-ticket products. A Kindle eBook sells for anywhere between $2.99-$9.99, while a paperback book sells for up to $20.

How much do authors make per book on Amazon Unlimited? ›

For every 1,000 pages read, authors get between $4.00 and $5.00, which equates to $0.004 and $0.005 per page. On average, Amazon pays around $4.78 per 1,000 pages. With KENP, it doesn't matter if the 1,000 pages were read by a couple of readers who finished the book or by 500 readers who only read a couple of pages.

Do you get to keep the books you read with Kindle Unlimited? ›

You can keep a Kindle Unlimited book in your personal library for as long as you have the subscription active. If you decide to cancel the Kindle Unlimited membership, you will no longer have access to the Kindle Unlimited books downloaded to your reading device.

How much is Kindle Unlimited for a year? ›

A Kindle Unlimited subscription costs $9.99 per month, or $119.98 per year.

How much is Kindle Unlimited 2022? ›

A Kindle Unlimited subscription costs $9.99 per month. There's also a 30-day free trial, which you can use to see how you like the service before putting any money down.

What is difference between Prime reading and Kindle Unlimited? ›

Is Kindle Unlimited the Same as Prime Reading? No, Kindle Unlimited is a separate subscription service that offers access to a much larger number of titles, whereas Prime Reading has a limited selection, but a subscription is included with every Amazon Prime membership.

What happens to books after Kindle Unlimited expires? ›

After the billing date passes, you will lose access to Kindle Unlimited books that you have downloaded. However, your bookmarks, notes, and highlights within the book will be saved to your Amazon account. They are available if you access the book in the future.

Can you only read one book at a time on Kindle Unlimited? ›

You can read up to 20 books at any given point in time as a Kindle Unlimited member. If you want to read more titles, you can simply return the books that you've completed. You can also avail up to 3 full magazine subscriptions, which do not count towards your borrowing limit.

How long can you keep Kindle Unlimited books? ›

Kindle Unlimited doesn't have a due date for returning the books. It allows you to keep 20 ebooks in your library. If you want to read another book and have reached the limit, return one of your current borrowed books. If you cancel the KU subscription, you can still keep the ebooks till your subscription period ends.

How many people use Kindle Unlimited? ›

There are limitations with our data, and we're making quite a few educated assumptions, but we think it's safe to assume that there at least 3 million readers in Amazon's Kindle Unlimited.

Is Kindle Unlimited better than Kindle? ›

The key difference between Kindle and Kindle Unlimited is that Kindle is a reading device proprietary to Amazon that comes with an e-ink display. Whereas Kindle Unlimited is a subscription service from Amazon that allows users access to over 2 million titles at a monthly subscription fee.

Is Kindle Paperwhite being discontinued? ›

This means that the current generation Kindle Basic 2019, previous generation Kindle Paperwhite and Kindle Oasis 3 will only be supported until 2024-2026. The latest generation Kindle Paperwhite 11th Generation and the Kindle Paperwhite Signature Edition will be supported until the end of the decade.

Can two Kindles on the same account read the same book? ›

You can add multiple Kindles to your account. Having two or more Kindles registered to the same account is useful if you and other family members have the same tastes in books. If you buy a book on one Kindle, you can read it on another Kindle at the same time without having to buy it again.

Can I share a Kindle Unlimited book with a friend? ›

Share with Anyone: As mentioned above, shareable Kindle books can be sent to anyone via email. Once you share, your friend will have seven days to download the book and then 14 days to read it before it is returned to you.

Does Kindle Unlimited include audible? ›

So, if you're wondering: “Does Kindle Unlimited include Audible?” The answer is a resounding: “Yes and No!” Kindle Unlimited includes some of the Audible books and allows you to listen to Audible free of the usual charge per audiobook, but you don't get access to everything from Audible's catalog.

How much does the author get per Kindle book? ›

Go for 70% Royalties

How do authors qualify for the 70% royalty option for Kindle books? As previously mentioned, you can qualify for Amazon's 70% royalty program by pricing your ebook between $2.99 and $9.99 and securing copyright protection.

Why is Kindle Unlimited good for authors? ›

Kindle Unlimited works for readers and authors: The readers can borrow the book they love and read on the go. Authors can publish the books they worked so hard to write and present their works in front of millions of readers who have subscribed to Kindle United. It's a win-win.

Do Kindle authors know who buys their books? ›

Authors constantly wonder who their readers are. Amazon doesn't share customer contact information, so you never know who actually buys your books. However, there is a secret way to identify your target audience. Go to your book's Amazon page and look at the "Customers Also Bought" section.

How long do books stay on Kindle Unlimited? ›

Kindle Unlimited doesn't have a due date for returning the books. It allows you to keep 20 ebooks in your library. If you want to read another book and have reached the limit, return one of your current borrowed books. If you cancel the KU subscription, you can still keep the ebooks till your subscription period ends.

Do you own the books on Kindle Unlimited? ›

You don't actually own the books that you read. You can read as many books as you like with Kindle Unlimited, but you can borrow only 20 titles at any given point.

What happens after Kindle Unlimited expires? ›

Ending the Kindle Unlimited means the subscription won't be renewed, but don't expect to get a refund. When you decide to keep the subscription, your credit card will be automatically charged at the end of a current period to continue the subscription.

Does Kindle Unlimited mean all books? ›

The service doesn't include every book on Amazon or Audible, but many of the best-sellers are included. You just need to look for the titles marked with the Kindle Unlimited logo.

Do books need returned to Kindle Unlimited? ›

Kindle Unlimited users can only have 20 titles borrowed at the same time, so you'll need to return books in order to borrow new ones.

Can I share my Kindle Unlimited with family? ›

Family members in your Amazon Household can access more eBooks and other digital content through Family Library. Family Library helps you share digital content with the eligible family members added in your Amazon Household. You can link two adult Amazon accounts to share eBooks, audiobooks, apps and games.

How many books can I read for free with Kindle Unlimited? ›

How does Kindle Unlimited work? Kindle Unlimited lets you borrow up to 10 books, audiobooks, and magazines at a time, and then return them whenever you're done! Again, you can read KU titles on any device — not just a Kindle — so long as you have an Amazon account.

Do Kindle books expire? ›

Once the lending period for a Kindle Book ends, it will expire and automatically return to your library (you can also return it early if you'd like). Expired Kindle Books still appear on your Kindle device or reading app but can't be opened.

Can I pay for a whole year of Kindle Unlimited? ›

Generally speaking, Kindle Unlimited is a monthly subscription service, and Amazon doesn't offer a standard yearly subscription with Kindle Unlimited. However, you can take advantage of the Kindle Unlimited Membership Gift option to get a 6-month, 12-month, or 24-month subscription.

How do I remove books from my Kindle but keep in library? ›

Once you are sure you wish to archive your book, press the center button to select “Remove from Device”. Once archived, an item can be recovered. Archiving simply removes the item from your Kindle, but it maintains record of purchase and download.


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