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Tuesday, 5 February 2019

Alternatives to Kindle Unlimited





Many readers swear by Kindle Unlimited, and on the surface, it's a great deal, if you can get it.

For those who don't know, you pay Amazon a monthly fee (of $9.99, at the time of this writing), and you get to read as many books as you want from their selection.

But the service isn't without its pitfalls and disadvantages. Did you know, for example, that Kindle Unlimited isn't available in many countries around the world? And the list of countries where it is available is quite limited: unless you happen to be in the United States, UK, Germany, France, Italy, Spain, India, China, Japan, Brazil, Mexico, Canada, or Australia, you're out of luck. That's a significant portion of the planet left out in the cold.

Secondly, not all books available on Amazon are available to read on Kindle Unlimited. That's because, in order to make a book available to the program, Amazon requires authors to sign an agreement promising to not sell their books anywhere else. No Kobo, no Smashwords, no Google Play Books... not even their own website! As you can imagine, many authors simply aren't prepared to cut out all those non-Amazon shoppers. Not to mention libraries (which are also not allowed); if you live in a country where Amazon's not available, or you can't afford to buy your books, sorry. That's the price we pay, to make our books available in Kindle Unlimited.

And Kindle Unlimited isn't the cheapest service offering unlimited reading, either.

See below for three other great subscription reading services, cheaper and with a wider selection.

Remember, because of the exclusivity clause, you're not going to find any books on these platforms, which are also available on Kindle Unlimited. So if you'd very much like to not be a part of locking a significant portion of the world's population out of great books, you might want to consider going with one of these services instead.

Scribd

This is my favourite of the three. They launched their unlimited reading service way back in October 2013, so their offering actually predates Kindle Unlimited by almost a year (the latter having only launched in July 2014).

The service costs $8.99, and they offer a 1-month free trial. But if you use this affiliate link to sign up, they'll give you two months free instead.

You might also be interested to note that all of my books are available there, so once you've signed up, search for Graham Downs and start reading! :-)


 


24Symbols

I've only recently been exposed to 24Symbols, and don't know that much about them, to be honest. They also cost $8.99 per month, but I'm unsure whether they offer a free trial. They claim to have over 1 million books in their catalogue, though, and you can browse and search their entire library without signing in.

 


Playster

This is the most confusing offering I've found, and I know very little about them. They seem to be a bit of a "new kid" (although I stand to be corrected) and offer various plans for not just books, but movies and TV shows too. Their unlimited ebooks plan is only $1.50 per month, though, which is by far the cheapest of the four offerings!

They may be worth a look.


 

So what about you? Do you already subscribe to one of these services, or maybe one I haven't mentioned here?

Or are you a Kindle Unlimited subscriber who's now considering switching? Or maybe, after reading this, you've decided to sign up for Kindle Unlimited?

I'd love to engage with you. Please pop me a comment in the box below, and let's get this conversation started.

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