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Kindle (not so) Unlimited

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Amazon have a new programme called Kindle Unlimited which offers you "unlimited access to over 650,000 titles and thousands of audiobooks on any device for just £7.99 a month". Seems tempting, however even a few minutes research reveal that "Unlimited" is a bit of a misnomer.

For a start, although this is probably not a huge problem unless you're away from Internet access for quite some time, you can only have a maximum of ten e-books on loan to you at a time under this programme. When you request the eleventh book it asks you to return one of the other ten.

But the more significant issues is the 650,000 total. I tried searching for Lee Child as his books are currently my light read of choice1 and not a trace of his books if you search for him in Amazon Unlimited. A quick Google search revealed why. This article in PC Pro explains:

A report on The Bookseller suggests no major UK publishers have signed up directly with Kindle Unlimited, but titles covered by the Independent Alliance - which includes Bloomsbury, Faber and Faber, Canongate, Granta and more - have signed up.

However, other reports - and a scroll through the titles - suggest Kindle Unlimited is so far mostly made up of books Amazon itself publishes through its Kindle Direct Publishing, with as many as 500,000 of the books on its US version coming from its own collection.

The 650,000 figure is bulked out with hundreds of public domain titles - Persuasion is on Kindle Unlimited, but also available for free normally - as well as so-called genre fiction, such as romance and crime novels. If you're a fan of such titles, Kindle Unlimited may well be for you - there's a lot of both on the site.

Oh well, so much for that then. Think I'll stick to Project Gutenberg and LibriVox for out of copyright books and the library for my Lee Child fix.

  1. Yes, yes, I know, but he's easy reading.

Tags: books, internet Written 25/09/14

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