A good friend of mine gives her adult children three Christmas gifts annually: something to wear, something they need, and something to read. Note: she has to ask them what book they want. Or provide a generic gift certificate so they can choose it themselves.
Have you priced paperbacks or hardbacks in stores lately? They’re expensive, hence the specialty of receiving a desired title as a present. And physical books take up room. Yes, there are advantages: the pleasure of holding a book of paper, smelling the ink, turning real pages… but they take up space in a likely already crowded home. Oh, wait, I already said that– they take up space. (My #1 challenge.)
What if you could give a more than one book for the reasonable price of $10?
What if the recipient could choose what they want to read, over and over and over?
If the people on your gift list are big readers, a subscription to Kindle Unlimited could give them months of reading enjoyment, for a fraction of the price of buying books individually.
Be advised: the three subscription services I mention herein are not all the same. They are definitely not “one size fits all”.
Tidbits to keep in mind:
1. Amazon isn’t the only eBook subscription service, but they’re by and far the market leader. I imagine they’ll be around for a good long while (whereas other companies [Oyster and Entitle] have closed their doors within the past year or two).
2. Not every title is available on every service. Many books are exclusive to Amazon, and therefore won’t be found on Scribd or 24Symbols.
3. Digital publishing and the world of eBooks change rapidly. It’s possible Google will enter the subscription market (they bought Oyster when it closed).
4. Most of the books available within Kindle Unlimited (K.U.) are Independently Published. Not all, but most. It depends entirely upon the individual reader whether this is good or bad. If YOU love my books (and many other sweet western historical romances), you’ll find K.U. is a blessing, a tool that allows you (or the gift-receiver) to live within your entertainment budget for books (because most of what you want is included in K.U.). You’ll find new books daily within this genre, proudly produced by Independent Authors (a.k.a. Indie, a.k.a. Self Published) to fill your voracious hunger for more of the same. If Michael Crichton is your favorite author (and all you want to read) you’ll find your K.U. subscription sits unused and is a waste of money. Keep in mind that Indie Authors (and their products) are not created equal.
1. For kindle owners, it’s a no-brainer. They’re already consuming eBooks regularly.
2. No kindle required. Amazon provides a free app to allow people to read kindle books on devices they already own: iPhone, tablets, iPad, Android smartphones and tablets, Windows (laptop, desktop), etc. I read kindle books with the kindle app on my iPad mini. Works splendidly.
3. The gift can be a true surprise: if they’re not interested, it can be exchanged for Amazon credit to be used on whatever they need/want, OR may be used to extend an already active Amazon K.U. plan such that your gifted months are seamless with those the recipient pays for.
4. It’s a gift that keeps on giving. Increments available: 6 months, 12 months, or 24 months. (See pricing, below.)
5. It’s literally like giving an avid reader hundreds of titles. I’ve just finished polling nearly ten active K.U. subscribers about their experiences, quantity of books read, feelings about their membership and more. Most K.U. fans read a book a day or more. (Granted, some of these are books of novella-length.)
6 months = $59.94
12 months = $119.88
24 months = $239.76
Scribd offers gift subscriptions in increments of 3 months, 6 months, and 12 months. The Scribd app works with iPhone and iPad, Android smartphone and tablet, Nook HD or Samsung Galaxy Tab 4 Nook, and a 2nd-gen Kindle Fire or later.
How to give the gift of Scribd:
3 months = $25
6 months = $50
12 months = $100
May be delivered to your recipient by email or in paper form (you print it out and deliver yourself).
24Symbols offers subscriptions, including gift subscriptions for 1 month, 3 months, or 12 months. Subscribers can use their membership with all of the same mobile devices as the other companies. I don’t know much about 24 Symbols, having just come across them in the process of researching this article. So as always, do lots of reading yourself and make an informed decision.
How to give a subscription to 24Symbols:
1 month = $12
3 months = $27
12 months = $150
[Amazon source from image, immediately above]
NEW ARTICLE POSTED! I’ve interviewed a handful of Kindle Unlimited subscribers (predominately Western Historical Romance Readers)… and what they said about K.U. will surprise you.
Are YOU a K.U. subscriber? What thoughts came to your mind as you read this article? Do you have additional thoughts to share? Contrasting opinions? Do you agree? Please respond to this blog article in the field available, below. Thank you!
Copyright © 2015 Kristin Holt, LC