What Is Kindle Unlimited? The Ultimate Guide

what is kindle unlimited

Editorial Process:

Our guides and reviews are written by experts who use their real-life experience. You can learn how we write our reviews by checking our editorial process.

Some links in this article are special affiliate links. If you buy something through these links, we might get a small reward at no extra cost to you. We recommend these products because we’ve used them and really like them. This site isn’t intended to give out financial advice. You can see more about our affiliate links in our privacy policy.

Table of Contents
  • What is Kindle Unlimited?
  • How much does Kindle Unlimited cost?
  • How do you sign up and use Kindle Unlimited?
  • What’s in the Kindle Unlimited catalog?
  • Is Kindle Unlimited free?

You’ve likely asked some or all these questions if you’ve considered signing up for an ebook subscription like Kindle Unlimited.

I answer these questions (and more) in this article.

If you’re a voracious reader who wants to save money without sacrificing the quality of the books you read, you’re in the right place.

Let’s begin.

What Is Kindle Unlimited, and How Does It Work?

kindle unlimited homepage

Kindle Unlimited is a monthly subscription service that lets you access over four million Kindle titles. You can enjoy thousands of audiobooks, comic books, and subscriptions to popular magazines.

The subscription service doesn’t include every book on Audible, although there are many best-sellers you can borrow.

How Does Kindle Unlimited Work?

A Kindle Unlimited subscription is similar to Spotify and Netflix. However, you can access unlimited audiobooks, ebooks, comic books, and magazines instead of music, movies, or TV series.

With a Kindle Unlimited membership, you can access millions of Kindle ebooks and thousands of audiobooks. You can also borrow up to 20 titles simultaneously.

Log into your Amazon account and look for titles with the Kindle Unlimited logo. If you have already signed up for this service, eligible books have a $0.00 Kindle Unlimited button on their pages.

Click the eligible book you want to read and add it to your list of borrowed titles that you can access through the Kindle app.

You can manage all your borrowed ebooks within your Amazon account.

You can also sign up for magazine subscriptions, including Good Housekeeping.

How Much Does a Kindle Unlimited Subscription Cost?

91100e6f 1a61 4bb8 b637 b126114bd266 1

Starting on May 11, 2023, the cost of Kindle Unlimited access increased from $9.99 to $11.99 monthly.

If $11.99 for a Kindle monthly subscription is outside your budget, you can wait for discounts on Kindle Unlimited plans. Amazon sometimes offers promotions for free months or discounted monthly rates.

Is Kindle Unlimited Free for Prime Members?

No. Amazon Prime doesn’t include a Kindle Unlimited subscription. Although an Amazon Prime membership has many benefits (including Amazon Prime Video and Prime Music), Kindle Unlimited isn’t one of them and is a separate subscription service.

Thus, to enjoy Amazon’s subscription service for books and audiobooks, you must pay for it separately.

What Titles Can I Find on Kindle Unlimited?

Kindle Unlimited books

Many Kindle Unlimited books are self-published indie titles.

However, you can also find an extensive selection of mainstream fiction, including the Harry Potter books, the Hunger Games series, and Nicholas Sparks novels.

You can also find critically acclaimed titles like The Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien and Margaret Atwood’s The Handmaid’s Tale.

Kindle Unlimited also has an extensive selection of non-fiction books, including The 5 AM Club by Robin Sharma and The Ultimate Book of Life Hacks by Ann Omasta and C.M. Love.

Is Kindle Unlimited Worth It?

A Kindle Unlimited membership costs $11.99 monthly or $143.88 yearly.

The price of Kindle Unlimited isn’t overly expensive, but it isn’t cheap either.

Thus, the worth of this ebook subscription depends on your reading habits (the number of books you read monthly) and the genres you enjoy.

The titles on Kindle Unlimited generally cost around $5 to $10 if you bought them separately. To make the subscription cost worth it, you’d have to be an avid reader and consume at least two to three titles monthly.

Furthermore, the service focuses more on indie and self-published books than mainstream titles. You should only get Kindle Unlimited if you prefer indie over mainstream books. Otherwise, you’re better off buying individual books from the Kindle store.

Prime Reading vs. Kindle Unlimited

Prime Reading vs. Kindle Unlimited

Kindle Unlimited and Prime Reading both let you borrow 20 titles simultaneously.

With a KU subscription, you can access over four million titles, including books, audiobooks, comic books, and magazines. Prime Reading only has over 1,000 books, so it doesn’t have as many titles as Kindle Unlimited.

Thus, avid readers who can read several books monthly may prefer Kindle Unlimited over Prime Reading.

As previously mentioned, Kindle Unlimited costs $11.99 monthly. However, Prime Reading comes free with an Amazon Prime membership.

A Prime Membership costs $14.99 for monthly billing ($179.88 annually) and $139 for annual billing. If you’re not an existing Prime Member, paying $14.99 monthly just to get Prime Reading may not be worth it.

Each subscription has pros and cons, and it’s up to you to decide which one is worth it based on your needs, preferences, and budget.

How To Sign Up for Kindle Unlimited

Here’s how to subscribe to Kindle Unlimited.

1. Go to the Amazon website and sign in to your account.

2. Click the All icon (the three horizontal lines) in the top left corner.

Click the All icon

3. Choose Kindle E-readers & books from the dropdown menu that appears.

Choose Kindle E-readers & books

4. Click Kindle Unlimited.

Click Kindle Unlimited.

5. Click the Start your 30-day free trial button, which will only appear if it’s your first time signing up for Kindle Unlimited.

Click the Start your 30-day free trial

6. Confirm your Amazon account by entering your email address and password.

7. Select your preferred payment method. For first-time Amazon users, click Add a credit or debit card and follow the additional instructions.

Only US users can access the Kindle Unlimited subscription from the website. Set your correct location to access the service.

Download the free Kindle app from the Apple or Android store or your browser.

If you’re a first-time user wondering how to purchase Kindle Unlimited, you get a free 30-day trial to help you decide if Kindle Unlimited’s monthly fee is worth it.

Kindle Unlimited Family Plan

Amazon Household homepage

You need to set up an Amazon Household to send borrowed Kindle Unlimited titles to members of your household or enable automatic sharing.

With Amazon Household, you can share ebooks, audiobooks, games, and apps with other household members. However, only the main account holder can initiate sharing for Kindle Unlimited titles.

Once you’ve set up an Amazon Household, you can share borrowed content with a household member by tapping Share Your Kindle Content on the home screen of the Kindle app.

How To Browse Kindle Unlimited Books

Kindle Unlimited titles

Browsing Kindle Unlimited titles is the same as finding ebooks on Amazon, although there’s also a dedicated page for books with the Kindle Unlimited logo.

You can also find ebooks using the search box through a web browser or the Kindle reading app.

Here’s how to find available titles on Kindle.

  1. Go to the Amazon Kindle Store.
  2. Click the All icon under the Amazon logo in the left corner.
  3. Click Kindle E-readers & books.
  4. Click Kindle books in the next menu.
  5. Use the search bar near the top of the screen to look for a book title or author.
  6. You can filter results or look for the Kindle Unlimited logo on the book covers.
  7. Borrow the book by clicking the “$0.00 Kindle Unlimited” button. Select the correct device in the dropdown menu.
  8. Once you click the read for free button, the book should appear in your Kindle library within a few minutes.

How To Cancel Kindle Unlimited

You can cancel your ebook subscription anytime if you don’t feel it’s worth it.

Here’s how.

  1. Go to Your Membership & Subscriptions and log into your Amazon account.
  2. Go to membership settings and click Cancel Kindle Unlimited Membership.
  3. Tap Cancel Membership.

Your subscription will remain active until the end of your billing cycle. After it passes, you’ll lose access to the Kindle Unlimited library.

If you paid for a long-term subscription and canceled it before the subscription period ends, Amazon will refund you for the remaining months. However, you can’t restart your previous subscription if you change your mind.

Kindle Unlimited Alternatives

Other ebook subscription services are available, some with a lower monthly fee or a wider selection of mainstream titles.

If you feel the benefits of Kindle Unlimited aren’t worth it, consider these alternatives.


24symbols homepage

24symbols costs only $8.99 monthly, which is more affordable than most competitors.

While 24symbols lets you access over 500,000 ebooks, these are mostly independently published or lesser-known titles. It may not be ideal if you primarily read mainstream titles.


Scribd homepage

Scribd has millions of books but carries more mainstream titles than Kindle Unlimited.

Like Kindle Unlimited, Scribd offers a 30-day free trial and costs $11.99 monthly after the trial period.

However, users can only borrow up to three ebooks or two audiobooks monthly. Once you hit this limit, Scribd reduces your reading options to a smaller selection of books.

Scribd is a legitimate platform for avid readers, so I definitely recommend it.

Considering the cost of mainstream titles, Scribd is an excellent deal for voracious readers.


Bookmate homepage

Bookmate has over 50,000 books in its collection.

Unlike Kindle Unlimited and Scribd, Bookmate offers only a seven-day free trial. After the trial period, the subscription fee is $8.99 monthly.

While Amazon Kindle Unlimited has a more extensive selection of titles, Bookmate has distribution deals with Bloomsbury and HarperCollins, allowing it to carry more mainstream titles.

Another edge of Bookmate over other ebook subscription services is the social element. You can create custom profiles and follow friends to see titles they’ve been reading.

Bookmate may be your best bet if you love sharing and discussing books with others.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Can You Use Kindle Without Subscription?

Yes. You can use your Kindle e-reader to read ebooks without subscribing to Kindle Unlimited. Kindle Unlimited is a separate service.

Is Kindle Unlimited Free With Prime?

No. Kindle Unlimited is not part of your Amazon Prime subscription.

How To Get Kindle Unlimited for Free?

If you’ve never subscribed, you can sign up for Kindle Unlimited’s 30-day free trial.

Although they’re rare, you can also wait for special Amazon promotions that offer free months of Kindle Unlimited.

How Much Is Kindle Unlimited With Amazon Prime?

If Kindle isn’t free, how much is Kindle Unlimited with Prime?

Even if you’re a Prime member, Kindle Unlimited costs $9.99 monthly.

Does Amazon Offer a Kindle Unlimited Yearly Subscription?

Yes. If you catch an Amazon discounted offer, you can only get a Kindle Unlimited discount on longer subscription packages (6 to 24 months).

How Much Is Kindle Unlimited for a Year?

Kindle Unlimited costs $119.88 for an entire year ($9.99 for 12 months)

Kindle doesn’t offer a discounted annual plan, but you can get cheaper plans if you catch Amazon discount offers.

How Much Is Kindle Unlimited for Students?

The Kindle Unlimited subscription costs the same for everyone else, including students.

While Amazon does not offer discounted student plans, Amazon Prime Student members can enjoy free access to Kindle Unlimited for up to three months instead of the standard 30-day free trial.

To get this deal, eligible students must use their Prime Student account when signing up for the free trial.

How Many Books Can You Borrow on Kindle Unlimited?

You can borrow up to 20 eligible books simultaneously.

What Is Included in Kindle Unlimited?

The service includes over 3 million book titles, thousands of audiobooks through Audible, and magazine subscriptions.

How Much Do Books Cost on Kindle?

You can buy ebooks individually on Amazon if you don’t want to subscribe to Kindle Unlimited.

Kindle ebooks typically cost between $4 and $15. Some titles are free or have lower prices (like $0.99).

Kindle books are generally cheaper than paperbacks and hardcover books.

Are All Books Available on Kindle Unlimited?

Not every book on Amazon or Audible is available on the Kindle Unlimited subscription. However, the service includes most best-sellers.

Do You Get to Keep Books from Kindle Unlimited?

Yes. The service does not have a due date for returning books. However, you’ll lose access to your content library once you cancel your subscription.

How Long Can I Keep Kindle Unlimited Books?

Amazon’s ebook subscription service has no due date for returning books. If you reach the 20 ebooks per month limit, return one of your borrowed books to get another.

The Bottom Line

I hope my Amazon Kindle Unlimited pricing guide made it easier for you to decide whether the service is worth it.

Choose Kindle Unlimited if you read two to three books monthly and enjoy audiobooks. Otherwise, find a cheaper ebook subscription or purchase books individually on Amazon.

If Kindle Unlimited isn’t ideal, consider Audible. However, learning what Audible is and how it works is best to make an informed decision.

Written by: Omar Deryan

Founder of OJ Digital Solutions

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Request a Quote

Do you need help with anything in particular? Fill out this form and we'll get back to you.