What Is Kindle Unlimited? The Ultimate Guide

what is kindle unlimited

Omar Founder of OJ Digital Solutions

Table of Contents

Are you a voracious reader who wants to save money without sacrificing the quality of the books you read?

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

  • 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?

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

Let’s begin.

Kindle vs. Kindle Unlimited: What Is Kindle Unlimited?

Kindle Unlimited is a service that lets you access over three million Kindle titles (including thousands of audiobooks) through Audible. You can also enjoy subscriptions to popular magazines.

A Kindle Unlimited subscription is similar to Spotify and Netflix, although you access books instead of music, movies, or TV series.

With a Kindle Unlimited membership, you can borrow up to 20 titles simultaneously.

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

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.

How Does Kindle Unlimited Work?

A Kindle Unlimited membership allows you to access millions of Kindle ebooks and thousands of audiobooks.

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

How To Sign Up for Kindle Unlimited

what is kindle unlimited

Here’s how to subscribe to Kindle Unlimited.

  1. Go to the Amazon website.

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

  3. Click Kindle e-readers & books.

  4. Click Kindle Unlimited.

  5. Log into your Amazon account by clicking Sign in. (If you’re already signed in, skip this step.)

  6. Select Sign-up to navigate to the Kindle Unlimited page.

  7. Click the Join Kindle Unlimited button.

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

  9. 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.

How Much Is Kindle Unlimited per Month?

How Much Is Kindle Unlimited per Month?

A Kindle monthly subscription costs $9.99. If you think the price is steep, you can wait for a sale.

Amazon offers discounted pricing plans for longer subscription periods, such as six months, one year, and two years.

If you sign up for any Kindle Unlimited plans with a longer duration, voracious readers like you can save more money in the long run.

How To Get Kindle Unlimited for Free

One way to access Kindle Unlimited books for free is to sign up for its 30-day free trial.

Amazon will automatically upgrade your account to a paid monthly subscription when your trial ends if you don’t cancel.

Contrary to popular belief, an Amazon Prime membership doesn’t include free access to Kindle Unlimited because Kindle Unlimited is a separate subscription service.

Consider Amazon Prime as a premium subscription service for all products. Meanwhile, Kindle Unlimited focuses on ebooks and audiobooks.

If you sign up for Amazon Prime, you get free access to Prime Reading, which has a limited selection of approximately 2,500 books compared to Kindle Unlimited’s more than 3 million titles.

Prime Reading vs. Kindle Unlimited

Prime Reading vs. Kindle Unlimited

While Prime Reading and Kindle Unlimited are monthly subscription services with respective content libraries, a KU subscription is ideal for avid readers who want to access over 3 million titles.

Meanwhile, Amazon Prime offers Prime Reading as part of its perks and freebies.

With Amazon Prime, you can access Prime Reading and enjoy free delivery on eligible Amazon products. You can watch thousands of movies and TV shows, listen to millions of songs, and get unlimited photo storage.

Kindle Unlimited Family Plan

Kindle Unlimited Family Plan

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

How To Browse Kindle Unlimited Books

Browsing Kindle Unlimited titles are the same as finding ebooks on Amazon, although there’s also a dedicated page for books with 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 three lines 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

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.

Is Kindle Unlimited Worth It?

Is Kindle Unlimited Worth It?

The worth of this ebook subscription depends on the number of books you read per month and the genres you enjoy.

If you love reading indie and self-published books, Kindle Unlimited is an excellent service that offers less-than-mainstream selections.

The subscription service is worth it if you read two to three books monthly. If not, you’re better off buying ebooks from the Kindle store.

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 / Kindle Unlimited benefits aren’t worth it, consider these Kindle Unlimited alternatives.



24symbols costs only $7.99 monthly or $90 annually, which is more affordable than most competitors.

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



Scribd has a smaller book selection than Kindle Unlimited books (1 million vs. 3 million) but carries more mainstream titles and costs a bit less at only $8.99 monthly.

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.

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



Bookmate has over 500,000 titles.

Amazon Kindle Unlimited has a more extensive selection of titles, but 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.

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

You can try Bookmate for free for seven days. After the free trial, the subscription fee is $9.99 monthly.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Frequently Asked Questions

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 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?

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?

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. Learning what Audible is and how it works is best to make an informed decision.

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