Kindle Unlimited and What it

Means for Readers and Authors

There’s a lot of confusion about how Kindle Unlimited (KU) works and why authors put books there and what it means for authors and readers. I answer these questions ALL the time, so I figured I’d put something together to try to make it easier to understand. So here’s my attempt…

1. I am VERY committed to ALL my readers. I want to say that at the outset because I know some of you are very loyal to Nook, Apple Books, Kobo and Google. YOU matter to me. I want you to know that.

2. Most of my sales (like 80 percent) happen on Kindle. That is true for many of the authors I know and talk to. What does this mean? Kindle is a good place to find new readers for our books.

3. Amazon created Kindle Unlimited in 2014 to allow readers to gain access to more books at a lower price of $9.95 per month for as many books as they can read. KU subscribers can check out 10 books at a time. When you read on Kindle Unlimited, you don’t get to keep the books in your library. Think of it like a traditional library in which you borrow the books and then give them back after you are finished reading.

4. Books that are available through the Kindle Unlimited subscription are ALSO available for SALE on Kindle. This is an important point and something a lot of non-Kindle readers don’t realize. You can ALWAYS buy the books on Kindle, even if you are not enrolled in KU.

5. There’s a difference between Amazon Prime, which offers various books to members at free and reduced prices, and Kindle Unlimited, which is a subscription service that you must sign up for and pay $9.95 a month.

6. Authors like to use KU to reach new readers. We get paid by the page reads. It’s a very small number per page, but it does add up. KU readers tend to be ravenous readers, sometimes on tight budgets, so it’s nice to be able to reach those readers who maybe can’t afford to buy every book they want to read.

7. The downside is that Amazon requires that books be exclusive to their platform to be enrolled in KU. This is why sometimes books are only available on Kindle. We all wish we could be in KU and have our books everywhere else TOO, but that’s not allowed if you want your books in KU.

8. So what’s a Nook, AppleBooks, Kobo or Google reader to do if books they want to read are ONLY available on Kindle? You can download a FREE Kindle app to any device that accepts apps (I read on a Kindle app as well as an AppleBooks app on my phone—I much prefer that to the larger Kindle device.) The Kindle app is available for Mac and PCs as well as iOS and Android devices.

9. Some people would say “I don’t want to have to read on Kindle. I want all my books on X device.” I appreciate that, but think of it this way. If you shop exclusively at Target, for instance, but there’s a sale on something you can ONLY get at Kohl’s, you go to Kohl’s to get what you want, right? The same theory is in effect with books. Why not have ALL the apps so you can take advantage of ALL the sales and deals and special offers offered by the various retailers?

10. If you are new to reading on a Kindle app, this is how it works. Download the app from your app store onto your smartphone or tablet. Open the app and connect it to your Amazon account (the same one you use to shop for everything else). Then—and this is important—you go to the BROWSER on your device to buy whatever book you want. You cannot BUY books through the app. You can only do that through the online retail store. After you buy the book on the online store, open your app and the book will appear. VOILA. You did it.

About My Books on KU
Go to to see what’s currently available


That’s the 411 on how it works. Hope this answers some questions! What questions did I fail to answer for those who are new to reading on a Kindle app or through KU? Reach out and let me know.