My Thoughts: Kindle Unlimited Now in South Africa

I got the best news on Black Friday!

I received an email from Amazon to tell me that I can sign up for three months of free access to Kindle Unlimited. My first thought was that, annoyingly, they’ve assumed yet again that I’m based in the US, since we all know that a third-world country such as South Africa does not get access to good stuff like KU.

I clicked on the link just for the hell of it, and before I knew it, I had thousands of books to read for free at my fingertips.

Naturally, I panicked and promptly unsubscribed.

Then I pinged EVERYONE I know and confirmed that, yes, South Africa is indeed now also eligible for KU.

I immediately did a little happy dance.

Then I re-subscribed, and then I panicked again and suffered from overload paralysis, unable to decide which of the millions of books I could now read for free I should start with.

For two days, I did nothing.

Finally, I went through my wish list and loaned three books to read. I felt both liberated and disappointed, a complex combination of emotions and one that had me alternatively ecstatic and dejected for the rest of the weekend.

I have an author friend who absolutely detests Kindle Unlimited, for very valid reasons, but as a reader (and one who is too stingy to pay more than $2.99 for an e-book – I blame our crappy exchange rate), having Kindle Unlimited feels like year-round Christmas. I can read millions of books for free (or close to free once my monthly subscription kicks in).

The downside is that there are loads of books on my wish list that aren’t in KU. As a writer, I made the decision to have my novel in KU for the first three months and then take it wide, so I understand the reasoning. But as a reader who now has access to KU, I’m incredibly disappointed when a book I want to read is not available in there. I mean, I can read millions of books for free – why would I pay for this specific book?

So… my feelings are mixed. I think KU is great for readers, but I’ll end up having to pay for some of the books I really want to read in any case. It remains to be seen where most of those books fall. Will the $10 per month still be worth it if the majority of the books I want to read are not part of KU? Only time will tell.

In the meantime, I have three months of free KU access and I’m going to make the most of it!

Me, the next three months | © Pixabay

PS: Wondering which book I decided to read first with my shiny new Kindle Unlimited subscription? Check out Jo MacGregor’s Garnet McGee series – I’m currently on Book 2: The First Time I Fell.

PPS: This post contains affiliate links. It doesn’t cost you any extra, but I get a small commission if you choose to buy from these links. Thanks for feeding my reading habit!

What are your thoughts on Kindle Unlimited? Love it, or hate it?

4 comments / Add your comment below

  1. My sister lives in Jhb and I live n Texas. She has an old reader bought eons ago in the US. I will pay for her KU but she says her reader is not compatible with South Africa’s wattage or whatever! Is this correct? If not please explain, if so, could you please recommend on which site I can purchase a reader for her that isn’t too much?
    Thanks so much.

    1. Hi! I don’t know about your sister’s reader and the wattage, but you can have a look at Takealot.com, which is similar to Amazon for us here in SA. I personally make use of the Kindle app on my phone, instead of having a dedicated e-reader.

  2. Is there any chance that you could do a tutorial on how to access kindle unlimited in south africa. I am having some trouble.

    1. Hi Keira, when you go to Amazon.com and log into your profile, top right click on Accounts & Lists and in the dropdown click on Kindle Unlimited. It will take you to a page that says “You currently do not have Kindle Unlimited. Click here to join.” If you click on the link, it will take you to a page where you can sign up for the monthly subscription. Enjoy 🙂

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