Kindle Unlimited – Yay or Nay?

kindle-Logo-550x401

Amazon Kindle UK, has just launched it’s Kindle Unlimited Premium service. I don’t know about you but I’m intrigued by the concept, so I thought we could take a closer look together.

Kindle Unlimited boasts that you can read as much as you want and choose from 650,000 titles and thousands of audiobooks for just £7.99 a month. You can even Try it out for free for 30 days. Currently Kindle Unlimited (UK) is currently available only to customers located in the United Kingdom, Gibraltar, Jersey, Isle of Man, Guernsey and Ireland.

For an avid reader who buys around 10 books a month, not even counting Kindle purchases this sounds like a pretty good deal. So naturally I wanted to know more.

The first thing I wanted to know is what I could get for my £7.99 a month, after all this has the potential to be some saving!
Alas, next to no big publishers are signed up to Kindle Unlimited – purely because it’s not feasible for them. I won’t go into too much detail, if you want to read all about it – you can read information on it here and here. However basically an author and/or publisher only gets a share of what is in that months “pot” not their normal profit .
This means the majority of books that are available are from indie authors and small publishing companies – not that there is anything wrong with either of these, we readers should still support them because everyone had to start somewhere – however your not going to get the latest best sellers.
As I said, do give love in indie authors and small publishers – but one also has to consider than normally their books do not cost a whole lot anyway – plus they take advantage of Amazons promotional system and have offers on and sometimes free books regularly. The bulk of books available on Kindle Unlimited would cost under £2 each anyway – most at 99p infact so one will have to buy at least 8 of these to make the £7.99 a month worth while.

But hey, that could happen… but it’s less appealing than they make it sound, but moving on!

The next problem I encountered is when I assumed I could buy 8+ books a month – which I can, I really can – technically. You can only keep 10 Kindle Unlimited books on your Kindle or Kindle app at a time however. Better read fast.
Also, if you cancel you Kindle Unlimited subscription… all those books, will be deleted from your account. Whether you have read them or not. Whilst this is understandable if I had spent time getting my money’s worth and then for some reason finding myself not being able to afford £7.99 a month, I’d be pretty miffed about the amount of books been taken off my Kindle.

Needless to say my initial excitement about Kindle Unlimited… has well now become limited. So I’m sorry to say, it’s a “Nay” for me.
Nice try Amazon, but the benefits just don’t measure up in the end for an avid reader. It’s a good attempt at “book streaming” but it doesn’t work for me and for it to have any kind of future you need to give a better deal to the indie authors and small publishers. Plus make it work for bigger publishers too. Books, even eBooks are nothing without authors, publishers and readers. Sort it out.

What are your thoughts on Kindle Unlimited? Will you be signing up?

Book Review: Foxwise (The Legend of Vanx Malic #2.1) by M.R. Mathias

Foxwise (The Legend of Vanx Malic #2.1) by M.R. Mathias
Foxwise (The Legend of Vanx Malic #2.1) by M.R. Mathias

Let me start by saying I’ve not read anything by M.R. Mathias before at all so Foxwise (The Legend of Vanx Malic #2.1) is my very first encounter with this author.

Foxwise is a short story, which is an off-shoot of the The Legend of Vanx Malic series. It side steps into giving you a short story and a little more background into one of a character that is just about to enter the main series and as I understand it comes to be quite a main character.

It was (and still is at the moment) free on Kindle, so I thought I would give it a go and hopefully get a good feel for the author.

Foxwise or General Foxwise Posy-Thorn to give him is full name – is a fairy/pixie type creature and he is the best of the best in Queen Corydalis guard. Being Fae, they live in a peaceful valley hidden from the eyes of many other creatures. There is a perpetual state of spring in the Valley so everything is young, green and lush. Unfortunately the oldest tree – the Heart Tree, which protects the whole valley and the fae with it’s magic has been poisoned by the Hoar Witch.

Enter the typical fantasy quest! The queen requests the best of her smartest, fiercest and most loyal to retrieve the “Shard” that can heal the tree and defend the realm. So Foxwise teams up with Barb and Bristle to journey outside of their protected boundries and into the Overland, where danger is everywhere for these small creatures.

Short stories can be really great, unfortunately this one isn’t. You barely get to know any of the characters and so really struggle to have anything to hold onto in the short time it takes to read this book. It reads far too much like a children’s TV show – this happens, and then this happens, and then this happens – it’s overly simple. Which I was rather disappointed about since Mathias – from what I’ve read – is a great epic fantasy writer, I expected much more.

However there are some endearing and funny moments that broke it up slightly. You do really want to like the characters and root for them, so it’s a shame there isn’t quite enough for you to identify with them.

Perhaps this makes for better reading if you’ve read the series (or are reading the series) but as a standalone read, it’s pretty poor. My guess is it was wrote specifically to create a little hype for the next installment of the series – it’s filler. Too bad because with either a little more work it could be a great short story (and thus a much better introduction to the author – at least I’m hoping the rest of his work is better) or with a little rewriting, it could be a nice little children’s book.

I really wanted to like this, but it just lacks that something.

Rating: 2_stars

———-

Author Website: http://www.mrmathias.com/
Publisher: Kindle
Publication Date: 20th November 2013
Pages: 28
Genre(s): Fantasy, Short Story
Purchased From: Kindle/Amazon UK

———-

Have you read anything by M.R. Mathias? Is his main work better than this? Thoughts?

Happy Relaunch Day! (+Updates)

So today I “relaunch this blog. Don’t worry I’m not getting rid of any of the old posts, I’m just kicking back into a more regular posting schedule plus concentrating more on the book side of things from now on. There will still be posts on other subjects of course but books will feature most regularly.

Blog
So what else is new? Well I have a new layout as you can see. On the right I’ve added a Goodreads widget so you can see what I’m reading right now and I’ve also updated my about page.  Also check out the banner image I made! Simple changes but they make things a bit more streamlined.
I already have quite a few book reviews written (I have quite a few to catch up on), as well as other bookish topics, some beauty things and lets not forget we’re approaching the run up to Christmas!
I’m unsure if I’ll be sticking to a specific format (e.g. reviews on a Friday, other book post Tuesday) – does anyone prefer that, or just write as I go but regularly?

Reading
I have still been reading this year and I set myself a target of reading 30 books this year, I’m not sure I’ll reach that target but it’s just more of a general target than like when I did the 50 Books Challenge. I’m currently at 18/30.
I’ve been trying to finish off some of the series’ that I’ve been reading because I feel like I’m in the middle of a few too many.  So with the exceptions of the likes of Jim Butcher, Terry Pratchett and others who have a whole bunch of books in a series; I’m finishing some off and not starting any other series until close to Christmas or next year.

Life
I’ve had to do some real hard work on my health this year but I’m now at a point where I’m happy with my progress and I’ve got some good momentum behind me. Which means, time and head space to be able to blog again.

Follow Me
Inbetween if you like you can follow me on GoodReads and Twitter:
GoodReads: https://www.goodreads.com/user/show/7286948-alison
Twitter: https://twitter.com/AWildDog

What Do You Want To See?
Lastly for this post, if there’s anything you would like me to do a post about or if you have any questions, just leave it in the comments below.

Blog Relaunch!

Follow my blog with Bloglovin

Life has been a lot more focused on progress with my health this year and so I haven’t been posting much at all on this blog. I’m not in a much better place to be writing again so I’m going to get writing posts, and shall resume blogging here on October 1st.

I’m switching the focus of my blog a little and concentrating a little more on the book side of things, there will still be some beauty posts and things. I just want to make this little place on the internet a little more focused.

Big thank you to my followers that have stayed with me this year. Stay tuned for more.

Author Recommendation: Hamilton Wright Mabie

Hamilton Wright Mabie
Hamilton Wright Mabie

I don’t normally do author recommendations (more book reviews) but Hamilton Wright Mabie is a bit in a category of his own – he is more of a essayist, who for part of his published works has put together collections of stories.

I stumbled across Mabie when looking for fairytales for my Kindle. The vast majority of his books are free and so I promptly downloaded Fairy Tales Every Child Should Know. This book was everything I wanted and then some. It had fairytales that I do indeed know (although usually an older or original version), as well as some others I didn’t know but were really interesting and definitely hit that fairytale sweet spot. But what really made this special was the foreword by Mabie himself – a mini essay if you will about fairytales, their place in the world and the significance of them through a child’s eyes.

I have just finished Myths That Every Child Should Know – which is sadly for some reason not available on Kindle anymore (it was also free). This got much the same treatment as the fairytales – a retelling of myths. It’s mostly Greek Myths (some of them are the Roman versions) with a few others such a Odin/Thor/Loki (which is Norse mythology), so perhaps not a huge variety in terms of different mythologies but some great stories nonetheless. The foreword in this book is equally fantastic.

I love the fairytales and myths of course but the mini-essays at the beginning of the books are a fascinating insight to how Mabie sees the impact of all these stories on the world – especially children. So even if you know all the stories re-told, they’re worth getting just to read his introductions.

Amazon Kindle has a collection of a few of his works – like I said above, a lot are free. I certainly intend to download and read more of his stuff.

You can see what’s available from Hamilton Wright Mabie by clicking here. Enjoy!

What author have you discovered lately?