Late on Tuesday night, Amazon brought its all-you-can-eat ebook subscription service called Kindle Unlimited to India.
The service is essentially like Apple Music for ebooks. You pay a flat fee each month to “borrow” up to 10 books at a time from over a million ebooks from the Kindle Store. How much do you pay? Not much at all.
Seriously, look at those prices. What’s not to like? We all went crazy.
Whoa! Kindle Unlimited is here. ?199 is a pretty good deal if the library is decent. ?99 for the first month. Signing up right away.— Abhishek Baxi (@baxiabhishek) September 1, 2015
Book lovers rejoice! Amazon India launches Kindle Unlimited. Get first month for Rs. 99. Thanks @amazonIN— Siddhartha Oza (@sidoza) September 2, 2015
Some of the crazier ones among us actually paid up for an entire year.
Instantly signed up for a year's worth of Kindle Unlimited. Insane India pricing, Amazon - thank you so much!— ¯_(?)_/¯ (@PranavDixit) September 2, 2015
It seemed too good to be true. And you know what? It kind of is. Here are some of the Kindle Unlimited ‘Editor’s Picks’:
Seriously, it’s like walking into a Crossword. Page after page after page of Indian “bestsellers” and that no serious book-lover would touch. Worse, the books that I actually wanted to read didn’t make the Kindle Unlimited cut.
Want to start reading Game of Thrones? That will be another Rs 167, please.Want to read that amazing Elon Musk biography that just came out? It’s going to cost you Rs 439. Dying to read Avirook Sen’s Aarushi? Just Rs 179.
What is the point of signing up for this thing if you can’t get anything you want?
I am not the only one miffed about this. People who signed up overnight for this service are blowing their lids too.
Signed up for Amazon KindleUnlimited for 12 months, saw crap selection of books, immediately cancelled.— Madhu Menon (@madmanweb) September 2, 2015
Luckily, you can head into your Kindle Unlimited settings and cancel your subscription for a full refund.
Update: We spoke to Sanjeev Jha, Amazon's Director of Kindle Content in India, about Amazon's dissapointing Kindle Unlimited selection. "It's day one," he said. "We're working hard on getting more publishers to sign up for this because the selection can always be enhanced." Amazon's current publishing parters for Kindle Unlimited in India include Jaico, Westland, Grapevine, Orient, and Shristi among others. But conspicuously missing are big publishing names like HaperCollins and Penguin.
When asked if Amazon would reach out to more independant, non-mainstream publishers to carry non-mainstream, commercial work, Jha said certainly.
"Do we want literary fiction and some of the less commercial books? Of course. We're talking to them already."