What You Need To Know About Kindle And Kindle Unlimited

Do you read books digitally or in hardcopy? Have you heard about the Kindle/eBook/Digital book thing but aren’t quite sure how it works?

I just launched my new book Glam Italia! How To Travel Italy in eBook/Kindle format. I have had so many blog followers, friends, social media followers reach out to me with questions about this type of format, so I wanted to answer all your questions and give you the heads up on digital books and on subscription services to digital libraries.

Glam Italia! How To Travel Italy

I am normally the last person in the world to catch on to any new digital craze, but with all the traveling I do carrying heavy books around with me just wasn’t realistic, so I converted to digital books.

Remember when all of our music was on compact disc and we would have to carry sleeves of CD’s in our cars, into work, anywhere we wanted to go with music? And then Apple came along with iPods (or was Napster first?) and everyone started downloading their music. No one walks around with a Sony Discman anymore – we don’t even have iPods now! Now everyone has their music digitally on a service like iTunes. My son uses Spotify, I use Pandora. We don’t even have a stereo at home anymore!

The same thing is happening with books.

Have you noticed how many of the big book chains are going out of business? I love walking around bookshops, I love the smell of books and I love the tactile experience of holding and reading a physical book. The first thing I do when I arrive in Paris is go to the Shakespeare Book Company and buy books.

RELATED POST: THE BEST BOOKSTORE IN PARIS

In Venice I go to Aqua Alta and in Santorini I beeline to Atlantis Books. They are all quirky, fabulous, old style book shops that you can lose yourself in for hours. I love them.

But here at home I find that even when I go to the big book chains they don’t always have the books I’m looking for, and if they do the books are much more expensive than on Amazon. So in the name of the single mom budget I buy my books on Amazon.

Then I ran into the problem of having more books than my bookcases could handle. Most of them I read once and don’t feel the need to re-read. I give them away on PaperbackSwap and I give cases of books to Goodwill, who don’t really want them. It all seems like such a waste!

 

Digital Books And Kindle

And that’s where digital books come in. They are perfect to travel with and don’t need to be given away. There is zero waste.

Amazon sells digital books via Kindle. If you already have a Kindle then you don’t need to read this post – you already know all of this. If you don’t own a Kindle, no worries! Neither do I.

Here is an affiliate link to Kindles on Amazon so that you can see what they are about.

RELATED POST: ESSENTIAL READING – 15 BOOKS SET IN ITALY

 

kindle app logo

The Kindle App

As I said, I don’t own a Kindle. Amazon has an app called the Kindle App which you can download to your smartphone, tablet, computer etc and read your books there. Rather than taking up all of your space on your phone or device, the book is held in the app.

It is really cool!

kindle app and devices

I can be reading a book at home on my iPad and then be sitting in the waiting room at my dentist’s office and pick up where I left off, reading it on my phone! The transfer is seamless, it always syncs and I don’t have to carry anything extra around with me.

At first I was quite resistant, saying I needed that tactile experience of holding a physical book, but now I am so used to the convenience of reading on my iPad – I just love it! My best friend has a super thin Kindle device that she reads on. She can take it to the beach, it has some kind of glare protection so she can read it in sunlight, and is waterproof.

 

Library Books Via The Kindle App!

My local library uses a digital service called Overdrive. I can go online and borrow library books digitally, then Overdrive sends the books to my Kindle App, and I can read them wherever I am. Once the library loan time expires the book disappears off the app (they email you plenty of warning that the book is going to expire). So I don’t have to get in my car and return physical book. This saves me lots of time, but is also super efficient, especially if I am going to be travelling. I can order library books, read them on the Kindle App, and have no late fees or charges for not returning them on time – the Overdrive service takes care of that!

RELATED POST: FABULOUS BOOKS SET IN PARIS

What Is Kindle Unlimited?

When Glam Italia! How To Travel Italy came out I had a ton of messages from people saying they could see the book was free on Kindle Unlimited, but not knowing what Kindle Unlimited was.

Kindle Unlimited is a subscription service with Amazon where you can get unlimited digital books at no charge. You pay around $9.95 per month for the subscription, and then just download all the books you want each month. Books that are in the Kindle Unlimited program will have a tag or banner attached to them, telling you they are part of the program and eligible for free download. They offer different plans and options, which you can check out here:   Kindle Unlimited Membership Plans

It’s so cool!

Amazon pools the money from the subscriptions each month and then pays authors their share based on pages read. I have had lots of people get my book for free on Kindle Unlimited. I go online and see how many have downloaded it and how many pages have been read. Authors get just under half a cent per page read, so a book that sells for $9.95 will pay out about $1.50 to the author, give or take. Everybody wins!


I hope this explains digital books and the Kindle services well enough? Leave me a message or email me if you still have questions. If you download the Kindle app you can also look at free books on Kindle and try the digital reading experience for yourself. It’s pretty fantastic.

I also hope you will get my book! Glam Italia! How To Travel Italy is available on all Kindle services (the app, Kindle Unlimited, etc). If you like my book and can spare an extra 2 minutes to write me a review, I would be super grateful!!

10 Reasons Why You Need Kindle Unlimited

Kindle Unlimited

This is not a sponsored post but it does contain Amazon Affiliate links. 

Do you like to read? I love to read.

The problem is that I am a fast reader as well as a voracious reader, so I always have had books stacked up everywhere. My bookcases are always full. I joined a club called Paperback Swap to help unload some of them, but still I have cases of books in my garage.

Then my life took a turn in a different direction a few years ago and I wound up working 7 days per week most weeks, as well as being the personal taxi service to my son getting him an hour across town and back (or paying Uber $65 each way) to music 3 times per week. I just had no time for anything. Library books were either returned unread or accrued late fees. If I used the library app and borrowed books digitally they would end up disappearing before I had a chance to finish reading them.

Reading and Traveling

On top of that, I travel all the time. Airports and airplanes are my best places for reading, which is no doubt why when everyone else hates to fly, I love it! The longer the flight the better. I can be curled up in my seat reading, with no one bothering me, no phones going off, no deadlines to meet. It’s perfect. Except that books are heavy and take up too much space when you travel.

I like to keep my favorite books, because I will re-read them, or go back to them for reference. I read lots of books where people move to Italy and tell you all about the things they do each day. I’m so geeky I actually go to the restaurants they talk about, find the remote towns and villages they wander through, seek out the nondescript, tiny churches with crazy amazing frescoes. I can’t drag all their books with me, so that’s when I started reading books on Kindle. Although I miss the tactile experience of reading a physical book, reading them digitally started to work better with my lifestyle.

I also get my magazine subscriptions on Kindle now too.

kindle unlimited

I don’t have a Kindle reader, mine just come in through an app on my iPad or my smartphone.

I had been happy to just buy books on Kindle paying full price or whatever price Amazon was selling them at. I thought that if I paid for a Kindle Unlimited subscription and got unlimited books for free, authors wouldn’t get paid. But I was wrong. I recently found out that so long as you read 10% of the book they do actually get paid.

So here is the deal with Kindle Unlimited. You pay $9.99 per month and get to read as many books as you want. You can cancel anytime too. The books remain in your digital library on your cloud or on your device.

I am writing a book at the moment and will be selling it on Kindle Publishing. There is a cool option for authors where you can release your book for free for 5 days on Kindle Unlimited so that Kindle Unlimited subscribers can read it and write you reviews before it officially launches, to get your book moving. That will be a win for me as a writer, but also as a (new) Kindle Unlimited subscriber I can get access to books before they release to the general public, which is pretty cool.

On Kindle Unlimited you also have access to all their audio books.

Reasons You Should Get Kindle Unlimited

    1. Kindle Unlimited is incredibly cheap! $9.99 per month for unlimited books.
    2. You can reread as many times as you want. It’s like a virtual library.
    3. No trees die to make your books!
    4. The authors still get paid. They are better off to have you get their books on Kindle Unlimited than for you to get them at the library.
    5. You can read your books anywhere, anytime on any of your devices.
    6. Kindle is the perfect way to enjoy books while you travel.
    7. You can get all your magazines on Kindle.
    8. With Kindle Unlimited to get access to thousands of audio books too.
    9. You can cancel your subscription at any time.
    10. Kindle is an Amazon company, and Amazon carries more book titles than anyone else. Kindle Unlimited has 1 million titles for you to choose from.

 

Here is an Amazon affiliate link to Kindle Unlimited Membership Plans You get your first 30 days for free, and can cancel at any time.

I figure it is less than the cost of buying a book each month, and its not a locked in subscription, so what do we have to lose?

 

Gift Ideas For Travelers

It’s no secret – I live to travel. When I am on my flight home I am already planning the next adventure. My love of traveling to Italy lead to my “accidental business,”  the Glam Italia Tours, where I take small groups of women on private, boutique tours of Italy. At the time of writing this post I am also prepping for a quick, pre-Christmas trip to Europe. Not only is travel always on my mind, but I’m also constantly thinking about the accoutrements of travel. I am always looking for ways to make it more effective, for items to streamline the experience, both for myself and also for my travelers.

If you are a travel enthusiast, if you have business travelers on your shopping list, or if you have recreational travelers on your list, I have some fabulous wish list and gift ideas for you.

Gift Ideas For Travelers

Tech

A Multi Purpose Travel Adaptor

You probably already know that when traveling outside of the USA the voltage and the configuration of the electricity pins changes. You can’t plug your American electronics into foreign power points, and in America we are at 110 volts, but most of Europe and Australasia are at 220 volts. This means that you need an adaptor that lets you plug into the wall socket wherever you may be, but also that will convert the voltage and give it surge protection. If you just have the plug configuration the excess voltage will no doubt fry your electronics.

all in one travel adaptor

I have had several different adaptors over the years, some have been good, some have broken. Last year I bought the Travel Smart All In One Adaptor from The Container Store I like it because it converts all over the world, no matter where I travel, it is easy to use and is lightweight, so I can throw it in my handbag or carry on.

A Power Strip Or Outlet Extender

travel swivel charger

It’s not unusual to be away and have a hotel room that only has one wall socket. The Belkin Surge Plus USB Swivel Outlet Extender has 2 USB charging ports as well as 3 power outlets, and it swivels to configure into any small space. I got mine online at The Container Store.

A Wireless Bluetooth Speaker

Music makes memories, and whether you are adding texture to a vacation or sanity to a work trip, take your music with you with a good wireless portable speaker. Most are compatible to your Pandora and Spotify feeds, as well as whatever music you have stored on your smart phone.

wireless speaker

There is a huge selection of portable speakers available online at Target.com

Related Post: 11 Gift Ideas For Travelers

Noise Cancelling Headphones

Whether you are drowning out the buzz and hum of an airplane in flight, a screaming baby, or annoying loud talkers in the row behind you, noise cancelling headphones are a must when you travel.

bose noise cancelling earbuds

I am a huge Bose fan, and love the Bose Noise Cancelling Earbuds. The Bose sound quality is always amazing, and they are really convenient too because they pack down so small.

bose noise cancelling headphones

The other option for noise cancelling headphones is an around ear model. These are a little bulkier to carry  than the earbud style, but they have the huge advantage of being a deterrent to incessant talkers sitting next to you.

You can see a huge selection of noise cancelling headphones, including the Bose models online at Target.com

A Portable Phone Battery/Charger

This one is a travel essential! Every traveler needs to have an external battery for their phone. Whether your phone loses its charge during the flight, or if it just needs extra power during a day of sight seeing, you don’t want to be stranded with no phone access. Look for a model that has multiple charges (rather than just one charge), and that can power up a phone or tablet from a completely dead battery.

phone charger external battery

You can find a good selection of chargers/external batteries at Target.com 

Related Post: Tatcha’s Travel Sized Gifts For Skin Care Lovers

A Tablet/Kindle/eReader

ipad for travel

The days of dragging heavy books around are long gone. Every traveler needs some form of e-reading device, for books, travel guides, and entertainment. I use an iPad so that I can also watch movies and play solitaire, one of my friends travels with an iPad Mini, my sister in law always has a Kindle with her.

You can see the full range of iPads and tablets and the full range of Kindles available online here at Target.com.

Security

RFID Blockers.

Everyone, not just travelers, needs some form of RFID blocker to protect their credit cards and all their personal information. Anyone with a RFID scanner can read all the information on the magnetic strip on your credit cards, and the digital information on your passport. A scanner is about the size of a cell phone, and if you just walk past one, for example in a coffee shop, all your information will be taken and compromised. The Container Store has a variety of RFID blocking options from credit card and passport sleeves, to wallets, to handbags.

RFID credit card sleeve

I just watched this video for the Travelon Anti Theft Cross Body Bag.

travelon anti theft crossbody bag

I want to get one! Most high tourist cities have a big problem with pickpockets. Any time you are in a crowded situation you have to be extra vigilant with your handbag, but still someone could slash it, slash the shoulder strap, or if you have ever watched you tube videos of pickpockets in action, they can get their fingers in and out of your bag before you even know it. This bag also has built in RFID blockers!

 

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