Subscription Gift Ideas You Need To Know About

If you are like me and either travel a lot or are trying to Marie Kondo streamline and minimalize your life, subscriptions can be a great gift both to give and to receive.

This post contains Amazon Affiliate links. Should you purchase something through a link in this post we may receive a small commission, which is used to help offset the cost of hosting this blog.

With Cyber Monday just around the corner I am not only making my own list of gifts to order but also am compiling lists to put into a blog post. Along with the season of gift giving basically being on top of us I also have my son at college on the other side of the country and am finding the various subscription services available to be enormously helpful!

Subscriptions and mini subscriptions can make ideal gifts both for business and work gifts, and also as stocking stuffers or gifts for family members.

Kindle Paperwhite

This year I am giving Kindle Paperwhites:Kindle Paperwhite – Now Waterproof with 2x the Storage – Includes Special Offers I was the diehard hold out on physical books for the longest time, but the past few years I have been reading everything on the Kindle App on my iPad.

Kindle Paperwhite

Some of the authors I have been loving don’t even offer paperbacks anymore. Personally I don’t see the point in spending $20 on a paperback when I can get the same thing on Kindle for $3.99. So much cost is absorbed in the printing of physical books – my own books Glam Italia! How To Travel Italy: Secrets To Glamorous Travel (On A Not So Glamorous Budget) and Glam Italia! 101 Fabulous Things to Do in Rome: Beyond the Colosseum, the Vatican, the Trevi Fountain, and the Spanish Steps make me the same amount of money regardless of whether the reader buys them as an eBook or a paperback. If readers get my books via Kindle Unlimited I still get paid by Amazon based on pages read.

This year on my Glam Italia tours I noticed so many of my travelers had Kindles with them. They were so sleek and chic and made my iPad look clunky and cumbersome. I do all computing on my smart phone now, so have no need to drag my iPad around anymore. As such it is being replaced with kindle Paperwhite this Christmas!

Regardless of whether you or the person you are gifting reads on a Kindle or on the Kindle App, a Kindle Unlimited subscription is the perfect gift. For the duration of their subscription they can download books for free. If they cancel at the end of the subscription they still get to keep their downloaded books. It’s brilliant! There are several options for subscriptions so you can purchase and gift the one that works best for you. Check out theKindle Unlimited Membership Plans

An Audible subscription gives a free audio book just for signing up

Before we had books story telling happened by voice. As children we learned stories as they were read to us. Now as adults many of us just don’t have time to sit down with a book anymore, our lives are just too busy.

That’s where Audible comes in. With an Audible subscription you can listen to books everywhere you go. On your phone, your tablet, your kindle – there are multiple ways to listen in. Whether you want to engage your mind while you commute to and from work, or like me while walking the dog, or maybe just while your hands are busy doing chores at home, audio books are just fantastic.

Audiobooks are the fastest growing sector of the book market so a subscription to an audio book service is a brilliant gift! Audible subscriptions come in 1,3,6 and 12 month options. Check out Audible Subscriptions here

Try Audible Romance Free here

If you are a consumer of romance novels you might enjoy the new Audible Romance offering. You can use this link for a free trial of Audible Romance.

I don’t know how I ever got by without Amazon Prime! I don’t use a fraction of the services that come with it, but I love getting free 2 day shipping. I take advantage of Amazon First Reads each month – as a Prime member you get to borrow books for free, and a new list arrives in your inbox at the beginning of each month.

I watch shows on Amazon Prime Video. There are many more service that come with the subscription tho (including ad free streaming of more than a million songs) and I’m sure that those more savvy than me are taking advantage of them!

Not sure if you would like Prime Video? You can get a free trial month of Amazon prime Video with this link

You can gift an Amazon Prime Subscription for 3 months or 12 months, and there maybe other options too. Check out how to gift an Amazon prime Subscription here

amazon prime student
Free trial link

Amazon Prime Student comes with a six month free trial. It has the benefit of a regular Prime membership but also has discounts on everything from books to computers and much more. Use this link to get your 6 month free trial.

I especially appreciate this one with a child at school in the other end of the country!

Not sure if you want an Amazon Prime Subscription yourself? Use this link to get a 30 day free trial of Amazon Prime. There is also a discounted Prime membership for people on Government Assistance Programs such as EBT cards. You can check it out here

Amazon also offers a free trial of the Amazon Unlimited Free Music service. Tens of millions of songs available to listen to on any device, anywhere. This one is open both to Prime members and also non-Prime members. Check it out here.

gift ideas for travelers
Gift Ideas For Travelers

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?

 

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