Sunday, July 23, 2017

Why should you subscribe to Kindle Unlimited?

Last month, I subscribed to Kindle Unlimited after pondering over the ‘should I’ or ‘shouldn’t I’ question for a long while.

These were the arguments I heard against joining Kindle Unlimited.

The quality of KU books are not good

Really? I disagree. There are over a million books, that too by bestselling authors from around the world available on Kindle Unlimited. The Indian publishers are not enrolling their books on KU mostly because of the fear that it will kill the paperback sales. But slowly they are realizing the earning power of KU. You can find books by Preeti Shenoy, Amish, Ashwin Sanghi etc who are among the most popular Indian authors on Kindle Unlimited.

There is a limit to the books you can borrow at a time

Yes! There is a limit. You can borrow only 10 books at a time. 10 books! Isn’t that enough?
The good thing is you can return any book at any time and borrow another.

 Kindle Unlimited is not really free

Yes, it is not really free. You have to pay to subscribe. But compared to the rates of the books you can actually read with the KU subscription, the books become almost free.

Limited Choice

If you read only Booker/Pulitzer prize winning books, you won't find many of them on Kindle Unlimited. But if you are a fan of romance, fantasy, self-help, writing guides, recipe books and read Indie writers, you will find so many good books. Yes, Harry potter and Hunger games series are also available.

Arguments supporting Kindle Unlimited:

1)      There is no limit to the number of books you can read.
2)      There are no additional or hidden charges other than the subscription.
3)      The book vanishes from your Kindle once you return it, leaving your Kindle clutter free.
4)      There are over a million titles to choose from in different genres.
5)      Content is good.
6)      Many of my favorite authors have their books on Kindle Unlimited.
7)      Free to experiment with genres and new authors.
8)      Bookmarks and notes are saved to your Amazon account even if you return a     book.

As an experiment, I initially subscribed for just one month.
The money I spent: Rs. 200.
The number of books I read: 24, each book priced somewhere between Rs.99-400.
You can do the Math. Even without any, you can tell it is a seriously good bargain.

A majority of these books are fiction, which I may not want to read more than once. Once I read, I can return the book, freeing up space for new books.
Some are reference books which I will retain on my Kindle. There is no limit to the amount of time I can keep a book. No need to renew.

The 'read for free' tab on every Kindle Unlimited book brings a smile on my face.

What many readers don’t understand is that even though you get to read the book for free, Amazon pays the author who has put hours of hard work to create the book. So, you are not actually cheating the author by reading it for free which is the case when you download and read a pirated copy of the book.

Some of my writer friends who have put their books on Kindle Unlimited considers it as the wisest thing they have done in a while. Not only do they get new readers because of the ease of the scheme, but they also get paid handsomely to keep them going. For some, the actual money through sales is often only a fraction of what they earn through Kindle Unlimited. 

Have to say, we Indians heart free stuff.

The reason why many best sellers are not available on KU is that these books are available on multiple portals like KOBO, iBooks, Smashwords etc. Amazon KDP Select scheme requires the authors to remain exclusive to their platform, which many authors don’t want.

If you are an Indian reader who likes to experiment with various genres and loves eBooks, Kindle Unlimited is the best choice for you. There are many books which cater to the Indian audience, not to mention access to best sellers from world literature.

Subscribe for a month at Rs 199 and experiment like I did.

If it seems a good option, go for it.

You can subscribe for 6 months for Rs. 999 (at Rs 150/month)
Or for a year. (1785)

I have extended my subscription for another six months as I am nowhere done with my TBR pile on the Kindle Unlimited books list.

If you are an Indian writer, consider putting your book on Kindle Unlimited. It will bring you more readers, ratings, and reviews.

Have you tried Kindle Unlimited? What do you think about it?

Monday, July 10, 2017

Dream Home with Home Canvas

Every couple envisions a dream home. They paint their home canvas in the shades that reflect their tastes and personalities. Every décor item should tell a story. Each accessory should help transform the house into a home.

Yet, the trouble begins when you walk into a home décor shop. It is an uphill task to find the exact piece of furniture that would suit your needs or mix and match the various décor items to create a visual appeal. It is very difficult to find a single store, both online and offline that would cater to all your needs. Hassled by the experience, often shoppers decide to settle.

Sandeep Sridhar and Radhika braved these challenges during the quest for finding the perfect décor for their home. They pondered as to how to make the experience happier for other couples. This gave birth to Home Canvas, an online discovery platform for the best in furniture and décor.

The Home Canvas experts curate stores, suppliers, and artisans from all over the country.  You can choose furniture, furnishings, and accessories across styles, materials, and price from this online store.

According to Sridhar, Home Canvas is a one-stop destination to help you discover furniture collections, styles that resonate with your tastes and lead you on to finding products in the easiest and most convenient manner possible. 

It will provide a hassle-free experience whether you are doing up a single room or setting up your new home. They have combed the length and breadth of the country and curated the most exquisite and lust-worthy products. You will have fun discovering furniture collections that you would never have been able to find before.

From the comfort of your home, discover that pretty rug from a store in Jaipur, distinctively upholstered chairs from a Delhi label, or fun study tables for your kids’ room via Home Canvas. As the experts at Home Canvas collects only distinctive products, your home décor is bound to become a unique masterpiece of your own.

The number of stores registered at the site is growing every day promising to create unique design stories for homeowners around the world. 

So, what are you waiting for?

Head to Home right away and start designing your dream home.

Declaration: This is a sponsored post. The photos are of products from the online store and are used with the permission of the sponsor.
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Friday, July 7, 2017

Did I really do that?

Sometimes a scent, a song or a name is enough to take us on a trip down the memory lane.

This week, #ThankfulThursdays is asking us to go on a journey to those colorful days of childhood where the world was full of wonder, every second a discovery and everything pure and bright.

We hardly remember stuff from the years when we were very young, like incidents that happened when we were below the age of five. 
Yet, those are the things that get discussed most during family get-togethers. Stuff we deny vehemently yet the others insist they are living proofs! 

Image Source

I am rumored to have played certain roles during my drunken era in life.
Let me list a few roles which come back to haunt me regularly during family dinners or functions.

The Drama Queen:

According to my mother, one day I returned from the nursery vowing never to step into the place ever again. Never had I faced such an insult and my parents were to blame. Curious, my mother asked what happened. I asked her how she could send me to nursery carrying a tattered umbrella which had such a big hole that I had to use a finger to hide it from the world. She opened the umbrella to inspect. After searching for one whole minute she gave up. She couldn’t find anything. When she declared that, I scowled at her and asked her to examine properly. We stood together under the umbrella when she opened it under a beam of light. And lo, there it was, a pinprick of light coming through the tiniest hole in the cloth. And I pointed it out to her with disgust.

That tiny hole still taunts me!

The Scientist:

One day my brother, who is five years older than me, became the center of attraction (much to my displeasure) when he was describing one amazing experiment they had done in the school lab. They had produced hydrogen artificially and filled it into a balloon. The balloon had grown to the size of a big apple.
Immediately I sniggered, looking down upon my nose at him. Obviously, the same experiment had been done in our kindergarten and the balloon had grown as big as a jackfruit. (See, a bigger fruit!) I couldn’t understand why everyone laughed. They immediately wanted to see it. How could they when the balloon had accidentally flown off and had burst after getting pricked by the thorny branches of the nearby tree. When they wanted to climb the tree to collect the pieces of the balloon, I told them not to bother. The kids from the neighborhood had already picked them up.

Did I say I hate hydrogen balloons?

The Zoo Keeper:

I was always my father’s pet. Whatever be the breakfast at home, my father customized it for me in a special way by mixing honey, banana, jaggery, milk, ghee etc. Puttu, Upma, Chapathi, Avil… everything transformed into tasty bite-sized balls that I could easily pop into my mouth.

 But, to my horror, I had two jealous elder siblings who were experts in stealing from my plate. Their favorite game was pretending to be the ‘Tiger’ and the ‘Lion’ respectively. When I was about to eat, the Tiger and the Lion would materialize near the plate, roaring, demanding to be fed. If I didn’t, they might just eat me instead. Bawling, I would feed them until my father came and shooed away the hungry cats.

They still tease me saying what a scaredy cat I was! What nerve!

Yet these incidents have become special in their own special way. I am convinced they are the reason why I became a storyteller! That was my training period, you see!

I am thankful that these memories still make people smile. 

This post is part of #ThankfulThursdays being hosted by Amrita, Deepa, Mayuri and Tina.