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Friday, November 4, 2011

Amazon will lend Kindle books for free, but authors will get paid

On Wednesday, Amazon.com announced the launch of the Kindle Owners' Lending Library. With an Amazon Prime membership, Kindle owners can now choose from thousands of books to borrow for free -- including over 100 current and former New York Times Bestsellers -- as frequently as a book a month, with no due dates. Apparently, no other e-reader or ebookstore offers such a service. With an annual Prime membership, the Kindle Owners' Lending Library is included at no additional cost. Millions of Prime members enjoy free two-day shipping, unlimited streaming of nearly 13,000 movies and TV shows, and now thousands of books to borrow for free with a Kindle.


"Owning a Kindle just got even better. Today, we're introducing a new Prime benefit built for Kindle: The Kindle Owners' Lending Library," said Jeff Bezos, Amazon.com Founder and CEO. "Prime Members now have exclusive access to a huge library of books to read on any Kindle device at no additional cost and with no due dates."

The Kindle Owners' Lending Library offers access to a wide array of categories and genres in fiction and non-fiction, and includes popular titles such as Moneyball: The Art of Winning an Unfair Game, The Big Short and Liars' Poker by Michael Lewis, The Hunger Games trilogy by Suzanne Collins, and Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen -- plus award-winning books such as The Finkler Question and Guns, Germs, and Steel, memoirs such as Anthony Bourdain's Kitchen Confidential, and motivational books like The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People.


Just as with any other Kindle book, your notes, highlights and bookmarks in borrowed books will be saved, so you'll have them later if you purchase or re-borrow the book. Books are borrowed from a Kindle device, and customers can have one book out at a time. When customers want to borrow a new book, any borrowed book can easily be returned right from their device.


Titles in the Kindle Owners' Lending Library come from a range of publishers under a variety of terms. For the vast majority of titles, Amazon has reached agreement with publishers to include titles for a fixed fee. In some cases, Amazon is purchasing a title each time it is borrowed by a reader under standard wholesale terms as a no-risk trial to demonstrate to publishers the incremental growth and revenue opportunity that this new service presents.


"The Kindle Owners' Lending Library is a great new benefit for Kindle owners and an entirely new growth opportunity for authors and publishers," said Russ Grandinetti, Vice President, Kindle Content. "With the growth in Prime membership and the recent addition of Prime Instant Video, we've been able to broaden our relationships with movie and TV studios such as CBS, Fox, and NBC Universal and significantly increase their revenue. We're excited to expand that investment to books -- with this launch, we expect three immediate results: Kindle owners will read even more, publisher revenues will grow, and authors will see larger royalty checks."


To learn more about the Kindle Owners' Lending Library, visit www.amazon.com/kindleownerslendinglibrary. To learn about all of the additional benefits included with Amazon Prime, or to start an Amazon Prime free trial visit www.amazon.com/prime.

1 comment:

  1. While this announcement may be new from Amazon, Books for Kindle have been available at no charge from libraries in Connecticut since at least early October. Borrowers may download up to 4 books for a three week period. If the borrower later buys or re-borrows the book, Kindle will have saved margin notes and highlights. This free service from Kindle was institued by Amazon to compete with the already existing free loan of Nook books. The local libraies have Nooks available to borrow and try, but no Kindles as of yet.

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