Flash! Kindle book lending is here
They said it would be here by the end of the year, and Amazon made it a day to spare. :)
It is now possible to lend some Kindle books to people not on your account. People want this, partially become it emulates something people were used to doing with paperbooks.
This is something that Barnes & Noble has had some time, and that they call LendMe.
The program is fairly similar, but Amazon has done some interesting things with the idea.
Here are the details:
When you own a Kindle store book, you’ll be able to lend it once (ever) for fourteen days. You can do that from the
page. However, intriguingly, you can also do it from the book’s Amazon product page. If you’ve previously purchased the book, you’ll see a subtle little hyperlink at the top, under where it tells you that you have previously purchased the book. It says
“Loan this book to anyone you choose”
All you do is put in the person’s e-mail address. You can put the person’s name and add a comment, but you don’t need to do that.
That person does not even need to have a Kindle…or for that matter, a Kindle reading app for you to offer them the loan. If they accept the loan, they’ll be taken to a place to download an app.
The loan is for fourteen days, but the book can be returned early (from that Manage Your Kindle page). The lender can’t read the book while it is on loan.
You can’t successfully loan the book to someone if it is unavailable in that person’s country.
You can’t successfully loan the book if the person already has it.
Whether you are allowed to lend it or not is up to the publisher. That’s true under Barnes & Noble’s program as well.
Can you tell if a book is lendable before you buy it? Yes, it will say that in the Product Details (under the Amazon Standard Identification Number…ASIN).
I’m going to look at this in more detail, but I’ll send it now to give you the heads-up.
EDITED TO ADD: I want to be really clear about this. If you loan the book to one person once, you can not loan it to that person again or to anyone else. Don’t lend a book to someone just to try this out this morning, unless you really want to lend it and won’t want to lend it again.
Update: I’ve started looking at which books have this. I went through the top ten bestselling paid books (not freebies), and I saw two that were enabled. Overall, though, the percentage will be much higher.
For one thing, I assume that independent publishers enrolled in Amazon’s 70% royalty program will have to make their books lendable. Those publishers agree to participate in programs in the Kindle store (like text-to-speech), and this will presumably be one of those. UPDATE: All books in the DTP automatically got lending. As a publisher, you can opt out of it for future purchases by going to the DTP and selecting that…but only for books in the 35% royalty plan.
UPDATE: I’ve done a more thorough post on this here.
This post by Bufo Calvin originally appeared in the I Love My Kindle blog.