Flash! Amazon to enable public library lending for the Kindle

Flash! Amazon to enable public library lending for the Kindle

This is it!

It’s going to knock out several threads a day in the Amazon Kindle community!  It’s going to mean that people won’t buy a second EBR (E-Book Reader) just to get library books!

There have got to be people over at Sony who just did a spit take and are crying into their Playstations.

In this

Press Release

Amazon announces Kindle Library Lending…yep, making it possible to borrow Kindle books from over 11,000 public libraries in the US.

What’s the implementation?

Who cares?  😉  Just kidding…

It’s the symbolic nature of it that’s important…competitors not being able to say that Amazon doesn’t do public libraries.

I care about how it works, of course, and so do you.

Even if a couple of major publishers (Macmillan and Simon & Schuster) don’t license to libraries at all, and HarperCollins is limiting library check-out to 26 times.

We’ll find out more about this, but here are some highlights:

  • It will work with all models of Kindle…and the free Kindle reader apps!
  • You can make your notes in the library copy…and if you buy it later, you’ll still have your notes!
  • If you check out the book again, BAM, there are your notes
  • They are working with http://www.overdrive.com
  • It’s going to be available “later this year”

This is a game changer…that costs you nothing.  That’s one of the things Amazon is really good at doing.

I’ll be looking forward to more information…now, what else can we complain about?  😉

UPDATE: I’m traveling on a family issue for the next couple of days…in fact, I’m writing this and will post it from a plane (no, Jerry Stiller, I am neither from the future nor Cleveland.)  😉   That means I may not be able to stay on top of things as much as I usually do, especially Thursday.  I did see some updates, though.  First, it appears to me that the 11,000 plus public libraries may be all of the ones on Overdrive.  They mention 13,000 outlets, but that’s more than just public libraries.  You can see your current availability at http://www.overdrive.com .  However, that won’t tell you about Kindle availability at this point.

Also, this does not mean the enabling of EPUB, apparently.  Bonnie, one  of my readers, was nice enough to post this link `

Library Journal article 

They say:

“… it will integrate with all the existing ebook catalogs in the United States powered by OverDrive. In other words, the libraries—including schools, colleges and public libraries—will not have to add a new format, and the ebooks now available on the OverDrive sites will be immediately integrated with the Kindle…”

That’s clarified to say that the  books will be AZW (the most common of the two formats in the Kindle store), and will not necessitate the purchase of another format.

I don’t quite get how that will work.  It sounds like all the EPUBs they bought will be immediately available as AZWs at no additional cost.  The thing that makes the most sense to me is conversion, but that seems unlikely.  It should still be that you have the book for two weeks, and then it “self-destructs” on your Kindle. 

This thing about it being able to preserve your notes is huge.  I would guess this (and a $99 Kindle?) will really mainstream it…I think we may even see Amazon stock impacted positively in the short run, even though the Kindle is actually a small part of their gross.

This post by Bufo Calvin originally appeared in the I Love My Kindle blog.

17 Responses to “Flash! Amazon to enable public library lending for the Kindle”

  1. Bonnie L. Says:

    Have you seen any indication of who the 11,000 libraries are? I didn’t see that information listed anywhere. My local library system (Pinellas County, Florida) does lend epub format ebooks (as well as audiobooks) with Overdrive. So I have my fingers crossed that they might be one of the 11,000 to loan Kindle books. 🙂

  2. YasminS Says:

    “now, what else can we complain about?” that was my first thought when I saw the release 🙂 Anyway, I’m really excited about this!

    • bufocalvin Says:

      Thanks for writing, Yasmin!

      Well, people do complain about the lending implementation, so I’m sure they’ll complain about the library implementation as well. Then, of course, there are always prices… 🙂

  3. Common Sense Says:

    I was wondering about format too, will Overdrive provide .mobi formatted ebooks?

    Anyway, this is really good news for me. I don’t use the library, I haven’t in a long time, but maybe I will now for a bestseller or two that I don’t want to buy.

    But the really good news is that I got my mom a Kindle for Mother’s Day. She and Dad are only library users, they don’t buy books, but I figured she could take advantage of all of the free books and she could share what I have on my account. Maybe they can switch off, one reading something on the Kindle and the other reading a library book. Now though, she’ll be able to check out ebooks too.

    • bufocalvin Says:

      Thanks for writing, Common!

      Yes, for people who are used to using the library (and therefore, used to waiting for popular books), this will be seen as a big plus. Maybe they will have it running by Mothers’ Day…

  4. John Says:

    Great. Amazon has been missing this marketing opportunity, & this is a smart move on their part.

    • bufocalvin Says:

      Thanks for writing, John!

      I’m sure it was pretty complicated to make it work. That knocks out a big competitive advantage for others….so it should boost Amazon.

  5. Dave Says:

    Sounds so exciting!!! I decided to check out Overdrive via my Android phone. Currently my local library, which is a pretty good sized library in the Pasadena/Glendale CA area with multiple branches has 100 ePub books and 221 Audio Books available via Overdrive. That’s it. My excitement has been duly tempered. Although I did find a few Audiobooks I can listen to in the car via my phone.

    • bufocalvin Says:

      Thanks for writing, Dave!

      Yep…that’s what people will complain about. 😉 I glad you found some audiobooks…not a fan myself (unless I’ve already read the book), I prefer text-to-speech…but it’s a nice optoin.

  6. Jude Says:

    In your past experience, what is your best guess on when this will happen? How far ahead of time does Amazon usually make these announcements?

  7. Tom Semple Says:

    I think this is game, set and match to Amazon, at least in the US.

    As far as how this is going to be implemented, here is my theory:
    – Overdrive gives Amazon a list of the ePub titles publishers have made available
    – Virtually all of these are available in Kindle format, so Amazon simply gives Overdrive the ASIN for each title to include in their database. They synch up periodically when new books are added, etc.
    – Overdrive will have two buttons next to each title: ‘ePub’ and ‘Kindle’, click to add to your Cart, click through to confirm and get to Download page. The title is now checked out to your library account, whether or not you actually ever download anything. Overdrive is not fulfilling the download request as with ePub/PDF.
    – if it is a Kindle format book, the Download button will take you to an Amazon hosted page, where you supply your Amazon credentials and select the device the ebook is destined for, or say ‘download later’. In invoking this page, Overdrive has supplied Amazon with the necessary details: ASIN, lending period, some token that can be used to update the loan status of this book with Overdrive’s server if necessary.
    – delivery/download takes place as with any Kindle Store purchase, via Amazon’s infrastructure. The magic bits that allow enforcement of the lending period are burned into the download along with the device key that binds the content to a particular Kindle or Kindle App.
    – I hope Manage Your Kindle page will include a section showing the status of loaned books you have checked out, their expire dates, with a button to ‘return’ the book early, and a way to send it to a different Kindle or Kindle App that is linked to your Amazon account.
    – on all devices linked to your account, loaned items show up in Archived Items (unless they are already on the device)
    – I also hope Overdrive’s web site is navigable using K3’s web browser, so you can complete the entire checkout workflow on at least a K3.
    – For extra credit, amazon could offer indie authors who publish on Kindle the option to make their books available via Overdrive so libraries can purchase them.

  8. New murder mystery novel Says:

    New murder mystery novel…

    […]Flash! Amazon to enable public library lending for the Kindle « I Love My Kindle[…]…

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