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Amazon Enabled Book Lending on Kindles This Morning

Well, here’s something that the Nook has done for a while and Libraries have done forever. Amazon sees the light and enables book lending today (US customers only):

Here’s what Amazon is telling customers:

Lending Kindle Books

“Eligible Kindle books can be loaned once for a period of 14 days. The borrower does not need to own a Kindle — Kindle books can also be read using our free Kindle reading applications for PC, Mac, iPad, iPhone, BlackBerry, and Android devices. Not all books are lendable — it is up to the publisher or rights holder to determine which titles are eligible for lending. The lender will not be able to read the book during the loan period.”

There are sections on:
– Finding Lendable Books
– Loaning a Kindle Book
– Receiving a Kindle Book Loan
– Frequently Asked Questions

Here’s what Amazon is telling publishers:

Here’s what they say in the FAQ:

“Kindle Book Lending

The Kindle Book Lending feature allows users to lend digital books they have purchased through the Kindle Store to their friends and family. Each book may be lent once for a duration of 14 days and will not be readable by the lender during the loan period.

All DTP titles are enrolled in lending by default. For titles in the 35% royalty option, you may choose to opt out of lending by deselecting the checkbox under “Kindle Book Lending,” in the “Rights and Pricing” section of the title upload/edit process, but you may not choose to opt out a title if it is included in the lending program of another sales or distribution channel. For more details, see section 5.2.2 of the Term and Conditions.

To further explain how Kindle Book Lending works, we have created a list of common questions publishers might have. You can also view the Amazon.com Kindle Book Lending FAQ. Feel free to contact us with further questions after you have read through our FAQ’s.

Frequently Asked Questions:

Are all Kindle titles eligible for lending through the Kindle Book Lending program?

Yes, all books are eligible. However, publishers may chose to opt their books out of the lending program if they have chosen 35% royalty option and have not made the same book eligible for lending in other retailer programs.

Can I opt my title out of Kindle Book Lending?

Titles in the 35% royalty option may choose to opt out of Kindle Book Lending by deselecting the checkbox under “Kindle Book Lending,” in the “Rights and Pricing” section of the title upload/edit process. You may not choose to opt out a title if it is included in the lending program of another sales or distribution channel. Titles in the 70% royalty option must participate in Kindle Book Lending and may not opt out.

Will I receive royalties when customers choose to lend my book?

Loans of digital books through the Kindle Book Lending program are not purchases and thus are not eligible to receive royalty payments.

Will I be notified when someone has loaned my book?
At this time, notifications are not sent when customers loan your book.

Can I lend my own book?

Yes, you are welcome to lend your book to anyone you would like. However, you can only lend a title once per the terms of the Kindle Book Lending program. For more information about lending, please view the Amazon.com Kindle Book Lending FAQ.

If I opt my title out of Kindle Book Lending, will customers who previously purchased it still be able to lend it?
Customers who purchase your title after you have opted out of lending will not be able to lend it. However, customers who purchased your title while lending was enabled will retain the right to lend it once under the Kindle Book Lending program.”

“Here’s a little more information regarding how lending works on titles, taken from Amazon’s Digital Text Platform (DTP) FAQs. Every book published through the DTP, meaning virtually every indie book, has lending enabled by default. However, on titles where the publisher is taking the 35% royalty rate–which is required on anything priced below $2.99, and optional on anything priced between $2.99 and $9.99–publishers can opt out of the feature. This means that not every DRM-free ebook will necessarily have lending enabled, especially after today. However, if lending was enabled when you bought the book, the feature can’t be taken away even after the publisher turns it off.”

This is the new DTP clause that was added to the publisher agreements and updated online on Dec. 29, 2010:

“5.2.2 Kindle Book Lending Program. The Kindle Book Lending program enables customers who purchase a Digital Book to lend it subject to limitations we establish from time to time. All Digital Books made available through the Program are automatically included in the Kindle Book Lending program. However, for Digital Books that are in the 35% Royalty Option (as described in the Pricing Page), you may choose to opt out of the Kindle Book Lending program. This will disable lending of the Digital Book by customers who purchase it after you have opted it out, but this will not affect the right of customers who purchased it when lending was enabled to continue to lend it. You may not choose to opt out a Digital Book if it is included in the lending program of another sales or distribution channel. If we become aware that a Digital Book you have opted out is included in the lending program of another sales or distribution channel, we may enable it for lending. Digital Books that are in the 70% Royalty Option (as described in the Pricing Page) cannot be opted out of the lending feature.”

Some commentary from TeleRead:

Amazon’s new lending feature is probably going to anger some publishers December 30, 2010

Things are getting interesting!

Stephen

Posted on: December 30, 2010, 12:04 pm Category: Uncategorized

5 Responses

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  1. Larry Whited said

    Let’s see, fines and threats abound if a movie is shown or music is shared under circumstances that cut into the producers’ profits, but authors have to sit back and watch their work travel through the marketplace making money only for the retailer but not for the author. Sure seems like authors are subsidizing Amazon and other retailers.

  2. But if you make Amazon pay compensation for lending, the costs for libraries will rise, and taxpayers will have either to pay more or be satisfied with less. Besides, many libraries have CD and DVD collections. Scanning a copy of Twilight and distributing it to many people is closer to pirating music and video than lending e-books in libraries. Public libraries are a public good designed to educate the population. Authors should be duly compensated by their publisher, but it is difficult to argue that libraries or third party vendors like Amazon have responsibilities to compensate authors with whom they have no direct relationship.

    What I find ill-defined is the concept of renewal and storage. After fourteen days, do I get the option to renew? Does the library itself get access to the e-books for in-library use? Sometimes I go to the library just to read. Also, why does the retailer even get a say as to how long a library book can be lent? Shouldn’t that be up to the individual library?

    A further note is that not everyone has a Kindle. Why should a taxpayer be paying for material that requires the purchase of an intermediary device that I may not have and that only a wealthier segment of the population owns. Some libraries have e-readers, but what if I want to read an e-book when all the readers are checked out? The book is still there, but there is a shortage of devices. Of course Amazon wants to prevent abuse, but there has to be better alternatives.

    I think libraries should refrain from buying Kindle ebooks until lending gets treated more seriously. Either that, or we should lend indiscriminately until there is a lawsuit, then lobby for legal changes.

  3. InfoAssist said

    Have I missed something? I assumed Amazon’s ‘lending’ was between friends.
    The primary e-book vendor for public libraries seems to be OverDrive and their Adobe EPUB & PDF eBooks are incompatible with Kindles
    Dec 6th 2010 http://www.overdrive.com/resources/drc/compatibleebookdevices.aspx

  4. No, you haven’t missed anything. A major e-book provider is using the market dominance of their e-store, proprietary e-book format, and their bestselling device to attempt to capture more market share.

  5. OK, I missed something then. By lending, and the evocation of libraries, I began thinking that Kindle e-books were being lent by libraries.

    I did not understand that the lending was from one person to another. I understand now.