Kindle lending library launches with thousands of books

Amazon’s opened its Kindle lending library, offering over 5,000 titles for loan, including over 100 current and former New York Times Bestsellers.

Users subscribing to the company’s Prime service – which costs $79 per year – can borrow them for free. There’s no time limit on how long you can keep the book, although it’s only possible to borrow one book per month, and only one at a time.

It seems that the company has had some difficulty in persuading publishers to get on board. While it’s agreed deals with the majority to include titles for a fixed fee, others need some persuading.

As a result, says Amazon, it’s in some cases paying the standard wholesale fee for a title every time it’s borrowed by a reader, just to show publishers what a worthwhile channel it is.

“The Kindle Owners’ Lending Library is a great new benefit for Kindle owners and an entirely new growth opportunity for authors and publishers,” says Russ Grandinetti, vice president for Kindle Content.

“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.”

Books available include 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.

As with other Kindle books, the reader’s notes, highlights and bookmarks will be saved, so they can be accessed later if the user purchases or re-borrows the book.