Kindle lending – good for Amazon

In Eresources on April 21, 2011 by africker Tagged: , , ,

They said it would never happen but Amazon has announced Kindle Book Lending in the US in partnership with OverDrive who already handle most ebook lending in UK Public Libraries.

As a Kindle owner I am glad to see this and hope we will see it in the UK soon.

There have been some concerns about how it will work in practice but thus far the answers seem pretty fair.

I can see some major wins for Amazon from joining the lending information ecology.

Firstly they will get some money from the libraries for the reading by their borrowers.  Money they were not getting (unless libraries were buying stock from them).  Since I got my Kindle for Christmas I have spent close to five pounds on ebooks (three in all). But I have read many more on the device and borrowed many more paper books from the Library.  I would encourage my local library to buy ebooks now I can actually get them onto my device.  Others are likely to do the same.

Secondly – unless the library buys a lot of kindle copies Amazon will get people on lovely clear purchase path. 

Go to library website, see you are number 20 in the queue, appreciate that when you get to the front of the queue you will have to drop whatever you are reading to read it before it disappears off to the next person. With the link to purchase no doubt near at hand what do I do? I suspect a good number will just buy it when they can see the queue. 

Or I borrow it from the library and before I finish reading it my loan runs out.  Again – will I go back in the queue or just buy it – particularly if a canny Amazon says – you already read three quarters of the book – we’ll let you finish it straight away for a low price (or indeed a high one if they already know I am reading all of a series of books).

So I definitely think Amazon are going to do well out of it.  What about libraries (and health ones at that)?  If they can find the money to pay for a decent collection (and other catches do not become apparent) then it must be good.  Amazon have the collections and Kindle the installed user base.  For health – I was interested to see that a number of health texts are already in the most popular public notes – so usage may well be on the way.  I’ll be looking out for pricing for my library.


4 Responses to “Kindle lending – good for Amazon”

  1. I’m not seeing how Amazon will get money from libraries. Overdrive has already said that libraries wil not need to purchase additional units to Kindle compatibilty. I think Amazon will make their money by offering discounts on library borrowed titles instead. Obviously they’ll also hope this will really knock the other eReaders right out of the ring.

  2. But currently libraries do not buy nearly as many ebooks as they might. Essex is supposed to be pretty advanced in these things but the selection there is not enormous.

    They will have to pay to expand that selection (though a just in time model would be great – as per the EBL stuff in CILIP Update this month).

    And as demand rises they might want to buy multiple concurrent loanable copies – more money.

    Agree about the move against competing devices

  3. Interesting post, Alan. I’ve contacted Camden Libraries to ask what their plan is for ebook lending as there was nothing that I could see on their website to indicate any plans regarding ebooks or ebook readers such as Kindle.
    On a related note, I noticed the following story in CILIP International News Bulletin-

    53,000 Signatures for Online Petition Against HarperCollins Library eBook Policy

    Their policy is to allow an ebook to be leant to readers 26 times before it turns into a brick and the library has to re-purchase it. I don’t know where other publishers stand?


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