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The Kindle Revolution and the Bottom Line: Amazon to Announce 2010 Corporate Earnings After Stock Market Close Today, January 27, 2011

Amazon.com, Inc. (AMZN) will hold a conference call to discuss its fourth quarter 2010 financial results on January 27, 2011, at 2:00 p.m. PT/5:00 p.m. ET. The event will be webcast live, and the audio and associated slides will be available for at least three months thereafter at www.amazon.com/ir.

It will be interesting, as always, to see how much information the company provides about the business success of the Kindle, sales of ebooks and other content, and related issues such as the success of Amazon’s very new but shockingly successful publishing imprints such as AmazonEncore and AmazonCrossing.

Kindle’s New Lending Program May Not Be for Everyone, But It’s Definitely for Some: Lending & Borrowing Grow By Leaps and Bounds Through New “Kindle Lending Club”

In some ways, it wasn’t really fair of us to include a question about the new Kindle lending program in our Winter 2011 Kindle Nation Citizen Survey. After all, the program is even newer and shinier than the Kindles that millions of happy campers opened on the morning of December 25, since Amazon waited until the penultimate day of 2010 to launch the program.

So in that context, it’s pretty impressive that over 15 percent of the first 1500 respondents to our survey said that they were “using the new lending feature to lend or borrow Kindle books” sometimes (10%), every week (4%), or nearly every day (2%).

Even more impressive is the growth of a very attractive new service called the Kindle Lending Club that hits the sweet spot for interested Kindle lenders and borrowers by making the process easier than ever even as it multiplies dramatically the universe of potential readers with whom you can share books.

The Kindle Lending Club is only about two weeks old, but “our membership on the website is now over 8,800, over 10,000 on Facebook, and we have matched over 6,000 book loans on the website since the website launch,” Kindle Lending Club founder Catherine MacDonald told me this morning.

How many Kindle customers will ultimately be borrowing and/or lending of Kindle content? Even if the percentage stays in the 20 percent range, that could be millions of Kindle owners. And content borrowing could also swell the ranks of those who are first introduced to Kindle reading by downloading a free Kindle app onto another device such as an Android, iPhone, iPad, PC, or Mac.

So we don’t know how many there will be, but for those who decide to give it a try it’s hard to think of a better way to go about it than through the Kindle Lending Club. I tried it the other day and managed to lend three books to eager readers that very day, and it took me a grand total of less than five minutes.

We’re sufficiently impressed here at Kindle Nation that we’ve been brainstorming with Kindle Lending Club members for ways to work together to help make a more Kindle-friendly world for all readers and for our author and publisher friends as well.

Check out the Kindle Lending Club for yourself today!

Kindle Lending: Now Available For Free Books

Here’s a wee bit of good news:

When Amazon first made lending available for Kindle books a few days ago, it did not appear that the feature worked with free books. That might not seem like a problem because, well, the books are free, right? But if people are going to get into the regular practice of ebook lending, they will want to be able to lend or borrow as many books as possible, without regard to what price it was at when they acquired it. (My thinking here is that a lot of the lending that folks will do with Kindle books will be similar to what many of us have done for years with dead-tree books: we lend them to people we care about because we hope they will read them. When that’s what is at work, price is often a secondary consideration to content.)

So I’m happy to report that an increasing number of the free books reported each morning in our Kindle Nation Free Book Alerts are showing up with Lending: Enabled under their Product Details heading. This morning I tried loaning a copy of Deadly Sanctuary to my friend Alter J. “Al” Eggo, and although he hasn’t claimed it yet, it appears that the offer reached him.

Now Available: Lending For Some Kindle Books

Amazon has kept its promise to make Kindle books available for lending before the end of 2010 — without 36 hours to spare!

The new enhancement has just been announced and, with many publishers blocking the feature, it is currently available for a limited number of titles. To find out if a title that you already own is available for lending, look it up under “Your Orders” on your Manage Your Kindle page and look for the “Loan this book” button at the bottom left, as shown in this screenshot.


Prior to purchasing a book, you can check to see if Lending is enabled under Product Details, where it will either say Lending: Enabled, or nothing at all on the subject.

Here’s Amazon’s presentation on the new lending feature, from the company’s website:

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.

Finding Lendable Books

Titles that are eligible for lending, as determined by the publisher or rights holder, will have a message on the product detail page. Scroll down to the “Product Details” section and look for “Lending: Enabled” as shown below:


For titles you already own, you can check the Your Orders section in Manage Your Kindle. Click the “+” symbol next to a title to reveal additional information about the title. If lending is enabled, you’ll see a Loan this book button next to the product image.

Loaning a Kindle Book

You can initiate a loan from Manage Your Kindle or the book’s product detail page on Amazon.com. You’ll enter the borrower’s name and e-mail address and an optional notification message. Your recipient can receive the book loan even if they do not yet have a Kindle or Kindle reading application.

From Manage Your Kindle:

Manage Your Kindle lists all of your Kindle content purchases under the Your Orders section.

1. Click the “+” symbol next to a title to reveal all information and options. If lending is enabled, you’ll see a Loan this book button next to the product image.

2. Click the Loan this book button.

3. You’ll be directed to a form where you’ll provide the borrower’s name, e-mail address and an optional message.

From the product detail page of a book you have already purchased:

When logged in to your Amazon account and looking at the product detail page of a book you have already purchased, a notification at the top of the page will indicate that you already own the title. If lending for the book is enabled, you’ll see a second notice: “Loan this book to anyone you choose.”

1. Click the Loan this book link.

2. You’ll be directed to a form where you’ll provide the borrower’s name, e-mail address and an optional message (as shown above).

Your loan recipient will be notified of the loan through the e-mail address you provide. The borrower has seven days to accept the loan.

If the loan is not accepted after seven days, the book will become available again through your Archived Items. You can also attempt to loan the book again at that time.

If the borrower already owns the title, or the title is not available in the borrower’s country due to copyright restrictions, the borrower will not be able to accept the loan. In these cases the lender will be able to read and loan the book again after the seven day period has ended.

Receiving a Kindle Book Loan

If someone has loaned you a Kindle book, you will receive an e-mail notification allowing you to download the book to your Kindle device or free Kindle reading application. After accepting the loan, you’ll have 14 days to enjoy the book until the download ends.

To download a Kindle book loan:

1. Open the e-mail message you received about your book loan and click the Get your loaned book now button. Your web browser will launch and automatically direct you to Amazon.com to accept the loan.

2. Log into your Amazon.com account if prompted, or create one if you are not yet an Amazon.com customer. You may also be prompted to enter a billing address to verify your location only (there is no charge associated with accepting a Kindle book loan.)

3. If you are already a Kindle user, just select the device that you would like the book delivered to from the drop-down menu and click the Accept button.

4. If you do not yet have a Kindle or Kindle reading application, click the Accept button and you will be taken through the steps to download a free reading application. After downloading a reading application you will need to return to the e-mail message and accept the loan.

Tip: You have seven days from when you first received your e-mail about the book load to accept the loan. Once you accept, you have 14 days before the loan expires.

Frequently Asked Questions

As the lender, can I read the book while it is out on loan?

Once you initiate a Kindle book loan, you will not be able to read the book until the loan period has ended, after which your access will automatically be restored.

Once your notification has been sent, a reminder message will appear on the Home screen of your Kindle or Kindle reading app, indicating that the book is on loan and cannot be read until the loan has ended.

During the loan period the book will still remain visible in your Archived Items folder, but you will be unable to redownload the title.

Will I be notified before the book loan expires?

Yes. Three days before the end of the 14-day loan period we will send borrowers a courtesy reminder e-mail about the loan expiration. Once the loan period has ended, an e-mail notification will be sent to both the book lender and borrower. The lender can then access the book again through their Archived Items and Manage Your Kindle.

The borrower will receive a notice on the Home screen of their device indicating that the loan has ended.  The borrower will still be able to view the title from their Archived Items folder as well, but selecting the title will bring up a reminder that the loan has ended and provide a link to purchase the item.

If the recipient is finished with the loaned book and wishes to return it, they can do so from the Your Orders section of Manage Your Kindle. Here’s how:

1. Click the “+” symbol next to the loaned title.

2. Click the Delete this Title button.

3. Click Yes in the pop-over window to confirm the return.

After initiating a return the reading rights will be restored to the owner of the book. The owner will also receive an e-mail confirmation of the return.

How do I view the status of my loan?

You can view the status of a Kindle book loan from the Manage Your Kindle page. Click on the “+” symbol next to any title to view more details about any book that you’ve loaned or borrowed.

If you’ve loaned out the book, you’ll see the loan date listed, as well as whether the loan is pending, the expiration date of an accepted loan, or the returned date.

Borrowers will be able to see how much longer a loan is available, or if it has ended.

Is lending available internationally?

At this time, Kindle book lending can only be initiated by customers residing in the United States. If a loan is initiated to a customer outside the United States, the borrower may not be able to accept the loan if the title is not available in their country due to publisher geographical rights.

In these cases the borrower will be notified of this during the Loan redemption process, and the book reading and lending rights will return to the lender at the end of seven days from loan initiation. You can always check the status of a loan by viewing the book on the Manage Your Kindle page.

Just in time for the holidays: KINDLE FREE FOR ALL! The Most Complete Resource Yet for Getting Free Content for Your Kindle

I may have mentioned once or twice at Kindle Nation that I’ve been working hard lately, behind the scenes, on a valuable new resource for Kindle Nation citizens. This morning I’m pleased to announce the Kindle Exclusive publication of my new book, KINDLE FREE FOR ALL: How to Get Millions of Free Kindle Books and Other Free Content With or Without an Amazon Kindle (For Use with the Latest Generation of Kindles and Kindle Apps). For a limited time through the holiday season it will be available only in the Kindle Store for just 99 cents.

Thanks to some great help from talented editor and author April Hamilton, we have worked hard to hit the sweet spot in making this book the most complete and easy-to-use resource yet for finding all kinds of free content for your Kindle and other Kindle-compatible devices, with useful information on millions of free ebooks, free audio books, and free periodical, blog, and research content for Kindle. Here’s the Table of Contents:

* Ch 1: How Can This Be? Amazon May Be Making Billions, But Kindle is the Key to “Free”
* Between the Chapters, and Just Between Us: Best Resources for Kindle Owners
* Ch 2: Use Kindle Nation Daily’s Free Book Alerts
* Between the Chapters, and Just Between Us: No Kindle Required! How to Download and Use Free Kindle Apps for the PC, Mac, iPad, iPhone, iPod Touch, BlackBerry, Android and, Soon, the Windows Phone 7 and Other Devices
* Ch 3: Find and Download Thousands of Free Books Directly From the Kindle Store
* Between the Chapters, and Just Between Us: Using Wi-Fi, 3G, or a USB Cable to Connect Your Kindle
* Ch 4: Find and Download Free Books From Kindle-Compatible Free Book Collections
* Between the Chapters, and Just Between Us: Easily Find Free Kindle Store Classics Arranged by Author and Title
* Ch 5: Find and Download Free Book Samples and Free 14-Day Periodical Trials From the Kindle Store
* Between the Chapters, and Just Between Us: Free for You: How to Ask for and Use a Kindle Gift Certificate
* Ch 6: Use Calibre to Manage Your Kindle’s Free Books and Other Kindle Content
* Between the Chapters, and Just Between Us: Email eBooks, Memoranda, Scripts, Manuscripts, Directions, Recipes, Legal Briefs and Other Personal Documents to Your Kindle
* Ch 7: Read Blogs, Periodicals, and Other Web Content for Free on the Kindle
* Between the Chapters, and Just Between Us: Use eReadUps to Collect Research on Your Kindle or Build Your Own eBooks from Web Sources
* Ch 8: Why Your Kindle’s Free Wireless Web Browser is a Revolutionary Feature, and May Be the Key to What’s Next from Amazon
* Between the Chapters, and Just Between Us: Use Your Kindle to Check Your eMail
* Ch 9: Unlock the World Of Free Audio on the Kindle
* Between the Chapters, and Just Between Us: How to Contact Kindle Nation
* Ch 10: Ten Reasons the New Kindle 3 or Kindle Wi-Fi Is a Must if You Love to Read … And a Few Minor Drawbacks
* Between the Chapters, and Just Between Us: Kindle Periodicals and Your Battery
* Ch 11: The Politics of “Free” Books In the Age of the Kindle
* Between the Chapters, and Just Between Us: The Future of Free in the Kindle Store
* Ch 12: The Myth of the Kindle’s “Standard” $9.99 Price, the Agency Model, and the ABCs of Kindle Store Pricing


BULLETIN: Kindle Wi-Fi Sold Out as Christmas Season Peaks

Don’t miss our Daily Free Book Alert, Friday, December 17: A Jane Austen bonanza, an East End Murder, Fame, and YA wish fulfillment, plus … a YA novel of love and loss until an unexpected kiss, a nearly disastrous airplane landing, and the lingering spirit of a lovesick boy help open Brazil’s eyes to a world outside of her own universe: Safe Landing by Tess Oliver (Today’s Sponsor)

Well, we really can’t lay this at Oprah’s doorstep, but as we suggested earlier this month might occur, Amazon has fallen behind in fulfilling new Kindle orders.

As of 1 p.m. Eastern, the Kindle Wi-Fi is “expect to ship in 3 to 5 days.” The $189 3G+Wi-Fi Kindle is still in stock, as of now.

Kindle Nation Daily Readers’ Alert for Saturday, May 22: The Editor’s Pick of the Week from Paul K. Biba at Teleread

For all who enjoy keeping up with the Kindle revolution and its various offshoots and tributaries, here’s our weekly portion of the top posts and insights as chosen by colleague Paul K. Biba, editor over at Teleread: