By Steve Windwalker
There has been a bit of confusion among Kindle owners today following Amazon’s launch of their new Kindle Owners’ Lending Library program, and we’ll do all we can here to help get it sorted out. I apologize for our phrasing that referred to the program initially as “Amazon’s new approach to free books,” and for the fact that there was a brief period when our Free Book Search Tool was returning some titles that were not free (in that they qualified only for free borrowing under the Kindle Owners’ Lending Library program); that problem has now been addressed. Like the New York Times, we took a moment to get our heads around what was being launched.
Important note: For any readers who were charged for a book today due to confusion between free books and the new Kindle lending library program for Amazon Prime members, Kindle customer support is always glad to provide a no-hassle return and refund within 7 days of your purchase. You can contact them at http://amzn.to/tL7YwJ.
So, what’s the new program?
First, let me be as clear as I can be: the new Kindle Owners’ Lending Library program is not a replacement for Amazon’s free Kindle book offerings, and Kindle Nation Daily has received a direct answer from Amazon spokeswoman Sarah Gelman today “confirming that we will continue to offer free books in the Kindle Store.”
Other than that very important fact, here’s the scoop on the new program:
- Amazon has rolled out a new feature called “Kindle Owners’ Lending Library,” which for starters consists of a list of over 5,000 Kindle titles that can be borrowed free … if you have an Amazon Prime membership, which costs $79 a year but is currently available with a one-month trial.
- Initially Amazon’s roll-out created some confusion because these new “Lending Library” titles began showing up on free book lists such as ours here at the Kindle Nation Daily Free Book Search Tool, and readers naturally worried that they were no longer going to be able to find free Kindle titles. This is not the case, indeed the Kindle Nation Daily Free Book Search Tool is fully functional once again after a brief hiccup this morning.
This new addition to the $79 Amazon Prime package will add great value to what is already a terrific deal — a deal that I have been enjoying for several years. Here are some of the fine points for the lending program:
- There are tons of great books available under this program, including over 100 current and former New York Times bestsellers.
- This “lending library” program is limited to one book per Amazon account per month.
- There do not, at present, appear to be any “due dates” or other limitations imposed on the length of time for which you can “borrow” these books, but you do have to return one book before you can download another under the program.
- The program is limited to those readers who actually own a Kindle device — any Kindle device from the Kindle 1 to the Kindle Fire and anything in between or thereafter, but not the Kindle Apps for other devices such as computers and iPads. Indeed, at present you can only browse the listings for these books using a Kindle and you need to be on your Kindle to download a qualifying book when you find one that you like.
We’ll have a lot more to report on this in the days ahead, and you can count on us to do all we can to help you find books that you want to read at prices you can comfortably pay — including free!
For Amazon’s diagrams on how to use their new program, please visit the Kindle Owners’ Lending Library page.
Here’s the guts of Amazon’s press release this morning:
Introducing The Kindle Owners’ Lending Library
With an Amazon Prime membership, Kindle owners can now choose from thousands of books to borrow for free – including over 100 current and former New York Times Bestsellers – as frequently as a book a month, with no due dates
Books can be borrowed and read on all Kindle E Ink devices and Kindle Fire
SEATTLE, Nov 02, 2011 (BUSINESS WIRE) — Today, Amazon.com, Inc. (NASDAQ:AMZN) announced the launch of the Kindle Owners’ Lending Library. With an Amazon Prime membership, Kindle owners can now choose from thousands of books to borrow for free – including over 100 current and former New York Times Bestsellers – as frequently as a book a month, with no due dates. No other e-reader or ebookstore offers such a service. With an annual Prime membership, the Kindle Owners’ Lending Library is included at no additional cost. Millions of Prime members enjoy free two-day shipping, unlimited streaming of nearly 13,000 movies and TV shows, and now thousands of books to borrow for free with a Kindle.
“Owning a Kindle just got even better. Today, we’re introducing a new Prime benefit built for Kindle: The Kindle Owners’ Lending Library,” said Jeff Bezos, Amazon.com Founder and CEO. “Prime Members now have exclusive access to a huge library of books to read on any Kindle device at no additional cost and with no due dates.”
The Kindle Owners’ Lending Library offers access to a wide array of categories and genres in fiction and non-fiction, and includes popular titles such as Moneyball: The Art of Winning an Unfair Game, The Big Short and Liars’ Poker by Michael Lewis, TheHunger Games trilogy by Suzanne Collins, and Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen –plus award-winning books such as The Finkler Question and Guns, Germs, and Steel, memoirs such as Anthony Bourdain’s Kitchen Confidential, and motivational books like The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People. Just as with any other Kindle book, your notes, highlights and bookmarks in borrowed books will be saved, so you’ll have them later if you purchase or re-borrow the book. Books are borrowed from a Kindle device, and customers can have one book out at a time. When customers want to borrow a new book, any borrowed book can easily be returned right from their device.
Titles in the Kindle Owners’ Lending Library come from a range of publishers under a variety of terms. For the vast majority of titles, Amazon has reached agreement with publishers to include titles for a fixed fee. In some cases, Amazon is purchasing a title each time it is borrowed by a reader under standard wholesale terms as a no-risk trial to demonstrate to publishers the incremental growth and revenue opportunity that this new service presents.
“The Kindle Owners’ Lending Library is a great new benefit for Kindle owners and an entirely new growth opportunity for authors and publishers,” said Russ Grandinetti, Vice President, Kindle Content. “With the growth in Prime membership and the recent addition of Prime Instant Video, we’ve been able to broaden our relationships with movie and TV studios such as CBS, Fox, and NBCUniversal and significantly increase their revenue. We’re excited to expand that investment to books – 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.”
“We’re excited to offer titles from our ebook ‘Chapters’ series, which covers some of the world’s most popular destinations, to members of Kindle Owners’ Lending Library,” says John Boris, EVP Lonely Planet. “Our ebooks have done incredibly well on Kindle and this is a great way to showcase our travel expertise to an even broader audience.”
“We’re excited about any program that helps readers discover our authors and their books,” said David Nussbaum, Chief Executive and Chairman of F+W Media Inc. “We think this will lead to more people reading F+W’s books, and more profit for our authors.”
To learn more about the Kindle Owners’ Lending Library, visit www.amazon.com/kindleownerslendinglibrary. To learn about all of the additional benefits included with Amazon Prime, or to start an Amazon Prime free trial visit www.amazon.com/prime.
Greetings from Kindle Nation!
- Even with plenty of work to do and the occasional crisis — this week’s was generated by Google’s Blogger service — we had tons of fun this week! Why? Mainly because we completed our first-ever Kindle Nation Sweepstakes and got to give away a brand new Kindle 3G! We had 2,998 entries and the level of excitement was high on our Facebook page, where we will be announcing new Kindle give-aways very, very soon to everyone who becomes a fan by clicking the Like button on our page.
- Our first Kindle give-away is out for delivery as I type and by the time you read this it will probably arrive at the home of winner Cyndi Collins. And meanwhile, if you don’t want to wait for our next Kindle sweepstakes, a little bird told us that there’s another Kindle 3G giveaway going on right now over at the Facebook page of our friends at BookLending.com.
- Finally, before we get started, Amazon announced this week that Charlaine Harris, author of the Sookie Stackhouse series, has become the fourth member of what it calls the Kindle Million Club. I double checked with a human at Amazon who assured me that they are also keeping track of indie or direct-to-Kindle authors, and it’s my view that there will be several indie author members of the Kindle Million Club by the end of the year. Maybe we should have a contest where the Kindle Nation citizen who correctly predicts the names of any such indie authors wins a new Kindle!
In This Issue
This Week’s Sponsor – Unmentionables by David Greene
More Free Books Than Ever! Why We Are Going to Keep This Issue of the Kindle Nation Newsletter Especially Short!
Stay Tuned: Will Amazon Announce a $299 Color+Touch Kindle Tablet in July?
Another New App Expands the Power of the Kindle: Converter (Easy Conversions for Kindle)
Amazon: The Hidden Empire — A Fascinating Look at What’s Really Going On
A Word on the Current Blogger Outage
Don’t miss the latest reviews at Kindle Kids’ Corner!
Kindle Nation Free Book Alert: Over 500 Free Contemporary Titles on Kindle!
- Read and Save Your Kindle Blogs with Kindle for Mac, Kindle for PC, or Other Kindle Apps
- Free Book Alert: How to Access Millions of Free Books in Seconds from Anywhere in the World with Kindle for Mac or PC App
- Kindle for Mac – It’s Out and Available for Free Download Now!
- No Kindle Required: More on the Importance, Limitations and Capabilities of the Kindle for Mac App
The new Kindle for Mac App, like its predecessor Kindle App for the PC, provides a seamless, elegant way to download Kindle content legally from a variety of free internet services and websites.
You can then read the material directly on your computer with the Kindle for Mac or PC app, which is a great option especially for material that is beyond the graphic-rendering pay grade of a 6″ Kindle display. The Kindle for Mac or PC App also provides a terrific gateway to your Kindle, with the help of your Kindle’s USB connection to your computer. Here are the basic steps, to be followed with a list of free content sites and services:
- First, of course, you will need to make sure that you have downloaded the Kindle for Mac app here and registered it to your Amazon account.
- Next, go to any of the free sites and services listed below, such as the Internet Archive page for a graphic-intensive title from 1941 called The Art of Caricaturing.(Note: some sites may include files that may require conversion through Amazon.)
- Click on the appropriate link to download a Kindle, .AZW, or .MOBI file to your computer. In this screenshot, you would click on the “Kindle (beta)” link in the lower left corner.
- When you see a download dialogue box like that shown below, choose “Kindle for Mac” as the application with which you wish to open the downloaded book, and check the box at the bottom so that your Mac will automatically open such files with the Kindle for Mac app in the future.
- The newly downloaded book should appear in your Kindle for Mac display, and be represented on your Kindle for Mac Home screen, within seconds.
- You will then be able to move any downloaded book of your choosing seamlessly to your Kindle simply by connecting your Mac (or PC) to your Kindle via USB cable and transferring the downloaded book to your Kindle’s “documents” folder either by dragging and dropping it with your mouse or copying and pasting it with the usual Mac or PC commands.
- For some of the services listed below such as the Project Gutenberg Magic Catalog and Feedbooks, you can make the process even more seamless by downloading and opening the service, just like you would open any Kindle book, from within your Kindle for Mac or Kindle for PC app and clicking on a selected title to begin an immediate download to your computer.
Here’s a listing of free content sites and services that should be compatible with your Kindle for Mac or Kindle for PC.
Magic Catalog of Project Gutenberg E-Books (MOBI Edition)
He calls it “A Newbie’s Guide to Publishing“, but don’t think for a moment that Joe Konrath hasn’t been to Night School. As I have already discussed in the Kindle Nation newsletter, Joe is my eye idea of an author who is working hard at connecting with his base of readers. As a direct consequence, that base is expanding by leaps and bounds.
Most recently, due in part to some nice symbiosis between Joe and Kindle Nation, “his” novel Serial has soared to the #1 bestseller position, among 290,000 Kindle books, in the Kindle Store. (Why the quotation marks around the word “his”? Because Joe’s the human behind the Jack Kilborn pen name.)
Joe is also the successful author of the Jack Daniels suspense-with-an-edge series, hold the garnish and the little umbrella, that began with the 2004 publication of Whiskey Sour.
If you are an author or independent publisher who wants to learn how to work the new technologies to find your readers, here are two suggestions:
- Set yourself a Google Alert for “Konrath;” and
- Become a subscriber to Joe’s newbie publishing blog.
Here’s a money-saving tip for new Kindlers who are awaiting for the arrival of their Kindle 2. Amazon, publishers, and authors often get together to offer temporary “zero-price promotions” on popular books in the Kindle Store, in addition to the thousands of free public-domain titles that are now available.
Naturally, these books do not remain free forever, but you do not have to wait for the arrival of your Kindle 2 to place your order. You can order these free books today and they will be delivered wirelessly to your Kindle 2 when you power it up for the first time. Just make sure that you place the order through the Amazon account that will be linked to your Kindle.
Eight of these books are being offered free by Random House through the end of February, and many are by authors who are publishing new work in 2009.
The ninth is a real treat, a major new Kindle exclusive cookbook from Cook’s Illustrated, and it alone may help you to expand the ways you have considered using your Kindle. The promotion allows Amazon to show off how the Kindle 2’s new, crisper display, zoom feature, and better hands-free functionality are more cookbook-compatible than its predecessor.
Finally, the tenth link here isn’t free, but it’s for an accessory that I highly recommend, especially if you think you might use the Kindle 2 either as cookbook repository or as a read-aloud companion while you are in the kitchen. M-Edge, which has emerged as a leading supplier of attractive Kindle covers for the original Kindle, has come out with a great selection of Kindle 2 covers that double as stand-up hands-free Kindle platforms. They range in price from faux-leather models at the same $29.99 price that Amazon is now charging for its branded cover to $54.99 (currently discounted to $44.99) for very attractive genuine leather models in several colors. Just visit the Kindle 2 Accessories page and scroll down (if you can!) past those dreamy three-figure designer covers from Cole-Haan.
The Idiot Girl and the Flaming Tantrum of Death by Laurie Notaro
or paste http://tinyurl.com/SearchFreeKindleContent into your browser
Thanks to Karen at Kindle Korner!