Amazon.com has launched a lending library for US Kindle owners with Prime membership today (3rd November), after signing deals on a “variety of terms” with publishers.
From today (3rd November), Amazon Kindle owners will be able to download one book a month for free, with no determined due date, but users will only be able to borrow one book at a time. The service offers more than 100 current or former New York Times bestsellers.
Amazon said it had come to an arrangement with publishers to supply "the vast majority of titles" for a fixed fee, but said the Kindle Owners’ Lending Library catalogue consisted of thousands of fiction and non-fiction titles from a range of publishers under a variety of terms.
The retail giant said: "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."
Russ Grandinetti, vice-president of Kindle Content, said the move into book lending had followed its recent offer of Prime Instant Video, which offers film and television to Prime members. He said: "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."
John Boris, executive vice-president at Lonely Planet, said: "We're excited to offer titles from our e-book 'Chapters' series, which covers some of the world's most popular destinations . . . Our e-books have done incredibly well on Kindle and this is a great way to showcase our travel expertise to an even broader audience."
David Nussbaum, chief executive and chairman of F+W Media, said: "We think this will lead to more people reading F+W's books, and more profit for our authors."