Everything you want to know about eBook Lending

eBook lending is a relatively new phenomenon and basically allows a user to lend out a purchased lendable e-book (they're labeled as such) to one person, one time, for a limited amount of time.  If you own a Kindle or a Nook you can borrow ebooks and lend ebooks from other users, as both Amazon and Barnes & Noble now support ebook lending - B&N implemented their “Lend Me” program in May 2010 and Amazon introduced a similar Kindle lending feature in December 2010. On November 2011 Amazon launched its own Kindle lending library for Amazon Prime members.

If you have a Kobo or Sony Reader you can't borrow an ebook from another user, but you can borrow an ebook from a growing number of public libraries (As of April 2011, you can do so with your Kindle as well).

Here you will find information and updates on this developing trend as well as on the question that many authors, publishers and book retailers ask themselves - Is e-book lending a good thing?

eBook lending services:

Amazon Kindle Owners' Lending Library


eBook Fling


LendMe (Barnes & Noble lending program for Nook owners)

Photo: Alamy, WSJ


A Better Lending Library Model - Joe Wikert, TeleRead, July 9, 2012

First of all, I now figure Amazon could just leave the flat fee mode in place for those publishers who are OK with it. Obviously there are some smaller publishers who feel they dont need pay-for-performance and theyre happy with the flat fees Amazon offered. But since the service is missing content from so many other publishers Amazon needs to start thinking about other options for this program.

E-book lending: Your public library's best kept secret? - Amy Gahran, CNN, June 26, 2012

About three quarters of American public libraries currently lend out e-books, and in the past year libraries have seen a sharp growth in e-book borrowing. Still, well over half of U.S. library card holders don't know whether their local public library lends e-books, according to a new Pew report.

Penguin slinks back into e-book lending for New York City libraries, with a possible catch - Jon Fingasontent, June 22, 2012

You might say Penguin has had a rocky relationship with libraries. That looks to be on the tentative mend, as the publisher and 3M have together cut deals with the Brooklyn Public Library and New York Public Library to bring Penguin's e-book catalog back as part of a test program. Under the terms of the one-year project, the libraries will pay retail-level prices once a year to keep any given e-book available, no matter how many times it's virtually borrowed by residents in the boroughs.

Penguin Ends E-Book Library Lending And Relationship With OverDrive - Laura Hazard Owen, paidContent, February 5, 2012

Three months of library drama are coming to a climax this evening as big-six publisher Penguin announced that it is ending its relationship with digital library distributor OverDrive. Starting tomorrow, it will stop offering e-books and digital audiobooks to libraries—at least until it finds a new partner.

Publishers put the squeeze on library ebook lending - Kim Westad, Time Colonist, February 5, 2012

A study by former Vancouver chief librarian Paul Whitney found that there was a 243 per cent increase in ebook loans in the first two months of 2011 compared with January and February of 2010 in the Vancouver library system. The study also found that for every two ebooks borrowed, one ebook hold was placed, a much higher ratio than holds on other collections, including print books.

Amazon's Lending Library Now Holds Over 66,000 Ebooks - Michael Kelley, The Digital Shift, December 28, 2011

When Amazon launched its lending library on November 3, the collection had only 5000 titles. But the collection has grown exponentially since then, as the Public Libraries blog points out, with 66,037 titles available the morning of December 28.

Publishers vs. Libraries: An E-Book Tug of War - Randall Stross, New York Times, December 24, 2011

LAST year, Christmas was the biggest single day for e-book sales by HarperCollins. And indications are that this year’s Christmas Day total will be even higher, given the extremely strong sales of e-readers like the Kindle and the Nook. Amazon announced on Dec. 15 that it had sold one million of its Kindles in each of the three previous weeks.

eBook Average Check Out Time At Library Is 8 Days: ebrary Report - Dianna Dilworth, eBookNewser, December 19, 2011

Library patrons are using their eReaders to check out books. According to a new report from ebrary, 92 percent of librarians find giving offline access to eBooks more or equally important than providing online access.

Publishers' business model for lending ebooks at libraries - Public Libraries, December 9, 2011

Amazon has just created the business model that book publishers should use with libraries for lending their ebooks. Amazon has completely changed the ebook lending game with their KDP Select program that they launched yesterday. The plan is to put all their Kindle Direct Publishing ebooks into their Kindle Owners' Lending Library and then pay authors based on the number of times their ebook was borrowed.

Renting out the library - Peter Brantley, PWxyz, December 9, 2011

For librarians to endorse a sometimes awkward debate around business models, we must recognize that our organizations are in a difficult space in persuading publishers to continue providing ebooks for lending. The entire sales environment has been transformed, and the lack of physical barriers to digital access has a wide set of consequences for retailing as well as libraries.

Public Library E-Book Lending Must Change to Survive - Bill Rosenblatt, Copyright and Technology, December 4, 2011

A few events over the past few weeks illustrate the downward arc that I have suggested is in store for public libraries in the e-book age. First, Amazon introduced its own e-book “lending library” for members of its $79/year Amazon Prime service, which allows users to “borrow” one e-book at a time, with no due dates.

Living in the Jungle: Amazon and Penguin - Peter Brantley, PWxyz, November 2, 2011

I’ve been thinking about Amazon’s entry into the ebook lending market, initially via Overdrive and now through the Prime subscription program, and considering its ramifications. I am hardly alone; publishers are obviously evaluating this move as well. Penguin’s abdication from the library market has been widely perceived to be a response to Amazon’s entry into ebook lending.

Penguin suspends ebook library lending - Eco-Libris blog, November 22, 2011

AP reported earlier today that Penguin Group has suspended making e-editions of new books available to libraries and won't allow libraries to loan any e-books for Amazon.com's Kindle e-readers and tablets.

Will piracy kill e-book lending? - Geoff Duncan, Digital Trends, November 22, 2011

Borrowing e-books from libraries is a nifty idea. Not only are the titles digital (and thus searchable, sync-able, available on a wide range of devices and capable of scaling to match user’s displays and devices), but readers and libraries don’t have to deal with the overhead of managing, storing, cataloging, repairing, and replacing physical books. Digital editions are perpetually brand new. Even better, there are no late fees with e-books from libraries: They just expire when the lending period is over.

Libraries ramp up e-book lending - Roger Yu, USA Today, November 14, 2011

After a tentative foray into digital lending on PCs and e-readers several years ago, public libraries are opening the next chapter for smartphones and tablet computers. The movement kicked into high gear in September when Amazon finally turned on its Kindle for 11,000 local libraries, triggering a flood of new users. App developers are also working with libraries to enable book lovers to borrow on their smartphones.

Authors Guild Criticizes Amazon Lending Library - Jason Boog, GalleyCat, November 14, 2011

The Authors Guild issued a stern statement about Amazon's Kindle Owners' Lending Library today, concluding: “Under most (perhaps all) publishing contracts, a license to Amazon's Lending Library is outside the bounds of the publisher's licensing authority.”

5 Facts You Should Know About Kindle Owners' Lending Library - The Passive Voice, November 11, 2011

Kindle? Libraries? Some people may confuse it with borrowing Kindle ebooks from public libraries. It has nothing to do with it – it's about borrowing Kindle books from Amazon – and not everyone can do it.

kindle library lending: pricing model? - jrochkind, Bibliographic Wilderness, November 10, 2011

Looks like perhaps Amazon recently started allowing libraries to ‘lend’ kindle ebooks. Does anyone know the pricing model to libraries? An important thing to realize about how the rise of ebooks effects libraries, is the legal difference between ebook or print books for library lending.

Alternatives to the Kindle Library Lending - pmiller, savings.com, November 9, 2011

If you think the Amazon Prime e-book lending program isn't ready for prime time--no pun intended-- here are some alternative free and legal ways to borrow e-books. Public Libraries - As Rick wrote back in April, Amazon already has a Kindle library lending option. There are about 11,000 public libraries that participate in the program, and users can take advantage of it without needing to invest in one of Amazon's Kindle e-readers.

What's Coming to Amazon's Lending Library? Take a Look - Chloe Albanesius, PCMag.com, November 6, 2011

Is Amazon's new Kindle e-book lending program worth the price of a $79 annual Amazon Prime membership? Now you can check it out for yourself; the list of eligible books is posted on Amazon's Web site. There are currently 5,377 Kindle e-books available to Prime members.

Why Amazon's Lending Library is Not a Threat to Public Libraries - Bobbi Newman, Librarian by Day, November 4, 2011

I had no idea that Amazon's announcement would signal the end of the world, or at least the end of public libraries, or as my friend & colleague Andy puts it, the library apocalypse or I would have included this in yesterday's post.

On Amazon Kindle new lending library: The good, the bad and the ugly - Eco-Libris blog, November 4, 2011

The good: If you are a Kindle holder and also Amazon Prime member you just got yourself a free ebook every month. This is also good news to ebook lending fans in general - the market is and will get more competitive and readers will be the ones that will profit from it eventually. For example, right now ebook lending services such as eBookFling and BookLending, as well as libraries, let you rent ebooks only up to 14 days.

Amazon Introduces Kindle Lending Library - Todd Wasserman, Mashable, November 3, 2011

Amazon has introduced a new lending library for Kindle owners that lets them borrow one ebook a month for free, if they have an Amazon Prime membership. Amazon is offering more than 5,000 titles, including New York Times bestsellers, that Prime members can borrow. The offer, however, requires you own a Kindle, Kindle Touch, Kindle Keyboard or Kindle Fire — you can’t borrow books if you use a Kindle app on another mobile device.

eBook lending: Libraries go digital - Steve Kastenbaum, CNN.com, October 26, 2011

Board a bus or a train today and chances are you'll see several people with eReaders in hand. While most probably bought their electronic books on a popular website, you may find a few who borrowed the paperless books from the library. EBooks accounted for 6.4% of all publishing in 2010, according to the American Association of Publishers, and 114 million electronic books were sold last year.

Librarians Weigh Kindle Ebook Lending against Reader Privacy - Beverly Goldberg, American Libraries Magazine, October 19, 2011

The library world was thrilled at the September 21 announcement that library vendor OverDrive had enabled its library customers to loan the ebooks they’d licensed from OverDrive to patrons with Kindle e-readers—provided that the ebooks were in Kindle-maker Amazon’s sales inventory.

Hachette Taking a Close Look at Risks and Benefits of Library Ebook Lending - Michael Kelley, LibraryJournal.com, August 23, 2011

Hachette Book Group has been doing a lot of legwork in recent months as part of an effort to decide whether it should increase its exposure to the library ebook market, reversing a previous decision that has kept Hachette's frontlist ebook titles out of library hands since July 2010.

The state of the e-book lending market - Erik Christopher, GigaOM, June 16, 2011

E-books continue to be an area of growth for publishers. What once equaled about 1.5 percent of a publisher’s sales is steadily growing and accounts for as much as 5 to 7 percent in the U.S., varying by publisher and genre. As sales continue to grow, the desire for features, services and the amount of e-book titles also expands. E-book lending is one such feature that has seen a rise in the past year, thanks to programs from Barnes & Noble, Amazon and other players.

53,000 Signatures for Online Petition Against HarperCollins Library eBook Policy - Jason Boog, GalleyCat, May 4, 2011

Last month, New Jersey librarian Andy Woodworth launched an online petition entitled “Tell HarperCollins: Limited Checkouts on eBooks is Wrong for Libraries.” So far 53,000 people have signed the document, criticizing HarperCollins' controversial decision to limit library eBooks to 26 checkouts.

Interested in borrowing an ebook? Check our comparison of BookLending and eBookFling - Eco-Libris blog, April 8, 2011

As ebook lending becomes a growing trend, we see more websites that fulfill the role of marketplace, matching ebook lenders and borrowers. But who are these websites? And what they offer those of you who want to take advantage of the feature allowing Kindle and Nook users to swap ebooks with each others? We decided to provide you with a comparison of the three websites that seems to lead the ebook lending market - eBookFling, BookLending and Lendle.

Amazon To Bring Ebook Lending to Local Libraries - Lauren Indvik, Mashable, April 20, 2011

Amazon announced that Kindle users will be able to borrow ebooks from more than 11,000 libraries in the U.S. beginning later this year. Kindle Library Lending will enable users of Kindle ereaders and apps to check out books from their local libraries.

Kindle e-book lending service reinstated after modification of code - Philip Jones, The Bookseller, March 23, 2011

Lendle, the US-based tool that allows Kindle users to lend their e-books, has been reinstated after Amazon said that its concern related to its "Book Sync tool". The news that Amazon had locked the services out of its API caused a sensation yesterday [22nd March] as news sites and Twitter erupted with consternation. Authors and publishers have previously raised concern over e-book lending and its impact on book sales.

Colorado Publishers and Libraries Collaborate on Ebook Lending Model - Michael Kelley, Library Journal, March 17, 2011

A group of independent publishers has teamed up with an academic and a public library in Colorado to offer an ebook circulation model built on the idea that libraries are trustworthy owners and stewards of intellectual content.

On the future of ebook rental - An interview with George Burke, CEO of eBook Fling - Eco-Libris blog, March 22, 2011

Hi George. What's your vision for eBook Fling in five years? Do you see it as a complementary service to BookSwim or one that intends to replace BookSwim eventually when ereading will dominate the book marketplace?

I do believe lateral growth can happen world wide, assuming B&N and Amazon release the service in other countries. I also see other popular ebook platforms (like Apple's iBooks and Google Books) launching with lending capabilities, making the service available to more readers. I truly see this type of service as a testing ground for authors and publishers, perhaps become a paid marketing outlet to reach readers directly. How (or if) to integrate with BookSwim is currently up-in-the-air.

Amazon stymies Lendle e-book lending service - David Carnoy, CNET News, March 21, 2011

Lendle first reported the news via Twitter: "Amazon has revoked Lendle's API access. This is why the site is down. It's sad and unfortunate that Amazon is shutting down lending sites...According to Amazon, Lendle does not 'serve the principal purpose of driving sales of products and services on the Amazon site.'"

Why Kobo needs to implement eBook Lending - Michael, Good E-Reader Blog, March 19, 2011

Kobo is a relative new player on the e-reader scene. They have only been around for a little over a year and initially rose to prominence with their e-readers and ebook store. The company is also leading the pack when it comes to application development for reading on almost every platform, and has tremendous social media integration. In order for the Kobo line of electronic readers to be competitively viable in the near future, they have to implement ebook lending.

Friends, Romans, Librarians: Lend Me Your E-book (Part 2) - Erik Christopher, Publishing Perspectives, January 7, 2011

Yesterday, in Part 1, Erik Christopher looked at the e-book models offered to librarians by the United States' two largest e-book retailers, Amazon.com and Barnes & Noble. Today, he considers the model offered by Overdrive and the future of lending as seen by the Open Book Alliance's Peter Brantley.

Friends, Romans, Librarians: Lend Me Your E-book (Part 1) - Erik Christopher, Publishing Perspectives, January 6, 2011

In the first half of a two-part series on library e-book lending, writer Erik Christopher considers the models offered to librarians by the United States' two largest e-book retailers, Amazon.com and Barnes & Noble.

E-Book Lending Takes Off - Stu Woo, Wall Street Journal, March 11, 2011

In the past few months, online clubs with such names as BookLending.com and Lendle.me have proliferated. The sites, some of which have gathered thousands of users, allow strangers to borrow and lend e-books for Amazon.com Inc.'s Kindle and Barnes & Noble Inc.'s Nook free.

Lending Kindle and Nook Ebooks, How – And Is this a Good Thing?- Danny Pollard, suite101.com, December 31, 2010

The Amazon Kindle now includes a 14-day ebook lending-library feature. Ebook publishers must enable the feature. Should publishers loan their kindle books?



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