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From the Amazon press release:

Owning a Kindle just got a whole lot better for magic-loving Muggles. StartingJune 19,Amazon.com(NASDAQ:AMZN) is adding all seven Harry Potter books (in English, French, Italian, German and Spanish) to the Kindle Owners’Lending Library(KOLL). Harry Potter is the all-time best-selling book series in history, andAmazon has purchased an exclusive license from J.K. Rowling’s Pottermore to make the addition of these titles possible. The Kindle Owners’Lending Libraryis a benefit of Amazon Prime membership—Prime members also enjoy free two-day shipping on millions of items and unlimited streaming of more than 17,000 movies and TV episodes. The Kindle Owners’Lending Libraryhas now grown to over 145,000 books that can be borrowed for free as frequently as once a month, with no due dates.

“We’re absolutely delighted to have reached this agreement with Pottermore. This is the kind of significant investment in the Kindle ecosystem that we’ll continue to make on behalf of Kindle owners,” saidJeff Bezos, founder and CEO ofAmazon.com. “Over a year, borrowing the Harry Potter books, plus a handful of additional titles, can alone be worth more than the$79cost of Prime or a Kindle. The Kindle Owners’Lending Libraryalso has an innovative feature that’s of great benefit for popular titles like Harry Potter – unlimited supply of each title – you never get put on a waiting list.”     

4 COMMENTS

  1. Okay, I’m biased since I own a nook and have no interest in anything Amazon.

    But I’d like to hear from a Kindle owner/ Amazon user who currently DOESN’T subscribe to prime.

    Does this make the program more appealing, or does it just come across as off-putting and obnoxious?

    It seems like Amazon Prime would be better if they offered streaming and lending a la cart.

  2. I am a Kindle owner and I do not subscribe to Prime. I have considered it, but more for the free shipping and streaming video than for the lending library. The addition of Harry Potter to the KOLL does neither of the things you asked. My reaction is more like, “Big deal. Who cares?” If I want to read the Harry Potter series on my Kindle without buying the books, I can just check them out from my public library. They were available for digital checkout from there the day they were released to the rest of the world. Also, subscribing to Amazon Prime just so you can read Harry Potter would be a waste of money. The entire series is available for purchase for just under $60, which is less than a 1-year subscription to Amazon Prime.

  3. Freebies are never obnoxious.
    What people need to understand is that Prime is a Loyalty Program.
    Much like memberships in SAM’S CLUB or COSTCO.
    The purpose of the subscription is to get the consumer invested in the retailer and *buy*. Buy a lot and buy often.
    Prime is not about free shipping or free ebooks or video streaming.
    Prime is about keeping customers happy about shopping at Amazon.
    So, no: nobody is going to rush and sign up to Prime to read the Potter ebooks. But people who are *already* signed up–who buy enough from Amazon to justify the subscription–those people will see this as Amazon going the extra mile to give them little perks and keep them happy. They will see that to Amazon, they *matter*. Their business matters.
    This is about retailing and only peripherally about eboks.

    It is mostly a promotional stunt.
    But it is one that can serve as a warning to the anti-Amazon axis: even when Amazon is just one of the crowd, they will always find ways to stand out from the crowd. In other words: don’t assume that DRM-free is a magic bullet any more than conspiracy to fix prices was.

  4. Thank you for the feedback Karla.

    @Felix

    Thanks for your feedback as well.

    But I found the program obnoxious- that was my initial reaction. And it’s for exactly the reason you are defending it- it’s an exclusive perk and a privilege given to people who are *already* signed up for Prime and locked in to Kindle, and I’m neither. Likely, it’s just selfish envy on my part. But nonetheless, it makes me less, not more, likely to deal with Amazon in the future. I suspect other Amazon lock-outs feel the same.

    I totally get why someone in Prime would be happy and love Amazon for it. It’s classic haves vs. have-nots.

    And I get that businesses shouldn’t give a hoot about how a total outsiders like me views things because they aren’t customers anyways. Costco only needs to care about Costco members!

    But that’s why I’m wondering how non-“prime”, non-Kindle Amazoners view it. They ARE Amazon customers, but they also aren’t “in”- do they feel the love? That’s how this sort of thing can backfire.