Amazon rumored to be inviting self-publishing authors to Kindle Prime lending program

According to an anonymous source, Amazon is inviting self-published authors to make their works available in Amazon’s Kindle Prime lending library, for checkout to owners of Kindle devices who subscribe to Kindle Prime. The invitations are going out to individual authors now, but Amazon will reportedly go public with the offer on December 1.

Here’s their offer: If I agree to make my ebooks available exclusively in the Kindle store and participate in the Kindle Lending Library, I will earn fees from a fund they have set aside ($500,000 for the first five months).

Though this might seem like a good idea at first glance, the author worried that almost nobody would want to spend their one checkout per month on his $2.99 title when they could get a more expensive book free instead, and making it available would mean cutting off any and all revenue from other stores—B&N, Apple, Sony, Kobo, etc. And exactly how that $500,000 would be apportioned is hazy, to say the least.

The offer would have the benefit to Amazon of making a lot more books available for the lending library that the Authors Guild couldn’t kick up a fuss over. The question is whether it would benefit the authors. Self-publishing author Joe Konrath, who has his own publishing deals with Amazon, hinted in a comment to the story that the tipster had left out a few key points, and that “Amazon wants very much to make this a good deal for both customers and authors.” But he’s not at liberty to say how.

Perhaps we’ll know more on December 1.

(Found via PaidContent.)

About Chris Meadows (4149 Articles)
TeleRead Editor Chris Meadows has been writing for us--except for a brief interruption--since 2006. Son of two librarians, he has worked on a third-party help line for Best Buy and holds degrees in computer science and communications. He clearly personifies TeleRead's motto: "For geeks who love books--and book-lovers who love gadgets." Chris lives in Indianapolis and is active in the gamer community.

2 Comments on Amazon rumored to be inviting self-publishing authors to Kindle Prime lending program

  1. while Nook and Kindle are rumoring, thinking and who knows what to hell are they thinking, iPad and iTunes are wide open and selling more than ever. Until Kindle and Nook realized to learn from a good samples is easier than stubborn learning on own mistakes the train is going to be too far to catch up, even lower the price of their devices, even giving them for free. An other serious problem of both corporate overheated heads is that they limiting them self by serious limits imposed onto devices – Nook is limiting your email capabilities and doesn’t let you download epub format directly on your nook, even worse Kindle is still not reading epub format, the industry standard and where the world goes it looks like stupid for them to follow, but the WORSE from both houses that they recognize only a few major languages as the publishing languages. iTunes are accepting most of the world languages and working fast to accept a very few that are not accepted right now mainly due to lack of the standards. What do you think whou is stupid and who is smart here?

  2. Drazan,
    I don’t know how “wide open” iPad is when you can’t read its books on anything but an Apple device and the BN + Amazon books are readable on a multitude of devices from different makers and with varied operating systems.

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