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Writing, Illustrating & Publishing => Book Talk => Topic started by: Whizbee on November 04, 2011, 08:34 AM

Title: Kindle Owners' Lending Library
Post by: Whizbee on November 04, 2011, 08:34 AM
Has anyone else heard about Amazon's new Kindle Owners' Lending Library (http://www.amazon.com/gp/feature.html/ref=amb_link_357575542_1?ie=UTF8&docId=1000739811&pf_rd_m=ATVPDKIKX0DER&pf_rd_s=gateway-center-column&pf_rd_r=0FF00H4P4HS2AS7FEE26&pf_rd_t=101&pf_rd_p=1328879142&pf_rd_i=507846)? If you're an Amazon Prime member ($80/year) you can borrow one book a month from their selection of thousands. Anyone tried this? Did you find the books you wanted to read?

I was excited when Amazon finally got friendly with libraries, but I've found that my library has very few ebooks, and most of them are not current releases. Amazon's "library" sounds more extensive. Plus a Prime membership gets you free shipping and a video borrowing service.

If anyone has tried this, let me know. I'm also curious about how the money flows to authors--I'm guessing it's rather like with libraries, with Amazon paying publishers for the privilege of making these books available. Wonder what the rate for that is?
Title: Re: Kindle Owners' Lending Library
Post by: Rhonda on November 04, 2011, 08:38 AM
I'm holding off on excitement until I find out what publishers are being paid for this--and how authors will be paid accordingly. I'm very curious for more information. I hope someone starts sharing. I can't help but feel authors are getting the short end of the stick here. But I'd love more concrete facts.
Title: Re: Kindle Owners' Lending Library
Post by: Franzilla on November 04, 2011, 09:31 AM
I could be wrong, but as I understood it authors don't get paid for library lends in the US. (In the UK, authors get a few pennies each time someone takes their book out of the library.) So, if I'm correct, authors won't see anything from the Kindle lending option? If it is as the US public library system works.

I am still fighting buying a Kindle. I hate the fact that it only allows you to buy books from Amazon. I feel as though it can't last, it seems like a monopoly-type behaviour to me.
Title: Re: Kindle Owners' Lending Library
Post by: dinalapomy101 on November 04, 2011, 10:35 AM
If anyone gets Pub Marketplace, you'll see there's an article on how agents are upset bc some of their titles are on the list and it was never part of their contracts.....
Title: Re: Kindle Owners' Lending Library
Post by: AuntyBooks on November 04, 2011, 11:05 AM
Amazon is paying publishers -- and authors. They have entered into a flat-fee type agreement for some titles. Other publishers refused the contract -- and so Amazon pays them the same amount as if they had sold the book to the customer. Amazon can afford to buy the books and give them away for free to help boost Kindle sales. They are loss leaders. The problem? Giving Kindle books away for free cuts the feet out from under indie book stores, as well as other e-readers. I think this is a very bad thing for the industry as a whole.

The story is still evolving.

 :wub eab
Title: Re: Kindle Owners' Lending Library
Post by: Whizbee on November 04, 2011, 01:13 PM
If anyone gets Pub Marketplace, you'll see there's an article on how agents are upset bc some of their titles are on the list and it was never part of their contracts.....

What does ^this^ mean?

I love my Kindle. I still shop at my local indie when I'm in the area, but the truth is the nearest bookstore to me is not so near at all.
Title: Re: Kindle Owners' Lending Library
Post by: dinalapomy101 on November 04, 2011, 04:35 PM
I'm not sure if you need to subscribe to PM to read the article, but the info is probably available elsewhere. Here is an except from today's PM Lunch: "...many of the trade publishers with books included in Amazon's new Kindle Lending Library did not consent to that participation and therefore had neither notified nor consulted with agents in advance about the program and its terms. (At least some of those companies specifically declined Amazon's earlier offer to participate.)"

Title: Re: Kindle Owners' Lending Library
Post by: AuntyBooks on November 04, 2011, 04:56 PM
I'm not sure if you need to subscribe to PM to read the article, but the info is probably available elsewhere. Here is an except from today's PM Lunch: "...many of the trade publishers with books included in Amazon's new Kindle Lending Library did not consent to that participation and therefore had neither notified nor consulted with agents in advance about the program and its terms. (At least some of those companies specifically declined Amazon's earlier offer to participate.)"



Yes, but by all reports Amazon is paying for all the books they give away. Some publishers declined a flat rate fee that Amazon offered. Books from those publishers who declined are still paid for. This is from Thursday's article: "Amazon spokesperson Sarah Gelman acknowledges that "for a minority of titles in the service, we added titles that we currently sell under wholesale terms, which we are purchasing in exactly the same fashion as when a customer buys a book a la carte from the store."

...so I don't see why they would have to consult with the publisher or the agent. I mean, if you buy a book you can give it to anyone you want for any purpose you want. Right?
Title: Re: Kindle Owners' Lending Library
Post by: dinalapomy101 on November 04, 2011, 05:11 PM
eab, yeah, I'm really not sure! Don't know if any of the electronic clauses in any contracts specify such things? Maybe not?
Title: Re: Kindle Owners' Lending Library
Post by: AuntyBooks on November 04, 2011, 05:13 PM
Not any that I have seen. Nothing says you cannot give away a book you purchase, or purchase it for someone else. How (and why?) would you even put that in a contract? You cannot *copy* it and give away copies...but that's not what they are doing.
Title: Re: Kindle Owners' Lending Library
Post by: dinalapomy101 on November 04, 2011, 05:29 PM
Here's a free website (not PM) that has the quote from AAR about their concerns. I'm still confused, lol!

http://moconews.net/article/419-new-questions-concerns-about-kindles-lending-library-what-about-authors/

Title: Re: Kindle Owners' Lending Library
Post by: AuntyBooks on November 04, 2011, 05:44 PM
Here's a free website (not PM) that has the quote from AAR about their concerns. I'm still confused, lol!

http://moconews.net/article/419-new-questions-concerns-about-kindles-lending-library-what-about-authors/



That's a good article. It seems the agents have a problem with the deal some publishers have made, and how the publishers plan to compensate authors rather than with Amazon. I am sure clauses are going to start cropping up that say a book cannot be bought for special wholesale pricing in order to give it away. That will be odd...because people buy huge printings of say, picture books for the Dolly Parton Imagination Library and pay much *less* than wholesale.

It will be interesting to see how it all works out.

eab
Title: Re: Kindle Owners' Lending Library
Post by: dinalapomy101 on November 04, 2011, 06:29 PM
Ah! Thanks, eab, for the comparison there! Yes, it will be interesting to see how it plays out....

Since library lending with OverDrive and Kindle is now available, we get so many more Kindle questions at the reference desk that I am trying to keep up (aren't we all, lol!).
Title: Re: Kindle Owners' Lending Library
Post by: teri on November 04, 2011, 06:59 PM
Yes, but by all reports Amazon is paying for all the books they give away. Some publishers declined a flat rate fee that Amazon offered. Books from those publishers who declined are still paid for. This is from Thursday's article: "Amazon spokesperson Sarah Gelman acknowledges that "for a minority of titles in the service, we added titles that we currently sell under wholesale terms, which we are purchasing in exactly the same fashion as when a customer buys a book a la carte from the store."

...so I don't see why they would have to consult with the publisher or the agent. I mean, if you buy a book you can give it to anyone you want for any purpose you want. Right?

I just hope that if they buy books from publishers who haven't consented (or pay a flat fee for that matter) that the "sale" counts toward our royalties--the writer seems to be completely left out of this arrangement. 
Title: Re: Kindle Owners' Lending Library
Post by: teri on November 04, 2011, 07:03 PM
Here's more:

"Namely, publishers cannot sign over subscription rights because for the most part their contracts with authors don’t cover it."

http://www.the-digital-reader.com/2011/11/04/i-wouldnt-get-too-attached-to-those-amazon-prime-ebooks/ (http://www.the-digital-reader.com/2011/11/04/i-wouldnt-get-too-attached-to-those-amazon-prime-ebooks/)
Title: Re: Kindle Owners' Lending Library
Post by: Whizbee on November 04, 2011, 07:19 PM
Sounds to me like if Amazon is giving away a book and paying the usual price for it to the publisher, then the usual royalty gets passed on to the author. Not seeing a problem there if that is the case. Probably does a lot to increase exposure to new authors, since the Kindler with Amazon Prime will consider the book as free and not mind taking risk on an author she hasn't read before.
Title: Re: Kindle Owners' Lending Library
Post by: AuntyBooks on November 04, 2011, 07:38 PM
Teri is right: the problem is not with the books which Amazon is paying for 'per title'--authors will get royalties for those (at wholesale, but still) It is with the publishers who have signed contracts for flat fees. Not per book, apparently, but for *a whole group* of books. So, lets say 500 people request your book and only ten request mine. Are we each given the same flat fee? Does it even matter how many people request your book?

Big problem if this is what is happening.

ab
Title: Re: Kindle Owners' Lending Library
Post by: Laine on November 06, 2011, 05:25 PM
Thanks for this discussion--I just learned about the Kindle lending library today, and was looking for additional information. It's really interesting that authors in the UK get something when their books are checked out from the library!
Title: Re: Kindle Owners' Lending Library
Post by: Elaine (aka sweetpea) on November 07, 2011, 05:10 AM
This is a little off topic, but our library uses Overlook to lend ebooks and the publishers set the limits on lending, while the library pays the publishers a fee for using the titles. For example, our hometown library patrons can use the service, but unlike physical books that can be lended to patrons outside our town, Overlook privileges are only for our taxpers who pay for the service through Overlook. Currently, the ebook selection isn't as big, but I think this will expand as it becomes more commonplace.

I'm hoping that this is the first step to a more open market for ebooks. Having a Kindle does force you to have to buy at Amazon, but I see a similar propriatory set up going on for Apple/IPad products; as well as the Nook/B&N. Maybe this is the first step to changing that. 
Title: Re: Kindle Owners' Lending Library
Post by: Hannah on November 08, 2011, 08:37 AM
http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/jacketcopy/2011/11/amazons-new-kindle-lending-program-causes-publishing-stir.html

^ there's another article about how Amazon is kind of exploiting the laws of wholesale to offer the program. For a consumer, it's a great program. But it has terrible implications for authors and publishers, and as a library student, I have issues with Amazon and Kindle (even though I own one), because when you "check out" a Kindle book through your library, Amazon actually keeps your records of reading, so you kind of eliminate the confidentiality aspect of public libraries.
Title: Re: Kindle Owners' Lending Library
Post by: AuntyBooks on November 08, 2011, 09:32 AM
That is an interesting article, Hannah! I don't understand how they are exploiting the laws, though -- they are doing the same thing the always do with books they purchase at wholesale whether they are purchased by a single customer, in huge numbers by a club, or...by Amazon itself. The author of those books would only ever get royalties on a wholesale price from Amazon. That's the agreement they made with the publisher re these books.

And, it is bad for brick and mortar stores and indies. But no worse for authors than having their books sold through Amazon in the first place-- they will receive the same amount on the sale even though Amazon gives the book away for free.

Now, the *publishers* who have accepted a flat fee for backlists are probably breaking contract with their authors. But that is another kettle of fish.  :yuk:

eab
Title: Re: Kindle Owners' Lending Library
Post by: annemleone on November 08, 2011, 10:05 AM
Agent Rachelle Gardner had a good overview of this on her blog today:

http://www.rachellegardner.com/2011/11/amazon-kindle-owners-lending-library/
Title: Re: Kindle Owners' Lending Library
Post by: valeriek on November 08, 2011, 10:08 AM
That is an interesting article, Hannah! I don't understand how they are exploiting the laws, though -- they are doing the same thing the always do with books they purchase at wholesale whether they are purchased by a single customer, in huge numbers by a club, or...by Amazon itself.

If I understand the article correctly, I think the issue is this line: "Others are wholesale titles that Amazon buys once and adds to the library."

It sounds to me like they're saying that Amazon is acting like an actual library. They buy just ONE wholesale copy of the book, and then "lend" it over and over and over again. Possibly to many readers at the same time, which would be impossible at a physical library with just one copy, and which is not the same as paying wholesale for the book each time someone "borrows" it.

But maybe I read that wrong.
Title: Re: Kindle Owners' Lending Library
Post by: Hannah on November 08, 2011, 10:41 AM
valeriek got it. I think they just sort of finagle the laws and use them a little farther than they're meant to stretch. Kind of like lying by omission.
Title: Re: Kindle Owners' Lending Library
Post by: dinalapomy101 on November 08, 2011, 12:17 PM
"It sounds to me like they're saying that Amazon is acting like an actual library. They buy just ONE wholesale copy of the book, and then "lend" it over and over and over again. Possibly to many readers at the same time, which would be impossible at a physical library with just one copy, and which is not the same as paying wholesale for the book each time someone "borrows" it."

I just want to point out that in this case Amazon is NOT acting like an "actual library" because actual libraries DO need to buy each copy of digital books and ebooks; no 2 patrons can have the same purchased copy checked out at the same time, whether a physical book or an ebook.

And if this IS what Amazon is doing, letting more than 1 reader read 1 purchased copy simultaneously, bah! Then people will think us libraries are even more obsolete bc we follow the rules of paying for each copy of ALL types of materials.....

Title: Re: Kindle Owners' Lending Library
Post by: AuntyBooks on November 08, 2011, 12:17 PM
I think the author of the article got it wrong. There has been no hint of Amazon buying *individual* titles at wholesale once and then lending them multiple times from any credible source. The only books they are paying for once and lending multiple times are those titles they contracted for from the publisher for a 'fixed' or flat fee. (Which, as I said before is a HUGE problem and does break contract between publishers and authors. I would be furious.)  From Amazon's press release:

"or 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."

If they *were* buying the non-contracted-by-the-publisher books once and lending multiple times, people would be all over it.

I don't mind if they buy my books wholesale and give them away. So long as they buy them.

:) eab
Title: Re: Kindle Owners' Lending Library
Post by: Whizbee on November 09, 2011, 10:44 AM
A lot of this conversation seems like speculation. I don't want to get worked up about unproven details. On the one hand, we have Amazon buying books wholesale each time a Kindler "borrows" it from Amazon's library (which doesn't seem like a problem to me). On the other hand, we have Amazon paying a publisher a flat fee for the privilege of lending out books to Kindlers. I would like to hear more about that second situation, but it seems like there isn't a wealth of credible info there beyond what you all have already linked to. I'll be keeping my radar up!
Title: Re: Kindle Owners' Lending Library
Post by: TexasGirl on November 09, 2011, 11:44 AM
Some of the authors on the lending list are taking action against Amazon.. Their books were put up without consent or any listing of terms, and the publisher itself was "notified" late the night before the email went out. One author learned when she saw her book prominent on the site when she went to buy something else, called her agent, and he didn't know either.

Their issue is the lack of communication and actual contractual terms for the arrangement.
Title: Re: Kindle Owners' Lending Library
Post by: valeriek on November 09, 2011, 01:34 PM
So glad to see that I interpreted that wrong! The Amazon press release where it says "each" is much better than the article's "one" copy.

So if I understand it correctly, Amazon would buy a copy of one of those non flat fee books each time someone borrows it and then delete the file once it's been "returned" and never lend it again? That's great for authors, I suppose if one wanted to, they could check out their own book each month and make a sale, lol. It seems ridiculous as a business model and makes me realize just how much Amazon must be making if they can afford to do that.
Title: Re: Kindle Owners' Lending Library
Post by: AuntyBooks on November 09, 2011, 01:49 PM
Valeriek -- that's what it *looks* like, but remember -- that is only for some of the books. I think we will have to wait and see how this is really working.  It will probably all be worked out in a court of law. sigh.

eab
Title: Re: Kindle Owners' Lending Library
Post by: Hannah on November 09, 2011, 04:18 PM
Valeriek, I wouldn't actually be all that surprised if they were willing to do something weird, just because that's what they did with Kindle at the beginning--they sold it at a loss just so that they could create a niche market, and it worked. So you never know.
Title: Re: Kindle Owners' Lending Library
Post by: CaroleB on January 10, 2012, 01:27 PM


        I could be wrong, but I think libraries can buy multiple use licenses for eBooks and lend them simultaneously which, of course, means more than one person can have access to the same book. What that costs and how they determine which ones to purchase is beyond me.

            This is all very interesting, eh? 
Title: Re: Kindle Owners' Lending Library
Post by: Whizbee on January 10, 2012, 09:48 PM

        I could be wrong, but I think libraries can buy multiple use licenses for eBooks and lend them simultaneously which, of course, means more than one person can have access to the same book.

Yes, they can. But that's a different situation from Amazon's lending library, which is its own sort of online library.
Title: Re: Kindle Owners' Lending Library
Post by: CaroleB on January 11, 2012, 05:26 AM



        Oops, my bad. Thought library lending was mentioned, too. :)
Title: Re: Kindle Owners' Lending Library
Post by: Hannah on January 12, 2012, 12:32 PM
News! http://www.thedigitalshift.com/2012/01/ebooks/amazons-kindle-lending-library-zooms-past-75000-titles-authors-earn-1-70-per-borrow/

Really intriguing, but I guess it doesn't help anyone with a big name publisher? Anyone know more about this?
Title: Re: Kindle Owners' Lending Library
Post by: Whizbee on January 12, 2012, 01:10 PM
$1.70 per borrow sounds nice to me. I still don't understand why major publishers aren't on board with this. Would have been nice if the article had mentioned something about that.
Title: Re: Kindle Owners' Lending Library
Post by: TexasGirl on January 12, 2012, 05:22 PM
From what I understand, that amount of money was only for the Kindle Direct Publishing Select members. If big publishers participated, they were paid for borrows on a different scale, negotiated directly. There are about 500 traditional books (or were, when it started, involved.) And many thousands of KDP books.
Title: Re: Kindle Owners' Lending Library
Post by: Whizbee on January 12, 2012, 06:17 PM
From what I understand, that amount of money was only for the Kindle Direct Publishing Select members. If big publishers participated, they were paid for borrows on a different scale, negotiated directly. There are about 500 traditional books (or were, when it started, involved.) And many thousands of KDP books.

So maybe those negotiations weren't as good as the major houses were hoping for?
Title: Re: Kindle Owners' Lending Library
Post by: TexasGirl on January 12, 2012, 09:45 PM
Well, I know that Amazon included some big books without anyone's permission and "notified" the publisher the night before the promotion went out. They justified this since the borrows were going to count the same and pay the same as a sale. So it was really Amazon's choice which traditional books were included.

Smashwords says 6000 self published authors pulled their titles from other retailers via their site to go exclusive for Amazon for this deal.

I didn't do it. My MG book has been in the top 50 downloads for 9-12 year olds for three weeks now at Barnes & Noble, and I'm glad I'm not exclusive to Amazon, where it has sold all of 2 copies in the same period.

But several people whose sales were really low hit the jackpot, getting six and seven thousand dollar checks for borrows in December alone. Success stories are everywhere.
Title: Re: Kindle Owners' Lending Library
Post by: Amanda Coppedge on January 14, 2012, 08:28 AM
One of my volunteers who always asks me for YA book recommendations today limited it to "for the Kindle."

He told me his two new favorite books are "Psion Beta" and "The Soulkeepers" which look like they are two promoted self-pubbed (? I could be wrong) titles on Kindle Select.

He loves the Kindle Fire he got for Christmas.

View from a librarian's desk ...