Amazon just announced (December 30, 2010) that eligible Kindle books can be lent once, for a period of 14 days. They have also provided detailed illustrated instructions on amazon.com.
Briefly, there are two ways to determine if a book is lendable and initiate a loan:
- Go to the book’s page in the Amazon Kindle store, and scroll down to Product Details. If the book is lendable, the text, “Lending: Enabled“, will be found between the ASIN (product ID) and the Customer Reviews “star rating.” If you have purchased the book and want to lend it to someone, click the Loan this book link near the center top of the page.
- On Amazon.com, go to Manage Your Kindle. Click the plus sign (+) next to any title to display detailed information about the book. If the book is lendable, there will be a Lend this Book button. Click the button to open a loan form. The borrower will be able to read the book on a Kindle device or by using one of the free Kindle Reading Apps that Amazon makes available.
If you have published your books through the Amazon DTP program, they are automatically enrolled in the lending program. You may opt out any of your own titles, if they meet the following criteria:
Titles in the 35% royalty option may choose to opt out of Kindle Book Lending by deselecting the checkbox under “Kindle Book Lending,” in the “Rights and Pricing” section of the title upload/edit process. You may not choose to opt out a title if it is included in the lending program of another sales or distribution channel. Titles in the 70% royalty option must participate in Kindle Book Lending and may not opt out.
View the Lending for Kindle help page for authors or publishers.
I think this feature will be especially helpful for sharing books with family members or close friends. I don’t think it will affect sales adversely. Nevertheless, I don’t see any books from commercial publishers that are available for lending. Very curious…