Across the publishing industry, the newest addition to the Amazon family of apps and special programs is causing waves: the Kindle Owners' Lending Library. Earlier this month, Amazon announced that Kindle owners who are also Amazon Prime members will be able to “borrow” books from Amazon free of charge. This has much of the publishing community, from editors to publicists, authors to agents, up in arms. But what does a Kindle Owners' Lending Library membership actually entail and what does a reader think about it?
In terms of what is happening on the industry front, there’s no mistaking the fact that Amazon did a poor job of explaining the program. From not being clear about which books would be included in the Kindle Owners' Lending Library or how the books’ rightsholders would be compensated, there are questions all around. (In some cases books are included from publicists or rightsholders that turned down the opportunity to be included in the program in it’s planning stages a few months ago.) Now there’s talk of boycotting the program and there are rumblings that the entire Lending Library should be pulled from Amazon's site.