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Kindle Owners’ Lending Library Unveiled

Today Amazon opened the Kindle Owners’ Lending Library, allowing Amazon Prime members to rent up to one digital book per month with no due date. The library includes 5,000 titles, ranging from three books by Michael Lewis to Suzanne CollinsThe Hunger Games trilogy to Sara Gruen‘s Water for Elephants.

The library books can only be read on Amazon Kindle devices: the Kindle, Kindle Touch, Kindle Keyboard or Kindle Fire–excluding readers on mobile devices and rival tablets. Customers can sign up for the $79-a-year Amazon Prime membership to access the library.

Amazon was frank about the terms of the deal with publishers: “Titles in the Kindle Owners’ Lending Library come from a range of publishers under a variety of terms.  For 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.”

What do you think about the new service? The release featured F+W Media Inc. and Lonely Planet as launch partners.

F+W Media CEO David Nussbaum remarked:  “We’re excited about any program that helps readers discover our authors and their books … We think this will lead to more people reading F+W’s books, and more profit for our authors.”

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