Thursday, December 8, 2011

Kindle's Borrowing Program. Like? Dislike?

How many of you have Kindles? How many have Nooks? Have you heard of Kindle's newest plan to help push their products?

You can find it here for authors and here for readers, but in short, it allows Prime Members who own a Kindle to borrow up to 12 books a year (no due dates) for free. This is great - in my opinion. I'm a Prime Member, and once I can afford a Kindle, I'd love to participate. (Kindle phone apps don't apply.)

However, in order for the author to have their book in the borrowing program (which comes with perks), they have to agree not to upload, sale, or distribute their books via any other method, including their websites and blogs, for as long as 90 days.

Kindle, Nook, and other eReader device owners, how do you feel about this?

Indie (and other) authors, are you willing to take the risk of losing potential readers just for the extra perks?

As for me, I'm not. I don't get as many sales through Nook, but I get a ton of traffic from Smashwords and the eReaders it distributes through. And I really feel sick when I think of alienating those and my Nook people. Plus, Smashwords allows me to be in complete charge of my prices, including allowing me to drop a book to free for as long as I want it that way. Kindle doesn't give you this freedom (though, with the new program they'll let you post your book for free for a few days. Whoopee.)

Another thing: Smashwords has helped me so much with formatting, style, and sales (things applicable to Kindle and Nook) that it would be pretty stupid of me to pull my eBooks from their catalogs. And why would I want to prevent potential readers from accessing my stories for 90 days?

Lastly, I just partnered with an independent bookstore to sell my eBooks through their online store. That was hard work and I'm not about to throw it away!

I don't think the perks equal the disadvantages. Amazon usually does smart things, but for an author, this really isn't one of them.


  1. I know! I really don't think it's a good enough deal. I've read the description a few times to make sure I understand, and there's only $500,000 available, and it sounds like you divide that out with other authors. So... the more people who join, NOT the merrier. With more authors participating, your chunk of the cash dwindles!