What does Amazon’s Prime Lending Library mean to YOU, my readers

I want to cover two things today, neither is overly interesting, nor do I plan to go into any great detail about either, but I did want to address them.

1. Amazon’s Prime Lending Library–what does it mean to you, my readers?

Recently–as in last Thursday–Amazon started a new perk for its Prime Members. This perk is to borrow one qualifying book per calendar month. But these aren’t just any books, these are books that are exclusive to Amazon. (Except in paperback version.) For both authors and readers alike there are multiple benefits and drawbacks to this program. I won’t bore you with all of them, but the biggest point of contradiction is that the book is exclusive to Amazon for a 90-day period. For example, if in February, I put out Her Imperfect Groom at Amazon and enroll in this program, it would be sometime in May before this book would be available at Barnes and Noble, iBooks, Smashwords, Sony, Kobo, etc. So while those who have an Amazon Prime membership can borrow it for free–or those who do not have a membership, but use Amazon as their source of buying books, can purchase it right away–everyone else has to wait 90-120 days depending on which ebook seller you use. I don’t like this. I know a good number of you have Kindles and this wouldn’t matter to you one way or the other, but I know I have some loyal Nook users, and I have no plans to opt any of my current or upcoming books into this.

2. Smashwords couponing

In the past, if I’ve done a giveaway or given out a free copy for a review on an already available book, I’ve either gifted the book via Amazon to Kindle users, or sent a coupon for Smashwords. I will no longer be doing things this way. I will continue to gift via Amazon, but now Barnes & Noble also offers that option, and I will use them to gift books for Nook users. My reasons for doing this rather than coupons at Smashwords is I want to support Barnes & Noble. When you use a coupon at Smashwords, there is no money exchanged. When I gift books from Amazon or B&N, I personally pay for them. So a % of that 3.99 or 4.99 stays there to support that bookstore, and with how many authors have recently removed their books from places like Barnes & Noble, Smashwords, iBooks etc in order to be exclusive and be able to participate in the lending library at Amazon, I would like to show my financial support where I can to the smaller ebook sellers. It’s not huge, but it’s still showing support to the smaller people.

As for Smashwords, I will continue to use them to distribute my books to places like iBooks, Sony, Diesel and Kobo in 2012. I know I’d mentioned that I planned to sell direct to Apple iBooks in the future so the books are there sooner, but I’d like to support Mark Coker, the founder of Smashwords, and the best way for me to do that is to let him continue to distribute my books to Apple in addition to Sony, Kobo and Diesel.

So to sum it up:

  1. I will not be participating in the Amazon Prime Lending Library, so have no worries, Her Imperfect Groom will hit the virtual shelves of Amazon, B&N and Smashwords within hours on the same day.
  2. I will no longer be using Smashwords coupons for B&N (Nook) users.
  3. I will continue to use Smashwords to distribute to iBooks in 2012.

6 thoughts on “What does Amazon’s Prime Lending Library mean to YOU, my readers”

  1. The way Amazon have marketted this to authors makes you feel as if you are missing out if you dont participate. But I too have resisted the temptation. It hardly seems fair to give Amazon a monopoly on retailing a book – and is disloyal for readers of your/my books who have eReaders from different companies.
    Cunning on amazon’s part – but no thank you.
    Grace x

    1. Well, in a way, authors ARE missing out by not participating as they’re getting less exposure. However, I’d rather give up exposure at one place to be able to have my books IN other stores. I don’t think it’s fair to readers to make them wait three months so I can take advantage of some extra marketing/exposure. That’s high cost, and one I have no desire to pay.

      Thanks for stopping by, by the way. It’s always good chatting with you!

  2. Excellent post, and I agree with everything you said. As Grace said, Amazon does make you feel as if you’re missing out by not participating, but considering I have a Nook now and will be getting an iPad soon, I like knowing your books will be available on these other sites. I do think it’s disloyal to readers who don’t buy from Amazon.

    I am excited that Nook books can be gifted now! This makes things much more convenient for Nook users. 🙂

    1. I’m thrilled about B&N allowing gifting books, too. I think I gifted about four from there yesterday!

      When you get your iPad, you can then buy books from B&N, iBooks and Smashwords, and be able to read them right then without having to manually upload anything. I’ve started buying all (or most) of my books from Smashwords these days just so that I can support both the author and Smashwords.

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