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Gadgets -Amazon's Kindle Launches New Virtual Library

January 25, 2011

Amazon's Kindle Launches New Virtual Library

By Carolyn J Dawson
TMCnet Contributor, a new, free website, brings a new twist to the offline lending library concept. Founded by Catherine MacDonald on Dec. 30, 2010, the provides a platform to browse, lend and request hundreds of thousands of Kindle ebook titles. is the official software development partner. The user requires a valid email id to register, post books that they want to lend, or to even submit a request to borrow one. The website searches for matches and when it finds one, a notification and the ebook are sent to the lender and the borrower's e-mail address. Users from around the world can borrow books with some restrictions; however, at present, only users with U.S. Amazon accounts can lend Kindle books.

The idea for an online ebook lending and borrowing came to MacDonald when Amazon did not initiate and approve of book lending or borrowing between Kindle users. That’s when MacDonald started the Kindle Lending Club (KLC) Facebook (News - Alert) page and found that there were thousands of people, who were enthusiastic for the opportunity to share their e-books.

The Facebook page has since then achieved more than 6,500 likes and facilitated the exchange of about 1,000 books, is already serving more than 7,000 people and has facilitated over 2,500 book loans. Once the borrower downloads the book on loan, they have 14 days to complete it before it is automatically returned to the lender's Kindle.

Users must download the Kindle e-reader on their smartphone, to enable them to read the ebook.

Amazon also lets Kindle users purchase any book that they might prefer through the Kindle Lending Club's website. MacDonald makes money only if the readers don’t finish reading the books within Amazon's 14-day lending window and choose to purchase the books. The revenue is shared through the Amazon's affiliate program, which means that if it offers links to Amazon books, and customers click through to buy them.

In a release, MacDonald, said, “The Amazon Kindle lending program only permits an owner to lend a copy of any given ebook once, ever, and only for a maximum of 14 days. Book borrowers who do not want to wait their turn to borrow a popular title, who want to reread or refer back to a book, or who just don't have time to finish reading the book are likely to buy.”

She added, “It just sort of took on a life of its own really fast. We're really kind of sharing a part of ourselves when we share something that we've read that we've really enjoyed. It's really a conversation."

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Carolyn John is a Contributor to TMCnet. To read more of her articles, please columnist page.

Edited by Janice McDuffee

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