Saturday, October 23, 2010

Amazon Start To Teach Us How To Share eBooks

Imagine you want to share a book with a friend. Today you simply give them your copy and hope that they will both enjoy it and give it you back. This summer we were introduced to the infamous ‘Girl with the Dragon Tattoo’ by a friend who lent us the book for a holiday read. However, same doesn't work in the ebook world.

Amazon once again breaks new ground and starts to connect the dots.

They have announced that this year, they will be introducing ebook lending on the Kindle platform. A user can simply lend a book to another Kindle device or app user. The loan can be only made once and for a restricted period of 14 days. During this period the access will be restricted and lender will be unable to read it.

The key here is the kindle platform and the ability Amazon has to control access but this clearly starts to open up many opportunities down the road and give ebook the potential to offer the same flexibility of rights given physical books. The restriction will be the service today but there is no technical reason why it can’t be extended across services. It is not difficult to start to see the opportunity to resell ‘used’ ebooks!

The new service will be dependant on the rights holder agreement for individual titles to be loaned. There is no mention of a fee for the service so it is assumed it will be free.

Finally we must also recognise that Amazon will soon have a secondary source of valuable information on not only who lends what but what books are starting to catch that elusive word of mouth take off orin this case being recommended to a friend.

We believe that this move has significant potential and is certainly one to watch.

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