Amazon today launched a new program called KDP Select that will allow authors that self publish their ebooks through Amazon’s Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP) program to participate in the Kindle Owners’ Lending Library that launched last month.
The program will add more titles to the list of Kindle Owners’ Lending Library books which seems to be growing quickly. The list currently shows 22,762 ebooks which can be borrowed directly from Amazon for free with an Amazon Prime membership. The ebooks can be borrowed once per month and only one title can be checked out at a time.
Amazon is aggressively trying to promote their Kindle Owners’ Lending Library which lends ebooks directly to customers. If the program becomes popular it would provide the company with a reliable revenue stream from subscriptions and would give Amazon even more control over the market for ebooks.
Of course, if the Kindle Owners’ Lending Library is successful it is bad news for public libraries. Borrowing ebooks almost effortlessly directly from Amazon for a reasonable subscription fee would cause a large number of people to stop borrowing ebooks from libraries. Especially if they are already paying for Amazon Prime for the free two day shipping or for the vast collection of streaming videos. Getting the ebooks would essentially be free. And it’d be easier than getting them from a local library’s OverDrive site.
This is great news for Kindle owners and great news for authors that self publish. We’ll have to wait and see to find out what kind of news this is for public libraries.