Amazon Kindle Owners’ Lending Library now has over 100,000 ebooks

It took Amazon 96 days to grow the list of ebooks in the Kindle Owners’ Lending Library to include over 100,000 titles.  As of this writing, there are now 100,002 ebook titles in the Kindle Owners’ Lending Library.

When they started the program way back when on November 3, 2011, there were just a little over 5,000 ebooks in it.  So they have added almost 1,000 titles per day.  That is absolutely amazing.

By comparison, here are the number of ebook titles at some popular public libraries.  The New York Public Library has 23,767 ebooks titles.  The Los Angeles Public Library has 11,869 ebooks available through OverDrive in Kindle format.  The Boston Public Library has 8,104 ebook titles.  The Seattle Public Library (close to Amazon headquarters) has 34,463 ebook titles available.

Amazon launched a program called KDP Select on December 8, 2011 that added independent and self-published ebooks to the Kindle Owners’ Lending Library.  Self-published authors have been adding their ebooks through KDP Select like crazy since the program launched.  The Kindle Owners’ Lending Library has a large number of self-published ebooks but it also has many current and former New York Times Bestsellers as well.  The Hunger Games series from Suzanne Collins have been the most popular ebooks in the program since it launched.

Authors that loan out their ebooks through KDP Select have been rewarded very well by Amazon.  The Kindle Owners’ Lending Library loaned out over 295,000 ebooks in just three weeks during December of 2011.  Participating authors saw their royalties increase over 400 percent from the previous month.  Surprisingly, authors also saw sales of their ebooks increase if they loaned them out for free through the Kindle Owners’ Lending Library.

Anyone that subscribes to Amazon Prime for $79 per year and owns a Kindle can borrow one ebook per month for free from the Kindle Owners’ Lending Library.  Analysts estimate that Amazon sold over 5 million Kindle Fire tablets and several million Kindle ereaders last quarter.  So it’s safe to assume that the Amazon Kindle Owners’ Lending Library is only going to get more popular in the coming months.


  1. Dale Copps says

    Not only do public libraries have fewer eBooks available, but they are only able to lend those titles to one patron at a time, resulting in lengthy waiting lists for most titles. Amazon is under no such constraint. Furthermore, most public libraries are members of statewide consortia that share their limited collections among many separate groups of patrons. The Bottom Line: Public libraries are serving eBooks to readers to a FAR lesser extent than is Amazon’s Kindle Owners’ Lending Library (KOLL).

    I wonder whether some of those 95,000+ titles which have been added to KOLL since it was initially announced are from publishing houses that are quietly moving their titles into that service, probably under pressure from their authors, who want to get in on a good thing: Royalties from loans as well as sales. The pressure must certainly be on them, particularly as there is evidence that participation in KOLL increases sales rather than hurts them. Should KOLL continue to grow in popularity (and we should hear about January’s numbers any day now), that pressure will increase and we will see the program incorporate more and more “mainstream” authors and titles. When that happens, support for public libraries will begin to diminish, and then where will we be?

    The End of Libraries

  2. Lyle says

    This is the old story of how to make tech changes profitable to the old companies not willing to make changes. The music companies had to make changes, more to follow, but at least the changes are a start. If the Publishers update the business plan, there will be second hand book sales.