Over a million ebooks borrowed from Kindle Owners’ Lending Library so far

Amazon put out a big release today letting everyone know that there are now over 100,000 ebooks in the Kindle Owners’ Lending Library.  Of course, any of our readers would know that there were over 100,000 ebooks in the Kindle Owners’ Lending Library a little over three weeks ago on February 6th.  So why did Amazon wait until today to make the announcement on the number of titles in its lending library?

They most likely delayed the announcement so that they could include a bunch of other great lending library statistics for the full month of February in their press release.  The Kindle Owners’ Lending Library has only existed for a little under three months so waiting until the end of February allowed Amazon to showcase a lot more data on the program.

Here are some of those statistics:

  • Over one third of the Top 20 Kindle Best Sellers for February are available in the library
  • $1.8 million has been paid out to KDP Select authors, this is an additional 24% revenue on top of their paid sales earnings.
  • There are now over 100,000 ebooks in the Kindle Owners’ Lending Library (117,263 to be exact)

The most amazing Kindle Owners’ Lending Library statistic so far is that over one million ebooks have been borrowed through the program in just under three months.  That is absolutely stunning considering that you have to own a Kindle device and you have to subscribe to Amazon Prime ($79 a year) to be able to borrow ebooks through the program.  Just imagine how much more popular the program would be if you didn’t have to own a Kindle to be able to borrow ebooks.

Those one million ebook checkouts happened even though there was a very small number of titles to choose from.  When the program launched in December there were just a little over 5,000 titles.  By the end of December there were over 65,000 ebooks to choose from.  At the beginning of February, there were over 100,000 different titles and today there are 117,263 titles in the list of Kindle Owners’ Lending Library ebooks.

There were 295,000 ebooks borrowed from the Kindle Owners’ Lending Library in December.  That means that over 705,000 ebooks were borrowed so far this year.  So it looks like around 350,000 ebooks were borrowed in January and February.  That’s some pretty impressive growth, but it seems a bit slow given that the number of ebooks in the program has increase twenty-fold.

Another interesting piece to point out is that the bounty that Amazon pays out to authors participating in the Kindle Owners’ Lending Library decreased in February.  Amazon started by paying out $500,000 in December and increased that to $700,000 for January.  In their press release they stated that they paid out $1.8 million so far to KDP Select authors so that means that the bounty was decreased to $600,000 for February.

The Kindle Owners’ Lending Library is the closest thing that there is to a Netflix for ebooks and is also a potential ebooks business model for public libraries.  The data that Amazon has provided so far shows that such a model can be very successful.

Just imagine what would happen if public libraries paid publishers every time an ebook is checked out and had access to an unlimited number of copies of most of the ebooks ever written.  Huge numbers of people would be checking out ebooks at public libraries.  Just like they are from the Kindle Owners’ Lending Library.