Amazon has added books to content that can be borrowed as part of an Amazon Prime membership, which already comes with movies and television program rentals as part of the $79 annual fee.
Thousands of titles across all genres are included in the Kindle Owners’ Lending Library, but only one can be borrowed each month. They can be read on all Kindle models and there are no due dates: books can be checked back in, or Amazon can disappear the book when the rental expires.
Amazon said almost all of the titles are included under fixed-fee agreements with publishers. In some cases, however, Amazon is purchasing the title under standard wholesale terms each time a reader borrows it. The company said this will demonstrate to these publishers that this service presents new opportunities for incremental growth and revenue.
Jeff Bezos, Amazon.com founder and chief executive officer, said, “Owning a Kindle just got even better.”
Standard Kindle functionalities apply to rented books, including highlights and bookmarks, and are saved to the user’s account so they’ll be applied should that person purchase or re-borrow the same title.
Among the books already available for rental are: Moneyball: The Art of Winning an Unfair Game, The Big Short and Liars’ Poker by Michael Lewis; The Hunger Games trilogy by Suzanne Collins; Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen; Kitchen Confidential: Adventures in the Culinary Underbelly by Anthony Bourdain; and motivational books like The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen R. Covey.
“The Kindle Owners’ Lending Library is a great new benefit for Kindle owners and an entirely new growth opportunity for authors and publishers,” Russ Grandinetti, vice president, Kindle Content, said in a statement. “With the growth in Prime membership and the recent addition of Prime Instant Video, we’ve been able to broaden our relationships with movie and TV studios such as CBS, Fox, and NBCUniversal and significantly increase their revenue. We’re excited to expand that investment to books – with this launch, we expect three immediate results: Kindle owners will read even more, publisher revenues will grow, and authors will see larger royalty checks.”