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Just What You've Always Wanted

Amazon’s New Netflix-Style Library for eBooks Coming Soon?


Has the time finally come for Amazon start start lending out ebooks? The Wall Street Journal says that this might just be a possibility soon, and that the online retailer has been in talks with several book publishers about a service that would involve customers paying a monthly fee to access ebooks temporarily, Netflix-style. All this, just in time for the release of their new tablet.

Nothing is confirmed or official as of today, but the ability to borrow ebooks on a device like the Kindle is something that users have been wanting for a while now. And while there are services that allows borrowing between users and through local libraries, sometimes you just want to test drive a book before buying it without having to go through another Kindle user or a third party. However, here are the catches: the new monthly service would only apply to older titles, would only be available to those who pay $79 a month for Amazon Prime, and there would be a limit to how many books could be borrowed per month.

And you know what would be perfect for all that digital reading? A tablet! To compete with Apple for numerous kinds of digital content including ebooks, they will be releasing a 7-inch tablet with a full-color touch screen that runs on Android in October. And how much is that going to cost? $249. (Compared to the iPad, which is at least twice that amount.)

There is no word about which publishers have agreed to participate in this service, but the ones who do are getting a “substantial fee.” Probably because they feel that lending their books out might stop people from actually buying them, which publishers see as decreasing the value of their books. But when the economy is as bad as it is, people can’t spend their disposable income — if they even have one — on books they might only read once. As much as they think it would hurt them, publishers should really take a look at that fee being offered by Amazon, lest they miss out on something that could prove good for book publishing (though bad for retailers who don’t hop on board). And with a new, affordable tablet on the way, there are going to be a lot of people looking for greater amounts of digital content.

(WSJ via Geekosystem)

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  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1208921 Nikki Lincoln

    Isn’t Prime $79 a year?

  • http://fempop.com Alex Cranz

    So I can rent all the movies available via Amazon, and a large selection of books and I get free 2day shipping and super cheap 1 day shipping? Prime is sounding better and better.

  • Anonymous
  • http://maidofmight.net Michelle Bacon

    And the authors? Are they getting paid anything for this? Probably not.

    So, let’s hear how this is anything but a grab for more rights for less money? Will Amazon be paying lump sums for licenses? Will authors see even one cent of that? Will we be paid per download? If they aren’t charging much more than Prime services already cost, who will be paying us? Anyone? Bueller? What about books already in print? Will we be paid for joining the service or just told our major problem is obscurity and we should be grateful?

    Hoggle is Hoggle’s friend. Amazon is no one’s friend. They want to control the ebook market. They’re pissed they don’t control the music and movie market to the extent they’d like to. They are nearly there with books, and having destroyed bookstores, they’re now after libraries and quite possibly just really interested in becoming the only publisher there is. Don’t think no one over there has thought of simply replacing the whole publishing apparatus with Amazon.com. And a lot of people would wave their pom-poms for that.

    The fact that a company that tried to punish Macmillan simply for not kowtowing to them immediately is considered worthy of trust is laughable. These guys are thugs. It’s an awfully nice industry you got there. Shame if anything should happen to it.

    This is a company that has shown itself to be unscrupulous in its dealings with publishers time and time again. It’s being friendly to authors now, but it was friendly to publishers and bookstores for awhile too. Amazon is way more than an 800 pound gorilla. They want to be the only way you access books. That is good for no one. No one source should have that much power, or else you end up in a situation where if, say, Amazon doesn’t like queers, they can kill all their books and no one can say anything. They don’t think erotica should get ranked with “normal” books? They don’t. Amazon wants to remotely delete something you paid for? It’s deleted. This has already happened. More power to those people? I don’t think so. No single company should have the influence they want. You think it’s bad that there’s so few publishing companies? At least there are six.

    The Year of the Unlimited Free Ebooks Brought to You By Amazon.com

  • http://twitter.com/hotandsauermama Alisa Kraut

    Um, “would only be available to those who pay $79 a month for Amazon Prime”…. It’s actually 79$ a year for Prime. Is this new info or a typo?