I’ve seen a couple of posts on FB lately mentioning readers asking to “borrow” ebooks. One post in particular had people pissed off. It seemed to be taken as if the reader wanted pirated copies of the books. I almost joined in on the pissed-off-ed-ness, but the reader had used the word “borrow” and she posted the request to borrow said books right on the author’s timeline. Surely she wouldn’t ask for illegal copies that way. (Although, you never know, because some people… I’ll leave it at that.)
And I remembered that Amazon does have a “lending” option on ebooks. If the author or publisher enables lending, then anyone who has paid for an ebook can then lend it to someone else. I checked the books the reader had asked to borrow and they did indeed have lending enabled. So, hopefully the reader was asking for a legal borrow and not a steal.
Now, the way the reader made the request was super tacky in my opinion. She basically posted (on the author’s timeline)—“Hey, anyone want to let me borrow this entire series?” I mean, come on. You could at least say hi to the author, tell her you’re a fan, or that her books look great and you really want to read them, instead of just asking her readers if they can lend you an ENTIRE series. And how about only asking for Book 1? But that’s just my opinion.
In case you didn’t know, authors don’t get paid for borrows. (Loaning a book to a friend is different from KOLL – Kindle Owners Lending Library – Authors do get paid for KOLL.)
Even so, after thinking about it for a couple days, I still like the lending feature. If someone buys one of my books and likes it enough that they want to share it with a friend, that’s a compliment. It might also mean I gain a new reader. Oh, and one person can’t keep loaning out the same book to hundreds of people. If that was the case, I would not like the lending feature. At this time, the person who bought the book can only loan it to one other person.
AUTHORS: Do you like the lending feature? Or does it bother you?
READERS: Do you often loan ebooks to friends? Or borrow ebooks from friends? Have you ever found a new author that way?
Have a fantastic weekend and read lots of great books – bought or legally borrowed.