The Kindle book-lending service, Lendle, has introduced a $0.50 incentive to encourage its users to lend their Kindle books to others.
Up until now the only benefit to Lendle users of lending out the titles they own has been to be able in turn to borrow more titles. The limit of being able to lend a book only once and only for 14 days is imposed by Amazon. Lendle's policy is that you are given two borrow requests when you sign up to the service and list at least one Kindle title but then "earn" more by listing and lending more Kindle books.
Now when you actually complete a loan you will be credited with either $0.50 or, if you have become a Patron of the service, $1 and once the total reaches $10 will be issued with a an Amazon Gift Card for that amount.
As explained in the Lendle blog this new feature has been made possible by the introduction of the Patron program enabling Lendle users to support the service by paying a $25 fee.
At the moment Lendle is only available in the U.S but a note on its home page: We expect Amazon to allow book lending elsewhere soon holds out the hope that it will spread to other countries in due course.
The real question is that if there is value in lending books, why is it that publishers haven't woken up to this fact and made the revenue stream available to their authors rather than to third parties? A publisher-supported lending system with reasonable charges and lending terms would quickly replace ah-hoc lending systems and remove the need for restrictive lending terms for ebooks that simply upset readers.
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