To Be or Not To Be...a Part of the Kindle Owners' Lending Library

Hey There! Sometimes I wonder where my head is. I guess it’s in writing la-la-land a lot of the time. I just made myself a warm latte macchiato and had been sipping at it for a bit. Just a couple of sips. I found the froth to be perfect and the beverage to taste strongly of…milk. Creamy, foamy, softly sweet milk.

I took another little sip and thought about the flavor. Is the milk bad? Is that why it’s so apparent? Then a light went off. Is there even espresso in this latte?

I swirled the milk around and came up with nothing but white. White milk, sans espresso. I ran back into the kitchen, hoping I didn’t goofily dump out the espresso I know I had made. And there were the two little cups of freshly brewed espresso just waiting to be joined with their milk mama.

Now that I’ve got my coffee situation figured out, let’s get down to business. Amazon business.


I’ve been toying with the idea of joining the thousands of authors who are participating in Amazon’s Kindle Owners’ Lending Library. Basically if you’re an Amazon Prime member you get not only their free 2-day shipping, unlimited streaming of tons of movies and TV shows, but if you’ve got a Kindle then you can borrow, lend and read thousands of free books. It’s Amazon’s way of taking control of the e-pub and e-reading markets. It’s a great, and a not-so-great thing, in my opinion. But for readers, let’s face it…it’s pretty cool. Is it not? It’s like a little public library right on your Kindle! But for the $70 a year or whatever it is to be a Prime member….

Now I’m not one for complete market control, but Amazon is great at what they do and that’s where my book sells the most. I love that other e-publishing outlets exist out there, like the NOOK (where my book is, as well), Kobo, iBook, Sony, etc. etc. It’s great diversification. But Amazon is the big ticket and joining this Prime membership/Kindle Owners’ Lending Library thing is something I’ve been thinking about for awhile. With the extra few million of Kindle owners who joined the world over this Christmas, and thousands who are Prime members (at least for a free trial membership), I might be silly for passing on this opportunity.

Why am I telling you this?

If you’re a fellow author who self-publishes this will just be one of many opinion pieces on the Amazon Prime membership thing (or on the publishing side of it—what we call the KDP Select thing).

If you’re a reader of e-books, particularly of non-Kindle e-books, then this is something to read. If I enroll my book in this Amazon Prime thing I have to make Bumped to Berlin exclusive to Amazon for the term of enrollment. The terms are for 90 days and I figure I would sign on for just the 90 day trial at first. See how it goes. If I don’t like it, I can get out and put my book back up on Barnes and Noble.

So far Bumped to Berlin is only on Amazon and for the Kindle and NOOK. I’ve sold some NOOK books and that’s great. Thank you, NOOK users! But maybe for 90 days I’ll try Amazon exclusively for this Prime deal and see if it’s worth it. If not, back up on Barnes and Noble I’ll go. I’m not 100% sure of what I’ll do, but I’ve gotten some responses from fellow indie authors who think my book could benefit from the Prime membership.

If I go Prime all it means for readers is that if they’re an Amazon Prime member they can borrow / read my book for free (yup, FREE). For regular Amazon customers (those who don’t pay the $70 a year or whatever it is to get free 2-day shipping and streaming movies and now free, borrowed books) will pay the regular price of $2.99. Basically the book will still be on Amazon, just free for some.

I do have the option of promoting my book to everyone, Prime members and non-Prime members alike, to "buy" for free for a few days now and then exclusively on Amazon. I don’t have to opt in this free promo option, but it is a tool that Amazon is offering writers and it could help my book get a little more face time. We’ll see what I’ll do. I don’t very much like the idea of giving away something for free. It’s not like Bumped to Berlin was just—Poof— created super fast and without much effort.

What all this “Prime talk” means for the author is that my book could essentially reach tons and tons of people and I could gain a nice piece of a market that I haven’t tapped since my rating isn’t super high on Amazon. It’s not bad. I’m selling books. I’m super amazed (and elated) each time I see the daily sales report. But the numbers I’ve been hearing from fellow authors that result from being a part of KDP Select/Amazon Prime are amazing and help get their book out there in view. Granted none of these numbers are real sales per se, as they’re freebies downloaded. But these indie authors’ books are getting on Kindles and some people are actually reading them (and not just hoarding freebies for the sake of a freebie). And in terms of free Prime borrows a percentage of a little dough is paid to authors for each lent book, so that’s a nice little treat.

We’ll see what happens, but for now I’m just tossing the idea around a bit, and wanted to let you all know about it. If you have a NOOK or plan on purchasing a non-Kindle version of my book, then you might want to do it soon. Just in case I decide to go with Amazon solely for a few months.

If you’re a fellow author or a concerned reader, or just have an opinion you want to share, I encourage and would greatly appreciate your thoughts on the matter. I’m always up for suggestions! I figure you never know unless you try. And I have nothing to lose. I could possibly gain hundreds of hoarders of free books who will never open my book, but maybe a small handful of them will read the free download and enjoy it. Review it, even. Who knows. But you don’t know unless you try, right? If you want to share any thoughts with me, or even personal experience with the program, please email me at: or comment on my Facebook Page. I’d love to hear what you have to say!

Thanks for reading, everyone. And thanks for your support, Kindle and NOOK readers alike!

Happy Reading!