Home » Amazon, Ebook Lending » Kindle Owners’ Lending Library Drives E-Book Sales Increase

Kindle Owners’ Lending Library Drives E-Book Sales Increase

25 January 2012

From Digital Book World:

Sales for books available to Amazon Prime subscribers through the Kindle Owners’ Lending Library have increased over the two months of the program’s existence, according to Russ Grandinetti, vice president of Kindle content, who spoke this morning at the Digital Book World Conference in New York.

Books not offered in the Kindle Lending Library program also showed increased sales if they were in a series featured in the lending library or by an author featured in the lending library.

. . . .

For instance, those who read the first book the The Hunger Games trilogy by Suzanne Collins bought the second book in the series 19% of the time, rather than wait to borrow the second book when it was available to them. (Kindle owners can only borrow one book every month from the Lending Library.) Further, 19% of the time, they also purchased the third book in the series.

According to Grandinetti, the Lending Library drives book visibility because those who borrow books write reviews of them and tell friends about them. Those who borrow also get interested in new authors and new readers.

When comparing two similar groups of Kindle owners – one that participated in the Lending Library program and one that did not – Amazon noticed a 30% increase in book buying among the group that did participate in the Lending Library.

Link to the rest at Digital Book World

Amazon, Ebook Lending

20 Comments to “Kindle Owners’ Lending Library Drives E-Book Sales Increase”

  1. I am amazed and agog. Mostly I’m amazed and shocked that people are amazed and shocked by this enough that it’s actually news. This is a pretty common business principle: “First hit’s free, kid.”

    When I worked at a gaming store my boss used this principle to hook the kiddies on Magic and Pokemon cards. “Oh, you’ve never played before? Here. Have a free starter deck and booster pack.” It worked so often we called it paper crack.

    Baen has been using the same principle for over a decade now. It works because you’re selling to addicts. It’s not everyone’s drug of choice, but you never know if they’ll take the bait until you let them taste it.

    It’s also called letting the product sell itself. Best form of advertizing there it. I can only think that most publishers don’t trust this method because they don’t trust their product. Probably because they don’t read enough.

    • You’re right, Jean, this is basic retailing.

    • It’s better than that — Authors get a cut, based on number of downloads, of that pot Amazon set up to encourage Authors to enter KDP Select. Some Authors are reporting receiving more in “rental income”, for lack of a better term, than actual sales.

  2. Like Jean says this is nothing new. Get them in the door and then POWWWWW

    The main benefit for this programme is for those with series. If you’re a writer with 3 self pub books in a series up on Amazon you’d be crazy to not join this (unless you get good sales elsewhere too, because you are forced exclusivity for this, right?). Not sure how effective it would be to a first time writer, or someone with several different books. I imagine it would still work, but the % would be lower i’d have thought

    Overall winner. Amazon gets money, the writer does, and the reader has a kindle full of goodie. YEEEEEEYYYY

    Matt (Turndog Millionaire)

    • I have a YA series–Bad Apple–and BA 1 being in Kindle Select did nothing for me. Did not appear to impact sales of 2 & 3 at all. Significant number of downloads. People do like freebies.

      I suspect other factors are at play. This is not a paranormal series, there are no vampires or werewolves. It’s not urban decay. It’s not dystopian. The market wants what the market wants. If it’s not that, don’t expect Select to be a godsend.

      • I saw your blog post about Select not working for you. Maybe this article is a bunch of bollocks to get writers to stick their work into Select. I aint gonna.

        • If you have surplus works, I think Select is fine as an experiment. If you’re just starting out with under 5 books for sale, I have reservations.

          I’m not convinced of the wonderfulness of all the “tools” which winds up being 5 free days out of 90. If Amazon had actual concrete ways to promote our works, my mind would be easily changed, but it turns out it’s really a one way street. Amazon gets exclusives (sticking it to every other bookselling site) for the elusive benefit to indies that free will translate into sales.

  3. I think it’s more effective for turning people on to ebooks than for individual authors. That is, it can be beneficial to authors, but as Jean says, it’s a painless way to get people to “convert.”

    People who see no use for a Kindle, and resist even low priced models, at least have access to a computer (or they wouldn’t be shopping at Amazon). They are likely to have a smart phone or PDA. And hey, that best selling book is FREE. Might as well give it a try. Just takes a little hassle to download the app….

    Once they have the app, they are more likely to try more free books. And once they’ve read more than one book, they are more likely to actually buy books.

    And once I’ve acquired a bunch of books, they’re more likely to see an ereader as a good buy.

    Short term, some authors may see some benefit. Long term, all authors (including those who don’t participate) will see benefit.

  4. Totally off-topic: My 12 y/o son wants to know when the Titanboar Touchstone sequel will be out.

  5. I only have 2 books and a short story. My books are cozy historical mysteries (no sex, no blood, no vampires), and yet KDP Select worked very well for me after I used it to give the first book in the series, MaIds of Misfortune, a 2 day free promotion. Not only did I have over 15,000 downloads, but this put me in the top 10 of 5 main categories–and that ended up giving me 6500 sales-at $2.99– so far this month–and an additional 1200 borrows.

    The reason I am saying this it that it is way too soon to make any definitive statements about about how the KDP Select works or doesn’t, what books will benefit and which won’t. I can guess why I was so successful-Maids of Misfortune, which had been out for 2 years, had already sold well and had 38 strong reviews. It was one of the few cozies in the mystery lists (where it was now showing because of the boost caused by the free promotion) , so if you were looking for cozies, it was one of the few you would find at the top of the lists. And I am glad to say that people seem to be enjoying it-since I have gotten over 13 great new reviews in the last 3 weeks, and the sequel is selling at 2-3 higher rate.

    Does this mean this bump is going to last-no, the sales are steadily slipping-as new freebies appear and rise to the top. Does it mean I am better off than before the free promotion–absolutely. If I give the sequel a free promotion, will it rise as high-I don’t know, but it is worth giving it a try next month. As someone who sold about as many books outside of Kindle in a month as I was selling on Kindle in a day-loosing 3 months of sales to experiment is certainly worth it.

    Maybe we will find that only books that have been out for a while, or only certain genres, or only books that have lots of reviews, or books that happen to be free on Friday and Saturday, or whatever, have a better chance. But how wonderful to have the ability to experiment, be able to share our results, to learn from each other, and how extraordinary that we now have the opportunity, not just make money, but to know that the stories we have in us to tell are not going to sit in some desk drawer or agent reject pile or remainder bin, but are going to have the chance to be read.

    M. Louisa Locke,
    author of Maids of Misfortune and Uneasy Spirits

  6. For my first Kindle library book I borrowed a mystery, first in a contemporary series. I was not impressed and will not be following this author in this series.

    My second borrow was a horror novel that was getting some buzz as “classic” horror– no Zombies, sounds like early King. Haven’t started it yet.

    Both books could have been purchased for $2.99 but I just liked the idea of trying authors for free. I have noticed something– I had downloaded the first book to my Kindle DX and Fire. I returned it from the fire but it’s still hanging around on my DX. Have to find some way to get rid of it.

    • You need to go into your Amazon account and delete it from your Kindle library. Also delete it from the device, but it’s deleting it from the account via your Kindle library that does the trick.

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