eBookFling Launches, Virtual eBook Swap Connecting Borrowers to Lenders
Virtual “e-book swap” facilitates the direct lending of e-books between consumers using the lending features enabled by the Kindle and Nook.
With eBookFling, readers can swap unlimited eBooks with thousands of readers nationwide. Just fling an eBook to others and catch the eBook of your choice - choose from the hottest New York Times Bestsellers, timeless classics and even rare, eclectic titles, textbooks and tech manuals! Trade Kindle™ and Nook™ books using your e-reader device, iPad, iPhone, Blackberry™ or Android™ smartphone.
Business Model in Brief:
Using a credit system as currency, the community provides a circle of eBook lending.
Lenders earn 1 credit for every 5 books they list as available for lend and 1 credit earned for each successfully lent book. Borrowers create a queue of books they’d like to borrow.
Lenders will be emailed or sent a text message when a Borrower selects their book and upon acceptance, they will have a set time to complete the transaction through Amazon.com or BarnesAndNoble.com with eBookFling verifying the transaction and alerting the requester that their book is ready to download. The Borrower will then have one point deducted from their account which is given to the Lender to spend on a rental for him/herself.
The borrower may read the book for 14 days on the device they’ve downloaded to (Kindle, Nook, Nook and Kindle apps on smart phones or apps on PC and MACs) upon which the book disappears from the borrower and is "returned" to the Lender's device/phone/
What does this all mean?
HOW ANGRY WILL THIS MAKE AMAZON, B&N and PUBLISHERS?: The initial reaction may be a negative. Publishers and authors will claim the lending feature is being abused and causing cannibalization of sales. Authors are already bending over backwards by giving away many of their backlist (older) books free in the Kindle & Nook stores as promotion for the author's new release. From their perspective, now they'll have to worry about making only half the sales on the new books too!? Plus, the 14-day lending period may be more than enough time to finish a short novelette, copy the recipes in a cookbook, or read that important chapter in a tech manual or how-to book; never needing to purchase.
MIGHT LENDING PRIVILEGES BE REVOKED?: Amazon's bout with a PR nightmare when they deleted copies of 1984 right from readers' Kindles, would likely keep them from taking a second PR hit by removing the lending function completely. They currently leave it up to publishers to decide to turn on or off lending rights for each book, which could eventually lead to some publishers taking a stance against lending, just like when Macmillan had originally boycotted the Kindle store due to lack of pricing flexibility. In my opinion it would be smart to allow publishers to choose their own lending terms, (i.e. 1 day, 7 days, 1 month, lending to 5 people, etc.) rather than just turn of lending completely.
HOW DOES EBOOKFLING WORK AND WHY DOES IT WORK?: eBookFling is a vast swapping network of readers. Utilizing the existing lend-to-a-friend feature in many Nook & Kindle books, we're connecting a nation of eBook owners to readers who want to borrow their books. On a nationwide scale, the availability of books to borrow becomes limitless. It's one step closer to how physical books are bought, sold, and traded through secondary markets.
HOW DOES EBOOKFLING WORK WITH SO MANY SUPPORTED SYSTEMS (Nook, Kindle, smartphone apps): eBookFling users don't even need to own a Kindle e-reader or Nook device. Just simply download the Nook or Kindle apps to your PC/Mac, iPhone/Android/
WHY IT'S NOT ALL BAD NEWS FOR PUBLISHERS: Many new or self-published authors love when books are shared because it increases exposure for the author. eBookFling, and book lending in general, could be seen as a marketing tool for publishers and authors. And as for the concern about reading an entire book free during the 14-day window, most books will be left unfinished. A survey from the National Endowment for the Arts considers an avid reader someone who consumes 12 books or more per year (only 3% of the US). Readers could see this model more as try-before-you-