Can you lend ebooks like you often do with your paper books? How do you lend Kindle books? Is it possible? Yes! But there is a catch.
Unless you have a Family Library set up on Amazon (which shares billing information), there’s a catch. Or two. First, the particular book must have lending enabled on Amazon. Most books are not included, unfortunately. You are also only able to lend a title ONCE, ever. Another catch is only one person has access to that book at a time. Meaning, if you loan it out, you can’t read it until it’s returned.
All Kindle ebooks you loan out is done via email. An email will be sent to the recipient, who has 7 days to accept the book. Once accepted, your friend has 14 days to read the book before it’s returned to you.
Still interested in lending a Kindle ebook? OK!
How to Lend a Kindle Book
The first thing you have to do I determine if you can, in fact, loan the book out. You can find this out in two places. First, is through your Content and Devices section of your Amazon account.
You are going to select the book you want by clicking on the little button beside the book. In this case, we’re going to choose the first book.
The very last option is Loan this title. If a book doesn’t have this option, it is not lendable. (Is lendable a word? If not, it is now!)
Once you choose that option, you’ll be able to enter the recipient’s email, name and a brief message. Hit send and you’re done!
Another way to lend a title is on your computer. If you go to the Amazon website, find the book you are looking to lend. I used the same book for this example.
You can clearly see the Loan this book option. Again you’ll enter the recipient’s name and email to loan this title. If you are on the computer and this option doesn’t appear, then this particular book cannot be loaned out.
Audible doesn’t have a lending option, exactly. What is has is a gifting option for ANY Audible book. An Audible member can gift as many books as they want, for free. The catch is the recipient can only accept one free Audible book. Ever. It is to let people share the love of audio books with possible new listeners as the price of audio books can make potential new customers hesitate.
Of course, you could sign up for a free 30-day trial of Audible and get two audio books free instead of finding someone to give you an Audible book. Or do both, that’s three free audio books.
Are Other Retailer’s Books Lendable?
Some other retailers have this option! Barnes and Noble has the LendMe feature. Google Play Books only allows lending if you’re using the Family Library. Apple Books can be loaned out only through Family Sharing. Kobo ebooks, so far, cannot be loaned out.
Please keep in mind that ‘free’ ebook files found on certain places on the internet are illegal copies unless distributed by a legitimate service for authors and publishers. It’s fairly easy to tell pirated copies and legitimate services. Usually if a free copy is being distributed, it’s to encourage newsletter sign ups or reviews.
Remember to support your authors by purchasing or getting your copies from legitimate sources. Plus legitimate copies don’t carry viruses.
Other Ebook Lending Options
If you’re interested in borrowing and lending, there are quite a few nice lending services available.
Disclaimer: I have not personally tried these services, so I can’t say how excellent they are. If anyone is interested in giving me a review on your experiences with these services, please shoot me an email or use my new contact form.
To Lend or Not to Lend?
I do think lending is an awesome way to try your friends and family’s favorite books. It also introduces readers to new authors. It really is a shame that more ebooks aren’t available to lend out. It’s not an Amazon thing. It’s a publisher thing. They have control over that option.
On the other hand, I am not very good at ‘borrowing’. I don’t know what it is, but give me a time limit on my books and I can’t do it. Plus I like ‘owning’ the book. But I’m all for sharing a good ebook with people. Even if I can’t access it while it is borrowed.
How do you feel about digital lending (or borrowing)?