As I mentioned in the initial announcement of Kindle-book lending, people were reporting very low percentages of books marked as "Lendable" and almost none of mine were so I felt they were still implementing the system but wanted to announce it before year-end as expected and that they would continue to enable Lending on the books as it went or when they had publisher approvals assured.
Since then, I've seen a report of what one Kindle customer representative had to say about the situation, and others have chimed in on what they see with their own libraries. Here's a sampling from the latest posts at the same forum thread but shown there as sorted by Newest Post First this time.
' Posted on Dec. 31, 2010 9:03 AM PST
K. Quist says:
I just got off the phone with customer support asking them why so few titles had
lending enabled. They said that they were "rolling this out slowly" and that
more books were coming. I asked how many books were lending enabled and they
could not tell me. I asked if there was a way to search on Amazon.com for books
that have lending enabled and they said no ..."
Posted on Jan. 2, 2011 7:51 PM PST
Last edited by the author 4 hours ago
David Dalton says:
Update: I checked a couple of new titles and I actually have 31 titles out of 42 that can be loaned out for a 73% rate ...
Posted on Jan. 3, 2011 7:06 AM PST
Theresa M. Hogan says:
I have a total of 100 books on my kindle and 65 of them can be loaned out ...
Posted on Jan. 3, 2011 10:16 AM PST
They are expanding the offerings for the lendable books, I see. When I checked this over the weekend, very, very few of my books were available for lending. When I checked today I have about 73 available, although granted, none by the mainstream authors. There were several that I had gotten for free that are no longer free that I can lend now, although, to be honest, probably only two of those would I recommend to anyone ... '
Until late on January 2, numbers were not as good. We'll see. There's no real data yet on which bestsellers, for example, are marked lendable.
People have reminded us that self- or small-publishers who want to charge less than $2.99 per book will qualify for only 35% of sale price (or less if selling it elsewhere for less) but can opt out of lending programs. To qualify for the net 70% level from Amazon instead, those publishers must sell their books for at least $2.99 and agree to having their books categorized as "Lendable" and must offer the text-to-speech and other special Amazon features.
The Apple 'Agency Model' Agreement insisted upon by the Big5 publishers guarantees them 70% of the sale-price that they themselves set and these larger publishers decide which of their books are lendable and which ones will be allowed to use the text-to-speech feature.
There are many who have posted that the lending program is too limited and should be made more flexible.  s;To see the authors' quite different viewpoints on all this, see the Amazon Digtal Text Platform forum discussion of the new Kindle book lending program.
HIGH INTEREST IN THE KINDLE BY INTERNET USERS
Silicon Alley Insider reports on Kindle sales.
"Almost One-Third of Internet Users Plan to Buy a Kindle." I saw the Silicon Alley Insider article referenced at Teleread.com
An earlier article by SAI's Matt Rasoff on December 29 was headlined "Amazon Now Making As Many Kindles As Apple is iPads."
He quotes Analyst Ming-Chi Kuo of Concord Equity Research on the various interesting numbers in that article, much of that from Apple Insider. The catch was said to be that Apple is ramping down production as they plan to announce the iPad 2 in January though other analysts don't think they'll do this that early. Kuo also estimates that Amazon has sold 5.4 million Kindles since releasing the Kindle 3 in August.
Rasoff points out that "The survey also bolsters the claim of Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos that iPad owners are buying Kindles: 40% of iPad users surveyed already own one, and 23% plan to buy one in the next year."
Amazon sells over 3 million ebooks in one week says Morris Rosenthal
This estimate, made by Foner Books's Morris Rosenthal, is based on an extrapolation from a Kindle sales rank graph. In his Teleread alert on this, Paul Biba writes that Rosenthal goes on to say:
' Kindle is a runaway train heading for Manhattan, and as it roars through Penn Station and under the city, it is shaking the foundations of New York’s oldest trade publishers. Increasing eBook sales mean increasing cost per unit for print books, since fixed production costs will be amortized over fewer print unit sales. '
Kindle 3's (UK: Kindle 3's), DX Graphite
Check often: Temporarily-free late-listed non-classics or recently published ones
Guide to finding Free Kindle books and Sources. Top 100 free bestsellers.
UK-Only: recently published non-classics, bestsellers, or highest-rated ones
Also, UK customers should see the UK store's Top 100 free bestsellers. Below are ways to Share this post if you'd like others to see it.
-- The Send to Kindle button works well only on Firefox currently.
(Older posts have older Kindle model info. For latest models, see CURRENT KINDLES page. )
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