Amazon Opens New Kindle Owners’ Lending Library

Amazon has announced the opening of the  Kindle Owners’ Lending Library. The library allows Prime members to borrow Kindle books for free. There are thousands of books to choose from. According their press release, there are hundreds of current and former New York Times Bestsellers available as well.

Kindle Lending

To access the library, Kindle users must have an Amazon Prime membership. For a $79 annual fee, Amazon Prime members enjoy many benefits including free two-day shipping and unlimited streaming of instant videos. Founder and CEO, Jeff Bezos, said, “Prime Members now have exclusive access to a huge library of books to read on any Kindle device at no additional cost and with no due dates.” It is worth noting that Kindle Fire owners get a 3 month free trial of Amazon Prime with their purchase. Prime members can borrow as much as one book per month. The borrowed books will function just like any purchased book would. All of your notes and highlights are saved, so if you decide to purchase a returned book later, all of that information will still be available to you.

Amazon has made the process of borrowing a book pretty simple. In the image below, you can see the steps it takes to borrow a book from a Kindle E Ink device.

Kindle Ink
Images Courtesy of

The next image illustrates how this is done via the Kindle Fire.

Kindle Fire
Images Courtesy of

To learn more about the program visit their official website at

With the holiday season approaching, it seems Amazon is aggressively pursuing new product offerings. The Kindle lineup, especially the Kindle Fire, seems to get more attractive. It will be interesting to see if Amazon’s services will sway some would-be iPad users their way.

What do you think? With Amazon Prime’s video streaming and lending library, do you find the Kindle products more attractive? We would love to hear your thoughts.

Amazon Prime Strikes Deal With PBS

Amazon announced in a press release today, “an expansion of a licensing agreement with PBS Distribution that will allow Amazon Prime members to instantly stream, at no additional cost, current and archived PBS programming”. This will bring their count up to 12,000 videos by the end of the year.

PBS Logo

Amazon Prime is an annual membership program made available by It’s similar to a membership in a wholesale club, like Sam’s, for instance. For a $79 fee, members are able to get free two-day shipping on millions of items at Recently, they have started providing Prime Instant Videos, which gives their members unlimited access to certain movies and TV shows online.

Seeking to compete with the likes of Netflix and Hulu, Amazon Prime continues to add to its video collection. Back in September, they were able to secure a deal with Twentieth Century Fox. The PBS agreement adds shows like  NOVA,  Masterpiece  and  Antiques Roadshow. They will also be adding several PBS news programs and the ever popular cooking show, The  French Chef, hosted by Julia Child.

I believe that this will be a welcomed addition to Amazon Prime. This service seems to be gaining momentum. Hopefully the service will receive a boost from those who recently purchased their Kindle Fire. All Kindle Fire customers receive 3 months of Amazon Prime for free. Amazon better make a good showing while they have this captive audience.

What about you? Have you ordered your Kindle Fire yet? Do you think you will give Amazon Prime a try?

Amazon Kindle Now Connects Authors and Readers

Amazon has introduced a new feature – @author – in a limited beta release on Kindle and Amazon Author Pages that connects readers with their favorite writers and their books. Readers can ask questions directly from their Kindles or post them to Amazon Author Pages. Amazon is starting with 16 authors, and the feature is available to anyone who has purchased items from However, all visitors to can read any current question or response.


How to post a question from the Kindle?

  • Place the cursor at the beginning of the passage you’d like to ask a question about using the 5-way controller, and press down to anchor it.
  • Highlight the passage using the 5-way controller.
  • Enter your question about the passage you highlighted; beginning with the phrase @author.
  • Select “save & share” from the options at the bottom of the note window when finished.

Note that questions asked from the Kindle are limited to 100 characters. You can of course ask a longer question from the Amazon Author Page. Also, your messages and the votes cast on them do not impact your Top Reviewer ranking, which are only based on customer reviews.

When you ask an @author question from your Kindle or from the Amazon Author Page, you will automatically receive an e-mail notification when a new answer to your question has been posted. Also, on an Amazon Author Page, you can click the Track this questionlink below other question you’d like to track.

Apart from asking questions about the characters or information in the book, this feature gives a nice opportunity to know more about the authors and ask questions about their writing styles and influences. I have so many questions on Tom Sawyer and Huckleberry Finn, but alas Mark Twain rests in peace!

Kindle Cloud Reader Brings Kindle Books to Browser

Amazon has had a wide selection of free Kindle reading apps on most platforms and devices. The mission of “Buy Once, Read Everywhere” is now further extended to the web browser. Amazon has released Kindle Cloud Reader, based on HTML5, that allows you to read Kindle books instantly in your browser online or offline – with no downloading or installation required.

Kindle Cloud Reader

Kindle Cloud Reader automatically synchronizes your Kindle library, as well as your last page read, bookmarks, notes, and highlights for all of your Kindle books. This feature is similar to the one available in all reading apps and allows you to continue reading a book from the page that you last left on whether on a Kindle device or on one of the Kindle apps. Your current book is automatically made available for offline use, and you can choose to save a book for reading offline at any time.

Kindle Cloud Reader

Kindle Cloud Reader provides an immersive view of your entire Kindle library, with instant access to all of your books. An embedded Kindle Store optimized for the browser makes it seamless to discover new books and start reading them instantly. The iPad version includes an integrated, touch-optimized store that allows you one-click access to the vast selection of books.

Kindle Cloud Reader for Offline Reading

The first time you sign in to your account, you are given an option to enable offline reading capability which allows the books in your library to be downloaded for offline reading.

Kindle Cloud Reader - Book

Once you choose a book to read from the library, you can customize the page layout to your desired font size, text color, background color, and more. The interface is neat and has subtle navigational aids at the bottom and previous/next options on either sides.

The only grouse that I have is that Kindle Cloud Reader is not yet available for Internet Explorer 9. I could not even test a limited or hampered experience since the application doesn’t allow you to sign in on an unsupported browser. Kindle Cloud Reader is available for Safari (Windows/Mac/iPad) and Chrome (Mac/Windows/Linux/Chromebook). Amazon’s press release indicates that Kindle Cloud Reader will be available on additional web browsers, the BlackBerry PlayBook browser, and other mobile browsers, in the coming months. customers can start reading their Kindle books, or discover new titles from over 950,000 Kindle books available, immediately using Kindle Cloud Reader at using the existing credentials.

Free Kindle Books – Here’s Something For Christmas

I guess many of you might have received an Amazon Kindle as a present this Christmas. So what do you do with it now? You can read tons of books on it and also purchase books through the Amazon Kindle Store.

Free Amazon Kindle Books

But since you have just got that Kindle, why not give it a try with some Free Kindle Books? Yes, Amazon does have an option for users to download and read Free Kindle Books which do not cost you a cent, before you can go ahead and make your first purchase.

Interested? Well head over to Amazon’s Free Kindle Books page to download books including Serial by Jack Kiborn, The Wild’s Call by Jeri Smith, Star Wars by John Jackson MIller and several other books from a list of 40 books.

Do try this out before you head over to buy some really good books for the Kindle.

Amazon Announces 70% Revenue Share For Kindle Publishers

If you write great content, you should definitely get a bigger pie of the revenue. This can be for books, videos and all other content created by users. Looks like Amazon is now understanding this and doling out a bigger pie; 70% of the revenue share; to Kindle magazine and newspaper publishers.

Amazon Kindle

If you sell a title or subscription on Amazon Kindle, you will now be entitled to a 70% revenue share. The new 70% royalty will start from December 1, 2010. However, there are some restrictions on who can earn a 70% revenue, which include magazines and newspapers which are sold to:

  • Customers who can read the title on all Kindle devices and applications.
  • Customers who can read the title in all geographies for which the publisher has rights.

If you are a blog owner and publish your blog on Kindle, you will not be able to take advantage of the new revenue sharing model.

More info at the Amazon blog.

Amazon’s Kindle Application For Android Updated

Amazon has just rolled out an update for their Kindle application for Android which adds many new features to it. With this update, the Kindle application now supports search for e-Books using words and phrases, lets them know more information about a book on Shelfari etcetera.   Amazon Kindle Android App

Other new notable features in this update include :

* Search within the book: Customers can either type or speak a word or phrase to search within a book.

* Add, Edit and Delete Notes and Highlights: Kindle for Android is the only reading app for Android-based devices that allows readers to add notes and highlights to books, and have them automatically synchronized between devices.

* Wikipedia Lookup: Look up words and phrases in Wikipedia simply by selecting text.

* Shelfari Book Details: For the first time, customers can view additional book details from the books-focused social networking site Shelfari. Readers will find a description of the book, synopsis, summary, cast of characters, and many more features, and be able to view real-time discussions that the Shelfari community is having about the book.

* Orientation Lock: Choose to lock the orientation of their screen in landscape or portrait mode to allow for comfortable reading in any position.

The Kindle application for Android gives it users’ access to over more than 700,000 eBooks which includes nearly all the popular books including New York Times Bestsellers. The app also lets you sync your notes and text highlights between multiple devices.

Android users can download the new updated Kindle App from the Android market. Here is the link to the full press release.

Kindle Application For The iPad, iPhone And iPod Touch Updated

Amazon today in a press announcement released an updated version of the Kindle Application for the iPad, iPhone and the iPod Touch. The updated Kindle application now supports embedding audio and video clips in Kindle books.

Amazon Logo

“We are excited to add this functionality to Kindle for iPad and Kindle for iPhone and iPod touch,” said Dorothy Nicholls, director, Amazon Kindle. “Readers will already find some Kindle Editions with audio/video clips in the Kindle Store today–from Rose’s Heavenly Cakes with video tips on preparing the perfect cake to Bird Songs with audio clips that relate the songs and calls to the birds’ appearances. This is just the beginning–we look forward to seeing what authors and publishers create for Kindle customers using the new functionality of the Kindle apps.”

Among the first books to take advantage of this new feature, include Rick Steves’ London, and Together We Cannot Fail. The Kindle application provides its users to access with the Kindle bookstore, which has more than 600,000 eBooks. The Kindle application is available for the iOS platform from Apple, Mac OS X, and Windows.

An Android version of the Kindle application is also expected to be released soon.

Amazon Kindle Gets A Price Cut

Amazon just announced in a press release that the Kindle would be getting a price cut. The Amazon Kindle is an e-book reader, with 3G capability. The Kindle has access to the Kindle store, which has more than 600,000Amazon Kindle books. As of now the Amazon Kindle, retails for $259, but beginning from today the device will retail for $189. Even with the reduced price, the Kindle will still come with free 3G wireless service.

I guess the price cut can be attributed to the strong sales of the Apple iPad. The strong sales of the iPad might have forced Amazon to reduce the price of the Kindle. It might also be possible that Amazon will be launching a new version of the Kindle this summer, and so they are reducing the price of the eBook reader.

This price cut can also come in response from the Nook reader, which features Wi-Fi, and will retail for $199. Here is the link to the Press Release.

Acer Demonstrates The Acer LumiRead L600 eReader At The Computex

Looks like Acer wants to grab a share of the eBook reader market from Apple and Amazon. The company demonstrated the Acer LumiRead L600 e-reader at the ongoing Computex. The LumiRead L600 looks very much like theclip_image001 Amazon Kindle. The eBook reader packs in a 6-inch e-Ink display, having a resolution of 800*600. The device also has a D-pad and a 37 key QWERTY keyboard.

The device is powered by a Freescale iMX357 processor running at 532 MHz, and has 128MB of RAM. The device was kept under the glass at the ongoing Computex, so no further information is available about the device. Acer did not mention anything about the price and the launch date of the device.

In any case, the Acer LumiRead L600 e-reader has a very tough task ahead. Grabbing share from the Apple iPad, which is selling like hot cakes, is surely going to be a herculean task.