We caught wind of a new website that helps facilitate the entire lending and borrowing process of Kindle/Nook books. Adeptly entitled Lendingebook.com, it seeks to change up the entire lending game.
In the last few years, Amazon and Barnes & Noble began ushering in a program that allowed authors and publishers to flag their books “Lending Enabled.” This allows books with this flag to be loaned out to your friends and family for around 14 days. Currently, only accounts in the USA are eligible to buy books that are flagged as lending enabled, but anyone in the world can receive the lend. This has spurned many users to register a USA billing and shipping address and using their own credit card.
Since B&N and Amazon rolled out this program, many websites such as Lendle and eBook Fling have sprung up to connect users with each other to lend books. Lendle focuses on Kindle books while eBook Fling does both. Although in the last few weeks problems have abounded with eBook Fling forcing them to eliminate Nook Book lending.
Lending eBook seems to be a well designed website that clearly states on the front page their entire supported device lineup. They support all Kindle and Nook models including the Nook Color. If you don’t have an e-reader don’t despair you can still lend and borrow books. They support all of the official branded apps, so if you have an Android Tablet or an iPad, you are good to go.
I really liked the My Library feature that shows all of the books on your shelf that you have either; read, borrowed or loaned out. They shelves are cleverly arranged so you see the most recent books on your main shelf and then you have a series of sub-shelves that are devoted entirely to say “My Books.” If you have a ton of books on your dedicated sub-shelf you have handy arrows that let you scroll left and right.
To lend a book is fairly straight forward. When you are on your main library shelf red flags will appear on the books that you own and someone wants to borrow. Clicking on the cover art will open the book up and give you details, such as author, publishing and display cover art. Clicking on the Lend button shows you the email address of the person you will lend the book too. When you copy and paste that and then click Lend this Book, you will be diverted to either Amazon or Barnes and Noble to complete the lending transaction. The borrower is then informed via email when the book is ready to be synced to their device.
Looking for books is fairly easy, once you register on the website or Facebook/Twitter connect you can browse for books to borrow. Pre-Launch there seems to only be a few hundred books available, but I expect that to grow. When you want to borrow a book there are tons of options to refine your search. You can look for books via author, title or ISBN number. Furthermore, you can even search by Genre, which is handy if you are looking for random books. The best ones so far seem to be rated and any users can rate books which seem to get highest placement. Find the one you want to borrow and click “Borrow this Book.”
It seems they run a credit based system as a form of monetization. Everyone starts with one credit to borrow a book, and they seem to cost around .99 for 2. Lenders earn credits by lending their books out and they earn credits for doing that. The premise is to award the lenders and make them never have to pay for books and only charge the people who borrow and do not lend.
The new website offers some innovative features not found in many of the other ebook lending sites. They have the ability to earn achievements and rewards. I managed to earn one just for signing up and lending my first book. The website states that you can earn special badges by just logging into the site on specific holidays. The feedback system is also well developed and allows users to rate the lending/borrowing transaction. This will allow new lenders and borrowers know who the best ones to deal with are.
I think people new to ebook lending will appreciate the help and support area they have. They seem to have PDF tutorials for the entire lending/listing/borrowing features for both Kindle and Nook. They even have a burgeoning forum community to address specific concerns.
It seems the company also has plenty of new features up their sleeves during the next few weeks to really make them stand out from the competition. They are designing an author portal that allows indie authors to make profiles and list their books. These books are intended to be placed on a different part of the website as a well for people to not only lend and borrow, but buy books as well. Not much is known yet about this system but from their forum, they mention authors can submit Kindle AND Nook books, so MOBI and EPUB. Payment will be done over PAYPAL and the authors are going to get their royalties instantly and not have to wait. They also mentioned a new social media element with befriending options, featured profiles and a live chat feature. I can’t wait!
In the end, this is a great new site that are doing things no one else is. It feels distinctively “bookish.” Most of the areas have library shelves and books everywhere, while looking slick and refined. If you have a Amazon or Nook reader you want to check this site out.
Visit http://lendingebook.com for more information on their products and services.
Michael Kozlowski is the Editor in Chief of Good e-Reader. He has been writing about audiobooks and e-readers for the past ten years. His articles have been picked up by major and local news sources and websites such as the CBC, CNET, Engadget, Huffington Post and the New York Times.