By Jeremy Greenfield, Editorial Director, Digital Book World, @JDGsaid
Sales for books available to Amazon Prime subscribers through the Kindle Owners’ Lending Library have increased over the two months of the program’s existence, according to Russ Grandinetti, vice president of Kindle content, who spoke this morning at the Digital Book World Conference in New York.
Books not offered in the Kindle Lending Library program also showed increased sales if they were in a series featured in the lending library or by an author featured in the lending library.
The data are preliminary, stressed Grandinetti, but dramatic.
For instance, those who read the first book the The Hunger Games trilogy by Suzanne Collins bought the second book in the series 19% of the time, rather than wait to borrow the second book when it was available to them. (Kindle owners can only borrow one book every month from the Lending Library.) Further, 19% of the time, they also purchased the third book in the series.
According to Grandinetti, the Lending Library drives book visibility because those who borrow books write reviews of them and tell friends about them. Those who borrow also get interested in new authors and new readers.
When comparing two similar groups of Kindle owners – one that participated in the Lending Library program and one that did not – Amazon noticed a 30% increase in book buying among the group that did participate in the Lending Library.
Reaction from the publishing community to the Lending Library program was mixed when it was launched in November. Some welcomed the opportunity for more revenue and increased book visibility; others criticized the library, citing author, agent and contractual concerns.
Write to Jeremy Greenfield