Thursday, February 16, 2012

Kindle Owners Lending Library: KOLLing on the Pros (and Cons) for Writers

posted by Saul

Ever since Amazon announced that it would be paying authors to allow their ebooks to be borrowed through its Kindle Owners Lending Library (KOLL), the etherscape has been abuzz with opinions spanning every possible extreme. Detractors argue that Amazon is trying to put other book distributors (read: B&N, Apple, Google...) out of business at the expense of writers, and once they do, the terms under which authors publish with Amazon will suddenly become as unfavorable as they already are in legacy publishing. Supporters argue Amazon is offering authors an opportunity to reach more readers and to legitimately offer their works for free for a defined period of time, something Amazon has been loath to support in the past.

Whether the former turns out to be true is irrelevant, since those making such predictions simply don't know, and those with insight into Amazon's strategy won't tell. As for the latter, the question of whether an author wishes to participate must be decided on an individual basis. There are both positive and negative aspects to consider.