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Amazon recently announced that Amazon Prime members get access to the Kindle Lending Library which allows you to borrow Kindle books free of charge. While this was all well and good, authors were wondering how this worked for them. Yesterday, we got our answer.

I’ll give you the full release below but first let me try to give you a recap. In sort, Amazon announced Kindle Select, a program by which Kindle authors can opt to have their books be part of this lending library in exchange for some profit sharing. The only catch is that you have to agree to give them exclusivity for at least 90 days.

To me, this is a masterstroke on Amazon’s part. Many self-published authors would be more than happy to give their books away for free (something currently only allowed of big publishers) and being able to actually earn some profit in exchange for find new readers is great. Of course, this could end up being pennies per month depending on how many people take out the book but it’s still very exciting to be able to get something for that exposure.

Because¬†Beyond Amazon, eBay, and Etsy¬†is available on the Nook and iTunes, I couldn’t make it a part of this program but I did enroll my novella, The Author, in it if you want to see how it works live and in person. If you’re a Prime member, it means you can grab that book right now, for free.

Enrolling in this program is insanely easy. Just log into your KDP account, click the enroll button and then submit. My books showed in the lending library within an hour.

How much profit this means in the long run remains to be seen but with Kindle Fire owners getting a free month long trial of Prime and the holidays coming up, this could end up revelutionizing eBook publishing. It’s like the Netflix Instant Watch of books!

Here’s the full release they emailed publishers today:

Hello from KDP!

We’re excited to introduce KDP Select – a new option dedicated to KDP authors and publishers worldwide, featuring a fund of $500,000 in December 2011 and at least $6 million in total for 2012! KDP Select gives you a new way to earn royalties, reach a broader audience, and use a new set of promotional tools.

Here’s how KDP Select works:

When you make any of your titles exclusive to the Kindle Store for at least 90 days, those with US rights will automatically be included in the Kindle Owners’ Lending Library and can earn a share of a monthly fund. The monthly fund for December 2011 is $500,000 and will total at least $6 million in 2012. If you haven’t checked it out already, the Kindle Owners’ Lending Library is a collection of books that eligible US Amazon Prime members can borrow for free once a month with no due dates.

You’ll also now have access to a new set of promotional tools, starting with the option to promote your KDP Select-enrolled titles for FREE for up to 5 days every 90 days.

How your share of the monthly fund is calculated:

Your share of the monthly fund is based on your enrolled titles’ share of the total number of borrows across all participating KDP titles in the Kindle Owners’ Lending Library. For example, if total borrows of all participating KDP titles are 100,000 in December and your book was borrowed 1,500 times, you will earn $7,500 in additional royalties from KDP Select in December. Enrolled titles will remain available for sale to any customer in the Kindle Store and you will continue to earn your regular royalties on those sales.

What this means to you:

KDP Select gives you access to a whole new source of royalties and readers- you not only benefit from a new way of making money, but you also get the chance to reach even more readers by getting your book in front of a growing number of US Amazon Prime customers: readers and future fans of your books that you may have not had a chance to reach before! Additionally, the ability to offer your book for free will help expand your worldwide reader base.

How to enroll:

KDP Select is available for titles participating in both the 70% and 35% royalty options. You can immediately start by enrolling a single title, your whole catalog, or anything in between.

If you’re interested in enrolling a title that’s already uploaded, simply click “Enroll” next to the book in your Bookshelf. To enroll multiple titles that are already uploaded, select the boxes next to any number of titles, then click “Actions” and choose “Enroll these books in KDP Select.” The titles you choose will be enrolled immediately.

If you’re interested in enrolling a new title, simply check the “Enroll this book in KDP Select” box while submitting details about your book and proceed to publish the book as you normally would. For new titles, enrollment takes effect once the book is available for sale on our website.

To learn more about KDP Select, visit: http://kdp.amazon.com/self-publishing/KDPSelect

To learn more about the Kindle Owners’ Lending Library, visit:
http://www.amazon.com/kindleownerslendinglibrary

Thanks again for choosing KDP to publish your work.

Regards,

Kindle Direct Publishing
http://kdp.amazon.com