Author, Books, My Books, Opinion, Read, Reader, Reading

E-book lending libraries—the good?

This is the first of a two-part article on e-book lending. Today I’ll state my opinion of the good side, so I guess you can figure what part two will cover. I’ve known for a while about the Overdrive lending system, which works through the brick and mortar library systems throughout the country. My book is not available through that system—at least, not yet—but I recently discovered that it is available through at least some online e-libraries.

For all the time I spend online, somehow I missed hearing about e-book lending libraries. Yesterday, I signed in to Twitter briefly and checked my “lists” to see what’s been going on in my absence. One of the columns I watch in Tweetdeck is a search for any mention of my novel The Brevity of Roses, and when I checked, I saw the following had been tweeted by @BLFeed a few days ago:

REQUEST: The Brevity of Roses by Linda Cassidy Lewis

I clicked the link and found myself at Booklending.com an e-book lending site for Kindle owners. Some member had agreed to lend their copy of my book in exchange for the privilege of borrowing a different book from another member. Naturally, my next step was to google “e-book lending” to see if there were other sites like that one. Indeed there are. I found eight.

Half of those eight allow you to search their database without being a member. I found my book available on three of the four that do. Seven of the eight lend Kindlebooks, but only four of them also lend Nookbooks. One lends only Nookbooks. Most of them require you to be a lender in order to borrow.

Today, I’m listing only six of the eight lending sites I checked out because I have reservations about the policies of the other two. I’ll tell you about those two in my next post.

How is e-book lending a good thing? For a moment, when I saw my book listed on these lending sites, my inner cop frowned. As I read the lending policies on the sites listed above, I relaxed. They use the lending feature of the Kindle and Nook, so each person who buys a book for their own reader can only lend it once—legally. (More on that in Part Two). So you buy my book, you read it, and then you share it with someone else. Maybe I’ve made two fans of my work. That’s good.

If my books were in physical libraries, either as print or e-book downloads, any number of people would have access to them. As one who’s made great use of libraries my whole life, I can hardly criticize that process. In the seven months Brevity’s been published, I’ve given away nearly as many copies as I’ve sold. Just last month, I gave away fifty Brevity e-books at LibraryThing. Yet, I’ll confess, it makes me nervous to know people are freely trading my book at these sites. Why is that?

I want as many people as possible to read my writing. Yes, I lose money every time someone borrows rather than buys my book, but eventually I’ll have more books out there and if they liked the first, maybe they’ll buy the second. (Gosh, does that sounds like I’m a drug dealer, handing out freebies to get you hooked?)

Maybe it’s just the perceived loss of control. Perceived, I say because for all I know, someone might have bought Brevity in e-format and already given copies to ten thousand people. And I have to be honest, there are books I’d like to read that I can’t afford to buy and my library system doesn’t have, so I’m tempted to see if they’re in any of these online libraries. But if I wanted to borrow, I’d have to lend, and that means I’d be lending some of your books.

Your turn: What say ye about these e-book lending sites? Do you use them? Do you want your books available there?

Read Part Two of this article.

Books, Family, Reader, Reading, Real Life, Social Media, Travel, Writing

Welcome to the Jumble

In other words, welcome to the inside of my head. (That reads as a total non sequitur if you didn’t read the title of this post.) Anyway, I’m blogging today about a few little things rolling around in my mind.

Yesterday, I downloaded my first library book to my Kindle. It was almost as exciting as getting my first library card eons ago. The print book has been on my request list for two months and I estimated it would have taken another two months before I got to the top of the waiting list. As soon as I found out Amazon had worked things out with Overdrive to allow downloads to Kindle, I added it to my library’s eBook waiting list and five days later, I got notice it was available to download.

My youngest son and his wife bought tickets for my husband and I to fly to visit them in the exotic locale of Lincoln, Nebraska. My son warned us there isn’t a lot to do there, but we don’t mind. It will be the first time we’ve seen them at their home in Lincoln, and we’ll be happy just to sit and talk. He said we might go apple picking, and I realized later, he’s the only son I ever picked apples with and that was thirty years ago.

I don’t know what to think about the new Facebook. I don’t really understand the Subscriptions thing. The Lists, I get because it’s like Google+ circles. When I post a status update, I can choose which of my lists it goes to, but what if I reply to a friend’s status? Do all my Lists see that? People are posting all sorts of scary messages about the increased privacy invasion with the new Facebook, so I’m a little paranoid now. Some people are complaining about the new Ticker, but I don’t even see it on my Home or Wall. If all my friends and family would move to Google+, I’d just forget about Facebook. Well … I do  like to play Gardens of Time or Bejeweled Blitz when I need to veg.

All right, except for this short story I’m struggling with, those are about the most interesting marbles rolling around in my brain today. What’s in yours?