Free Books from Amazon.com
You know how much I like books, Amazon and free stuff, right?
Well, guess what. Amazon has combined all three of those things together for us and I’m happy about it.
Ok, well, it’s not REALLY free, you have to pay $79 a year for it, but in the end…yeah, it turns out that it works out to darn near close enough that it is free.
I’m talking about Amazon Prime and their free book library lending program. It works like this.
With that membership you get:
- free 2nd day shipping on most items in the Amazon store.
- instant video streaming service (kind of like Netflix)
- one free book at a time to read
Let me explain a little about each.
Free 2nd day shipping on most items in the Amazon store. That means that anything that’s Prime eligible (usually stuff that’s sold by Amazon and not a third party through amazon, and sometimes even third party sales), which is millions of products, will automatically be added to your order for free. Most times, the items ordered (for me at least) have come the next day. Including Saturday’s, so right there over the course of a year, I’ve all but paid for the Prime membership with the shipping savings alone.
There are currently a large number of TV and movies that are available for free on the Amazon streaming service. Currently over 13,000 if I’m not mistaken. I’ve watched a few of them and mostly I’ve watched stuff that I’ve seen before. Right now they don’t have a lot that I haven’t seen and want to see. Most of what’s up there I’ve already watched on Netflix or On Demand at home. But I do see this becoming something that would give Netflix a run for their money. I mean at $120 a year compared to $80 a year? Once Amazon get’s their programming in a row, watch out Netflix.
Now, Amazon has instituted a free book lending service, sort of an electronic version of the brick and mortar library. You can check out a book from (currently) a selection of 5,000 books to read for free. You can only check one book out at a time and you can only check out one book a month but, there are no ‘due dates’ for you to return the book like with the Kindle lend a book deal. The only drawback is that you have to have a Kindle, no iPad, Android, Winders or Mac apps, it has to be a real Kindle. They didn’t mention anything about the Cloud reader though, and I haven’t tried it yet, but I will by the end of tonight.
I normally pay for my Amazon Prime service with my Amazon Associates account which nets me a few cents/dollars on each transaction that someone makes from one of my links. Just so you know, there are quite a few authors that do this as well, as other companies that have online stores and don’t have their own e-tailing business, so…
Anywho, I recently bought my wife a Kindle for her birthday/our anniversary along with some books and I’m going to like to see what books exactly are available. I know for a fact that Water for Elephants, Moneyball: The Art of Winning an Unfair Game, Fast Food Nation, The Finkler Question, The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, Kitchen Confidential, and Guns Germs and Steel are all available (as you can see on the notice below). I just can’t wait to start digging in to their library to see what else is available.
So who of you out there are now looking at the Amazon Prime membership and thinking that this is starting to look a lot better than $80 a year for free shipping?
How many of you out there are now looking at the $80 price tag on a Kindle instead of sticking with the Reader App?
And how many of you will take the plunge, pick up the Prime membership, grab a Kindle and sit back and relax?
How do you think that publishers and authors will react to this? I’ve heard that each item that is ‘lent’ on the Kindle is basically purchased by Amazon and I would assume that after some time, they’d have enough copies of each book that they wouldn’t be paying for them any more, so that’s sort of like an ‘unlimited stock’ library. Where even if 20 other people have the book checked out, you can still get a copy.
And thinking about how the virtual world affects the real world, how do you think this will affect actual libraries?
How do you think it’ll affect the book market (both e and real)? Will it increase sales, decrease sales, decrease returns?
Either way good or bad, let me know what you think about all of this in the comments.