November 26, 2022

Amazon Expands Lending Library to Self-Published Authors


Amazon today launched KDP Select, a new option featuring a $6 million annual fund dedicated to independent authors and publishers. According to a press release from Amazon, if a KDP author or publisher makes any of their books exclusive to the Kindle Store for at least 90 days, those books can be included in the Kindle Owners’ Lending Library and  earn a share of the $6 million fund. Authors and publishers can enroll any number of books. It’s available for titles participating in both the 70 percent  and 35 percent royalty programs. Amazon said 31 of the top 50 KDP authors have already enrolled 129 titles. These authors include J. Carson Black, Gemma Halliday, J.A. Konrath, B.V. Larson, and others.

From the release:

The monthly royalty payment for each KDP Select book is based on that book’s share of the total number of borrows of all participating KDP books in the Kindle Owners’ Lending Library. For example, if total borrows of all participating KDP Select books are 100,000 in December and an author’s book was borrowed 1,500 times, they will earn $7,500 in additional royalties from KDP Select in December. Amazon expects the fund to be at least $6 million for all of 2012, in addition to the $500,000 allocated for December 2011. Enrolled titles will remain available for sale to any customer in the Kindle Store and authors will continue to earn their regular royalties on those sales.

Authors and publishers can promote their enrolled titles for free for up to five days every 90 days. Authors and publishers can enroll books in KDP Select at the KDP website,  where  data on the number of borrows is also available.

Michael Kelley About Michael Kelley

Michael Kelley is the former Editor-in-Chief, Library Journal.


  1. And so it continues. How long before this will lure someone away from a traditional publisher?

    • Good point, Spencer. I believe KDP Select will also lure many a publisher, pressured by their authors, to enroll their entire lists. After all, this is the first time in history (correct me if I am wrong), when authors will receive a royalty every time their book is loaned as well as every time it is sold.

      Jeff Bezos (Amazon’s CEO) knows something the rest of us didn’t suspect until recently: eBooks are for lending, not for selling. Books in digital and print formats will continue to sell, but the real money is to be made by global lending. Once a book is formatted for reading on a Kindle, the cost of distributing it is virtually nothing. Anything received for it is then pure profit.

      My real fear is what this will do to our vital network of public libraries over time. If Bezos can put together a comprehensive, reasonably priced Netflix-type product for loaning eBooks, public libraries, at least for the middle class that currently underwrites them, will be hard pressed to remain viable. See,

      The End of Libraries

  2. I absolutely agree. I have argued that this will be a net gain to authors and publishers and they will all jump on board when they see they will be paid multiple times for the same book. However, librarians tend to be sentimental and disagree.