Mass Hysteria in the Digital Age: LendInk,...
The first DMCA notice came in almost a week ago. Then a second, and a third. In total, we heard from about five authors who were confused about Lendle’s role in the lending process. It was clear that someone, somewhere, was talking about services like ours, with the thought that we were somehow lending actual copies of books without permission. The first notice we received contained a...
Today, I am going to revolutionize my industry.
Imagine what it must be like to be a prominent figure in the publishing industry, a person in a position of power, to be the guy or gal who could wake up and say: “Today, I am going to revolutionize my industry.” That person exists. It could be John Makinson. It could be Markus Dohle. Or Brian Murray. J.K. Rowling is doing it, but she’s limiting her revolution to the Harry...
The Hunger Games: A dystopian future in which...
We’ve posted updates at the end of this post. We’re not entirely sure what’s going on with the lending status of The Hunger Games series, because it appears to be changing from minute to minute. This is where things stood when we first noticed the issue, earlier this morning: I’ll cut straight to the chase: Amazon’s top holiday seller and Lendle’s top borrow...
The death of the serious reader
Jonathan Franzen, author of The Corrections and Freedom: For serious readers, Franzen said, “a sense of permanence has always been part of the experience”. “Everything else in your life is fluid, but here is this text that doesn’t change,” he continued. “Will there still be readers 50 years from now who feel that way? Who have that hunger for something...
Lending Rights (and Wrongs)
Given all the chatter surrounding the (now on indefinite hiatus) SOPA bill, I’ve been meaning to post something about lending rights and Kindle books. We’ve published on this topic before, but as library lending via OverDrive and Amazon’s Kindle Owners Lending Library (KOLL) — not to mention sites like Lendle — become more and more popular, we’re starting to see...
Lendle Year in Review 2011
It’s hard to believe, but it was around this time last year that I called Jeff to pitch the idea for a social site that would allow strangers to share their ebooks with one another. Here’s an excerpt from an email I typed up after our initial call: Carolyn came up with an idea that I think is pretty outstanding: Nooks have had this feature for a long time, but Kindle just added the...
Everyone? Meet everyone else.
We went ahead and rolled out the new version of Lendle, last Thursday, and the response has been really positive, thus far. We wanted to provide a bit more detail about some of the new features, and some of what it still to come, and the thinking behind our redesign. First and foremost, we hope everyone has noticed some speed improvements. Both the book lists (what we’re now calling...
It's not in our DNA to give up or despair.
Startups can react to unforeseen obstacles in one of two ways: Oh, S**T! How does this hurt us? or… How does this help us? Today, Amazon announced that Prime subscribers would be able to instantly borrow (with limitations) from a selection of new titles — even those on the NYT bestsellers list. Pretty amazing. Predictably, our inboxes are flooded with questions about how...
We're giving away a Kindle Fire and a Kindle Touch...
Everyone on the Lendle team is incredibly excited about the new Kindle lineup. Daring Fireball’s John Gruber sums up the appeal of the Kindle Touch perfectly: “Everything good about last year’s Kindle remains, everything bad about last year’s Kindle is gone.” There’s a lot to say about the Kindle Fire, but we’ll leave it at this: For the first time ever, Lendlers...
This just in: Nook Color price reduced to $199....
Way back when we were all living in the same city, we headed out to our local Junior College to watch a live satellite feed of one of Steve Jobs’s first keynote presentations as CEO of Apple. (The one where Noah Wiley walked out on stage as Steve Jobs.) This morning, we didn’t get to see a live satellite feed, but we did follow along with This is My Next’s liveblog of...
Our thoughts on Kindle library lending via...
After an incredibly brief (1 day!) beta period, it looks as though library lending for the Kindle is now live in 11,000 libraries across the nation. Sorry, other countries. You lose again. Read Amazon’s press release here. We’ve not really had a chance to try this out, yet, so we can’t say whether the experience is good, great, or awful. We suspect your mileage may vary,...
Refer friends and earn borrow requests!
We’re launching a brand new feature today: Referral codes! As of about 10 minutes ago, every Lendle user now has a unique referral code. Find out what your code is by clicking the Find friends link or by visiting your account page. Tweet it, update your Facebook status with it, email it, get a tattoo of it, shave it into your head — do whatever you like with it — and when...
Amazon is "in talks" with publishers? We've heard...
In other news, Google is “in talks” with the music industry. Anyone here buying songs from a music service powered by Google? Yeah. We’re not either. At any rate, we were asked if we’d seen the recent Wall Street Journal news report that Amazon is currently negotiating a “Netflix-like” subscription service for books. We hadn’t, but now that we have,...
Kindle Cloud Reader: First impressions
We woke up this morning to a little birdie tweeting news that Amazon had released a web-based “cloud” app for reading Kindle books: Kindle Cloud Reader. First things first: For those planning on using this with an iPad via Mobile Safari, make sure to click on the “Add to Home Screen” bookmark button to install a one-click Cloud Reader web app. You can, of course, use...
Update: Publishers, Amazon, and Lending
A few weeks ago, we mentioned that we’d reached out to two of our competitors — ebookfling and booklending — hoping to present something of a united front when approaching Amazon and publishers about ebooks and lending. All of this, of course, is driven by our desire to spur innovation in the publishing industry as ebooks become more and more popular. First and foremost, the...
christiansaywhat asked: Can you explain the Lendle Stats, specifically the "spots in line booked" number? What does that mean? Is that the patron feature where they can hold their place in line?
Amanda Hocking "Switched" away from digital...
Earlier today, we received an email from a Lendler / Amanda Hocking fan, letting us know that there is an issue with Hocking’s book, Switched: You may or may not be aware of this situation, seeing as how I always see this set of books being added to the site frequently. Actually, I am seeing that you do know about this situation after looking at the “available now” section....
So long Kindle Store button; we hardly used you.
The sudden removal of the “Kindle Store” button in Amazon’s iOS Kindle app is getting a surprising amount of coverage, given that Apple issued the infamous “our way or the highway” ultimatum months ago. Still, the reminder that such a button once existed prompted us to ask the following question on Twitter: iOS Kindle users: How often do (did) you actually click the...
We dropped by a Borders this weekend. Everything! Must! Go! It’s early, so the best deals are yet to come — most likely on the worst merchandise. It was nice to see a bookstore teeming with eager customers; it’s just too bad that it takes a liquidation sale for that to happen. Not long after Borders announced their farewell tour — apparently, they’re so undesirable...
Lendle would like to borrow one of your books…
(See update below.) Last week, we posted an article about books being deleted from Amazon’s system. We’ve collected a few examples and, as you can see, the Amazon links for these books lead to “product not found” pages. Water for Elephants ASIN: B004PYDO64 Another (lendable) edition of this book is still available. Veiled Freedom ASIN: B002IUZM1C Another (lendable)...
Nabbing Free Books May be a Bad Idea
We’ve never really wanted to bargain hunt for our users, primarily because we don’t think it’s in our long-term interest to point out free titles, even when they’re lendable. First of all, doing so arguably sends a bad message to authors, and we don’t want to do that. We’re also now learning that snapping up free books may not be a particularly wise move, if...
What's next for Lendle?
Over the past two or three weeks, we’ve crossed a few milestones, and we’ve had a chance to evaluate the success of two of our biggest initiatives. What’s next? Site Design We love rolling out new features and “game changing” concepts, but at this point, we think it’s time to assess our strengths and our weaknesses and make some evolutionary changes based on...
"J.K. Rowling's Radiohead moment..."
So says Wired about the news that J.K. Rowling will maintain complete control over the distribution of the Harry Potter ebooks: The significance of the way in which these ebooks are being sold, meanwhile, cannot be overstated. Pottermore.com has allowed Rowling to neatly sidestep the middle man (Amazon), maintain complete control over pricing, scoop up nearly all the profits from royalties, and...
lastcallkillit asked: When are you going to upgrade servers? I've had days where I can't access anything in your search area, and days when the server just goes around and around.
It's not my internet, I've got 20 Mb Internet, very high speed.
I think it's an amazing service - when it works.
It's not my internet, I've got 20 Mb Internet, very high speed.
I think it's an amazing service - when it works.
An open letter to Jeff Bezos
Hello, Mr. Bezos. We’ve been building to this for some time now, but we thought it was high time that we introduce ourselves. We operate what we truly believe to be the most successful Kindle-centric social lending service: Lendle. We hope we’re already on your radar. Our Lendlers adore their Kindle devices, they love to read, and they’re buying books like crazy. We post...
Why we don't embrace a "free books" mindset
Everyone loves free, right? We all want to feel like we’re getting something that others are paying for, and bargains are great, especially with the economy still in shambles. Even so, we’ve said since the beginning that we have no interest in being seen as a destination for free content, or as an alternative to purchases. Of course, we know that people will occasionally tweet about...
itallworksout asked: Whenever I go to lend a book, im taken to an amazon page of 404- Document not found saying the web address does not function. Because of this i am unable to lend and therefor being threatened with negative feedback, I am more than willing to lend my books however cant get it to work when i click the links...help??
Lendle needs your help!
We recently reached out to Alfred A. Knopf books, because we’re keen to start a dialogue about lending and the future of ebooks. They’ve responded to our request, and we now have an opportunity to talk with someone in sales at Random House. This is, needless to say, a big deal for us. We obviously don’t know what, if anything, will come of this discussion, but it’s our...
elisabethericson asked: Are there any plans for a "bookmark" or "wish list" feature? In other words, if you'd like to borrow a book but don't want to request it until you know you'll have time to read it, will it be possible to flag it for future reference? I'm currently keeping my "to read" in Evernote, but having it integrated into Lendle would be far more streamlined.
eukatastrophe asked: When Lendle is better on its feet, would you consider adding a sort of content filter? I might be missing something, but it's somewhat frustrating to scroll through pages of werewolf porn when I'm looking for a fantasy book to read. Like, a tickbox that says 'include adult content' or something in the search bar.
Hello, Alfred A. Knopf Books!
We couldn’t help but notice that you’re now following us on Tumblr. We think that’s really exciting. In fact, the last time we were this excited, Mallory from Family Ties (or is it Nellie from Arrested Development?) posted a tweet about Lendle when we were uncertain about our future. We’ve said over and over and over that we would love to have a dialogue with anyone in a...
An open letter to our international friends
Hey there. It’s not you, it’s us. We swear! Well, wait. It’s not really us, either. There’s someone else that’s kind of coming between us. We hate it too! It’s just, well, that other person is kind of important. Seriously, though, a tweet this morning made us realize that we’ve never really gone into detail about the international situation we’re...
Ever get the feeling you're being followed?
Last week we rolled out a new social feature: Followers. We wanted to write something up to let everyone know what it is, and what it isn’t. We’ll start with the latter: We see a lot of requests for a feature that would allow one person to lend specifically to another person. “Person A is my friend, so I want my only lend to go to Person A rather than to a stranger.” We...
Lendlers featured on CBS3 in Philly! →
…unless your friends have extensive e-libraries, your choices are limited. That’s why these women were happy to try Lendle.
Guide: How to lend a book
From time to time, we see an email from someone who is stymied by the lend process. We’ve done everything we can to make lending as easy as possible on Lendle, but there are some steps that you must take to ensure that a lend is completed, so we thought we’d take some screenshots of the entire process: STEP 1 This is the book detail page for Water for Elephants. We don’t own...
An open letter to Neil Gaiman
UPDATE: Neil’s response answers (via twitter) added in. A little over two weeks ago, we sent this same (or, mostly the same) series of questions to Cat Mihos, as per the neilgaiman.com FAQ. We know Mr. Gaiman is incredibly busy and that responding to an interview request from a website he’s probably never heard of isn’t at the top — or even the bottom — of his list...
Vivek Haldar: Stallman's Dystopia →
vivekhaldar: I was a year into college when flipping through the latest CACM in the library I came across Richard Stallman’s dystopian view of the future: …if he lent her his computer, she might read his books. Aside from the fact that you could go to prison for many years for letting someone else read… Via @adamjspooner
Looking for lendable books? Good news!
Sometimes our focus on lending restrictions can seem a bit glass half empty, so we thought we’d end the work week on a glass half full post. We were recently involved in a discussion in which it was posited that perhaps Amazon was responsible for the dearth of lendable titles in the Kindle store and, lacking evidence, we simply said we didn’t know. There is some evidence, though,...
The Business Rusch: Surviving The Transition (Part... →
This is a really interesting article on the publishing industry. Something we’re still not sure about, though: Who’s scared, and who’s ready to move forward? Amazon? Publishers? Authors? We’ve seen the finger pointed in all three directions, and it sure would be nice to see some of this start to clear up, sooner rather than later.
Improved Twitter and Facebook Integration
We’ve provided options for signing up / signing in via Twitter and Facebook for some time now, but we’re now expanding on that to make things a bit easier and also to extend some of our social features to your Twitter feeds. When viewing your account settings, you’ll now see a SOCIAL NETWORKS tab: You can choose to connect Lendle to both Facebook and Twitter. Connecting to...
Sound off in 100 characters or less...
Last week, we rolled out a new review feature and, in typical Lendle fashion, our version of reviews comes with a twist. All book detail pages now include a SOUND OFF tab. Soundbites (reviews) can be up to 100 characters and are posted to book timelines. We’ll also feature a handful of random soundbites on the SOUND OFF tab so that everyone has an equal shot at visibility. My soundbite...
An Open Letter to Sara Lloyd at Pan MacMillan
Hi, Sara. Lendle here. We’re a web-app devoted to creating a culture of reading around the ability to lend and borrow Kindle books. Maybe you’ve heard of us? You might be interested to know that thousands and thousands of Lendlers are super excited to purchase books (including books from MacMillan) in order to read them, yes, but also to share the experience with others who will, in...
What could we be doing better?
It’s easy enough to pat ourselves on the back and feel as though we’re offering a great lending experience. (Cough. We do, in fact, think that. Ahem.) We also have a pretty good idea about areas in which we need to constantly improve: Speed (both in borrowing and in overall site performance) and in growing our user-base and catalog. What we don’t know, necessarily, is what...
Are publishers now opting out of ebook lending?
One of the reasons we’ve been so keen on tracking statistics surrounding the number of lendable books in our catalogue is that it means we’re harvesting information about an industry in its formative stages. Almost no one else has this information — and if they do, they’re not sharing it. One of our most prominently featured stats is “available titles”. As...