Sweet deal, right? Well, it was apparently too sweet for Amazon (or, more likely for the publishers that produce Kindle books for Amazon) so Amazon pulled the plug on Lendle yesterday by denying the site access to its Kindle database.
E-book buyers already give up a fistful of rights one expects to have when buying a book, especially the right to resell the book to another buyer. That's bad enough, but throw in the inconvenience caused by the fact that Kindle books are pretty much readable only on a Kindle; the ridiculous refusal of certain publishers to sell e-books to libraries, period; and the limit that one particular publisher places on how many times an e-book can be checked out from a library before it has to be repurchased, and one begins to think these publishers don't have the first clue about marketing their
Consumers are going to find ways to get cheap e-books. They might prefer to borrow them from others of the same mind but, if publishers refuse to let that happen, there are plenty of ways to get at the books. It might not be legal, but it will happen. Pirate sites are already out there, but they are tiny compared to what was available (and still is) for CDs and movies. If publishers do not start playing fair with their customers, however, those pirate book sites will not stay tiny for long. When consumers feel cheated, they see little wrong in cheating back. Is that where the book world is headed?
Who benefits from this boneheaded Amazon move? Publishers? Retailers? Customers/readers? The unfortunate answer is: no one, absolutely no one.
Jeff Croft, Lendle co-founder, tells his side of the story here.