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Send your own questions to me at [email protected]@TheLiB, or +Sarah Houghton.


Welcome to episode 6 of What Sarah Said.  Today’s question comes to us from Linda and she asks:

If I have bought a Kindle book and want to lend it to a friend, can I send it to her Kindle to read with the assumption that she will send it back to me when she’s finished or delete the book from her Kindle?

Well Linda, no you can’t do that.  There’s digital rights management in place, as long as it wasn’t a free eBook that you got through another source.  If it’s a Kindle eBook that you purchased, no, you can’t do that.  The digital rights management won’t let you.  The same thing though, the digital rights management, will actually let you lend it, maybe, under certain specific circumstances.

So instead of trying to paraphrase, I’m going to read to you what the Amazon page for Lending Kindle Books says.  And I’ll link to this in the show notes.  There’s a lot more detailed information as well.  So they say:

Eligible Kindle books can be loaned once for a period of 14 days. The borrower does not need to own a Kindle — Kindle books can also be read using our free Kindle reading applications for PC, Mac, iPad, iPhone, BlackBerry, and Android devices. Not all books are lendable — it is up to the publisher or rights holder to determine which titles are eligible for lending. The lender will not be able to read the book during the loan period.

And if you actually look on the product page for the Kindle book that you’ve purchased and you want to lend to someone, under Product Details there is a field for “Lending” and it will either say enabled or disabled.  If it’s enabled then you can do this one time 14-day thing.  If it says disabled, then no you’re out of luck.  This page also details how to go through the lending process.

So you might be able to.  It depends on the title, the author, the publisher, the other rights holder involved…may decide that you can’t lend it at all.  And quite a few of the books on my Kindle are not lendable  (technically).

But if it is lendable, you can, but the digital rights management will enforce that 14-day limit.  So on day 1 it disappears from your device and shows up on your friend’s device.  On day 14 it disappears from your friend’s device and shows up on your device.  There’s no overlap there.  There’s no ability for yo uto say “Sure, you can keep it an extra week–that’s fine with me.” Because the rights holders and publishers have decided it’s not okay with them.

And so it’s very limited.  And a lot of people got really excited when this was announced, that you could finally share something with a friend or family member.  But most people take longer than 2 weeks to read a book, and the publishers and Amazon know that, which is why they made it 2 weeks.  Most people would want to be able to lend it out, and be able to, you know, lend it for whatever period of time they choose…which we can’t do.

So there is a limited capability to lend, sort of, depending on whether or not the title is lendable at all.  The best thing to do is just check.  Check on your title, see whether or not you can.  Otherwise, no, you can’t lend Kindle books to anyone.

And I hope that that answers your question Linda.  And thanks for tuning in, and we’ll see you for the next episode.

“What Sarah Said: Episode 6: Sharing Kindle eBooks”

  1. Michael Sauers Says:

    “…technically…” LOL!

  2. Justin Kingery Says:

    I wonder if this borrowing is similar the library borrowing, in that if you turn off wi-fi and not sync the device, the borrowed item will remain on the Kindle?

  3. Carl Says:

    What you can do is share an Amazon account with someone else. You can gift e-books to this account, so you’re not reliant on the other person paying for the books and you having to reimburse him or her. There is a limit to the number of devices you can use, so you can’t share an account with everyone you know. But this works well for households with more than one person using more than one Kindle device.

  4. Making a Higher Income from Kindle EBooks | Fed Management Conferences Says:

    […] these suggestions can get you going, you still need to research and find other options as well.Your eBook took quite a bit of work and dedication. You've hired a professional editor to make sure …Kindle store is one matter. It's a completely different ballgame to make sure it sells. Lots of […]

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