eBook Idea

Imagine you were looking to buy an eBook in Amazon (or B&N or Borders whatever), found the book you were looking for and had two choices at checkout. You could: a) Buy the book or b) check the book out with your library card for a week or so. Which would you choose?

I recently read this post and the report produced by COSLA it mentions. It’s very interesting stuff and it made me think about eBooks and Libraries. I’ve got an idea. I don’t know how to implement it but I (at least) think it’s interesting. So here goes…

  1. A Library (or consortium of some sort) pays a yearly fee to Amazon (or B&N etc. I’ll just use Amazon for this example) that opens up their eBook library to the Library’s members
  2. Library members have a choice of checking out books for a few weeks or purchasing them immediately
  3. The Library would pay a small per-checkout fee
  4. The books would return to Amazon after a few weeks – OR – could be purchased at any point during the loan period
  5. If a book is purchased during the loan period the Library would get a percentage of the sale

This is a very rough idea and I would love to discuss it with anyone to see if it something that could work.

I see some benefits:

  • Large selection of current and older books without the need for the Library to choose which ones to buy
  • The Library will be at the point of sale
    • One search covers Amazon and the Library
    • The book could be loaned within the device – no computers needed
  • Everyone gets paid
    • Amazon
    • Publisher
    • Author
    • Library

Some drawbacks:

  • That yearly fee could be hefty
  • Price per checkout could be hefty
  • Library collections may suffer as the bulk of their collection money is shifted from physical to digital
  • The Library is really left with nothing to show for it’s money  (other than happy members)

This is just an idea. I’ve not come close to thinking this through completely. I’d love to see if it could work. What do you think?

Update 9/1 – I’m trying to contact someone at Amazon to see what can be done. It’s worth a shot…

Update 9/8 – Just got off the phone with an Amazon rep in the Corporate Gift Card division and my idea will be transferred over to the Kindle group. I went with the CGC because it seemed like a good idea at the time. And they have this which looks like something that may be able to play a part in my idea.

3 thoughts on “eBook Idea

  1. Great idea. Somewhat unrelated, I’d also be pleased if Amazon would list the Dewey and the LC numbers on their website. So many librarians use Amazon.

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