本が無料で借りられます。借りますか。アマゾンの有料会員 Amazon Prime メンバーの答えは「もちろん」でした。Amazon Prime メンバー向けにはじまった Kindle の電子書籍レンタルサービス Kindle Owners' Lending Library について、アマゾンが多数の利用があったと例によって実績自慢プレスリリースを発表しています。いわく、12月のあいだに発生した書籍レンタルは29万5000回。最大で月に1度・1冊までレンタルできますので、つまり29万5000人が利用したことになります。
この好調な書籍レンタルを考える上で欠かせないのが、アマゾンが進めるインディー作家・出版社向けサービス Kindle Direct Publishing（KDP）です。KDP に参加した作家・出版社は、前述のレンタル料を得ることもできますし、もちろんアマゾン経由でに Kindle 本を売るということもできます。ただ、レンタルに参加することで、本の売上も伸ばせるというのがアマゾンの言い分。特に KDP のトップ作家10人は、12月だけで売上とレンタル料あわせて7万ドルを稼いだという話で、中には6200ドルを得た16歳の女子高校生（Rachel Yuさん）までいます。
もちろん、参加する作家が増えれば増えるほど、アマゾン / Kindle にとっては利用できるコンテンツが増えるという仕組み。はじめはオンライン書店 Amazon、次は電子書籍端末 Kindle、そして KDP と、アマゾンによる出版市場の包囲網は確実に進んでいます。
Customers Love Kindle Owners' Lending Library - KDP Authors and Publishers Benefit
Kindle Owners' Lending Library now over 75,000 books
KDP Select books were borrowed 295,000 times in December
Due to strong customer adoption, Amazon adds $200,000 bonus to January fund - an increase from $500,000 to $700,000
SEATTLE--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Jan. 12, 2012-- (NASDAQ: AMZN)-The Kindle Owners' Lending Library is off to a strong start: customers borrowed 295,000 KDP Select titles in December alone, and KDP Select has helped grow total library selection to over 75,000 books. With the $500,000 December fund, KDP authors have earned $1.70 per borrow. In response to strong customer adoption of the Kindle Owners' Lending Library (as well as seasonal, post-holiday use of new Kindles), Amazon.com, Inc. has added a $200,000 bonus to the January KDP Select fund, raising the total pool from $500,000 to $700,000.
Paid KDP sales grew rapidly in December - and results show that paid sales of titles participating in KDP Select are growing even faster than other KDP titles. On top of this growth in paid sales, KDP Select authors and publishers on average are receiving an incremental 26% in December as a result of their participation in the Kindle Owners' Lending Library.
"KDP Select appears to be earning authors more money in two ways. We knew customers would love having KDP Select titles in the Kindle Owners' Lending Library. But we've been surprised by how much paid sales of those same titles increased, even relative to the rest of KDP," said Russ Grandinetti, Vice President of Kindle Content. "Due to this early success and a seasonally strong January, we're adding a $200,000 bonus to January's KDP Select fund, growing this month's total pool to $700,000."
The top ten KDP Select authors earned over $70,000 in the month of December from their participation in the Kindle Owners' Lending Library, a 30% increase on top of the royalties they earned from their paid sales on the same titles in the same period. In total (paid sales plus their share of the loan fund), these authors saw their royalties grow an astonishing 449% month-over-month from November to December. The list of top 10 KDP Select authors includes Carolyn McCray, Rachel Yu, the Grabarchuk family and Amber Scott.
Carolyn McCray, a writer of paranormal romance novels, historical thrillers and mysteries, earned $8,250 from the KDP Select fund in December. "KDP Select truly is a career altering program," said McCray. "I couldn't be happier with the tools, support and exposure it has given me. To say the trade-off of exclusivity on Amazon for the Kindle Owners' Lending Library has been a profitable one would be a gross understatement. Participating in KDP Select has quadrupled my royalties."
Rachel Yu is a 16-year-old author of children's books, and she earned $6,200 from the KDP Select fund in the month of December. "It's so cool to be part of the success of KDP Select," said Yu. "It's just like a library but with easier access. There's truly no other opportunity like Amazon for self-publishing."
The Grabarchuk family earned $6,300 from the KDP Select fund in December from their puzzle books. "After only a month KDP Select has dramatically changed things - finally indie publishers are playing as equals with the big publishing houses in the world's biggest eBook marketplace," said Serhiy Grabarchuk, Co-Founder of the Grabarchuk Puzzles company.
Amber Scott is a romance writer and earned $7,650 from the KDP Select fund in December. "Enrolling in KDP Select utterly transformed my career," said Scott. "I've experienced not only a surge in royalties but a surge in readership thanks to the increased exposure. I love the chance to earn new readers through the innovation of the Kindle Owners' Lending Library. What an exciting time to be an author!"
Since launching Kindle Owners' Lending Library on November 2, Prime members with Kindles can now choose from over 75,000 books to borrow for free-including over 100 current and former New York Times Bestsellers-as frequently as a book a month, with no due dates.
For more information about the Kindle Owners' Lending Library, please visit http://www.amazon.com/kindleownerslendinglibrary. Independent authors and publishers can enroll their books in KDP Select at http://kdp.amazon.com/self-publishing/KDPSelect. To learn about all of the additional benefits included with Amazon Prime, or to start an Amazon Prime free trial visit www.amazon.com/prime.
Amazon.com, Inc. (NASDAQ: AMZN), a Fortune 500 company based in Seattle, opened on the World Wide Web in July 1995 and today offers Earth's Biggest Selection. Amazon.com, Inc. seeks to be Earth's most customer-centric company, where customers can find and discover anything they might want to buy online, and endeavors to offer its customers the lowest possible prices. Amazon.com and other sellers offer millions of unique new, refurbished and used items in categories such as Books; Movies, Music & Games; Digital Downloads; Electronics & Computers; Home & Garden; Toys, Kids & Baby; Grocery; Apparel, Shoes & Jewelry; Health & Beauty; Sports & Outdoors; and Tools, Auto & Industrial. Amazon Web Services provides Amazon's developer customers with access to in-the-cloud infrastructure services based on Amazon's own back-end technology platform, which developers can use to enable virtually any type of business. The new latest generation Kindle is the lightest, most compact Kindle ever and features the same 6-inch, most advanced electronic ink display that reads like real paper even in bright sunlight. Kindle Touch is a new addition to the Kindle family with an easy-to-use touch screen that makes it easier than ever to turn pages, search, shop, and take notes – still with all the benefits of the most advanced electronic ink display. Kindle Touch 3G is the top of the line e-reader and offers the same new design and features of Kindle Touch, with the unparalleled added convenience of free 3G. Kindle Fire is the Kindle for movies, TV shows, music, books, magazines, apps, games and web browsing with all the content, free storage in the Amazon Cloud, Whispersync, Amazon Silk (Amazon's new revolutionary cloud-accelerated web browser), vibrant color touch screen, and powerful dual-core processor.
Amazon and its affiliates operate websites, including www.amazon.com, www.amazon.co.uk, www.amazon.de, www.amazon.co.jp, www.amazon.fr, www.amazon.ca, www.amazon.cn, www.amazon.it, and www.amazon.es. As used herein, "Amazon.com," "we," "our" and similar terms include Amazon.com, Inc., and its subsidiaries, unless the context indicates otherwise.
This announcement contains forward-looking statements within the meaning of Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933 and Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934. Actual results may differ significantly from management's expectations. These forward-looking statements involve risks and uncertainties that include, among others, risks related to competition, management of growth, new products, services and technologies, potential fluctuations in operating results, international expansion, outcomes of legal proceedings and claims, fulfillment center optimization, seasonality, commercial agreements, acquisitions and strategic transactions, foreign exchange rates, system interruption, inventory, government regulation and taxation, payments and fraud. More information about factors that potentially could affect Amazon.com's financial results is included in Amazon.com's filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission, including its most recent Annual Report on Form 10-K and subsequent filings.