Amazon is Killing Kindle Owner’s Lending Library on 4 January

When I reported several months ago that Amazon had shut down the Kindle Owner’s Lending Library, several commenters argued I was wrong because they knew a loophole (find a book which is in Kindle Unlimited, and then borrow it using KOLL).

I still think my take was valid, while at the same time I would also agree they had a point. But in any case, the argument will soon be moot.

Amazon has quietly announced on the relevant KDP help page that KOLL is ending in just over two months.

We will no longer offer KOLL beginning January 4th, 2021. Customers may continue reading books they previously borrowed from KOLL. You will earn royalties for any KENP Read from these KOLL borrows.

In addition, KOLL will continue to display on your Historical and Payments reports.

Originally launched under the name Amazon Prime eBooks in late 2011, the Kindle Owner’s Lending Library was Amazon’s first foray into ebook subscriptions. It was only available to Kindle- and Fire tablet-owning Amazon Prime members in the US, but it was popular enough that it convinced Amazon to launch Kindle Unlimited not quite three years later.

And now the Kindle Owner’s Lending Library is going to be shut down.

That is not a huge loss, but it is deserving of a eulogy.

We would not have Kindle Unlimited with KOLL, and KU has been a boon to both readers and authors. Kindle Ulimited has launched multiple author careers while at the same time delivering great value for readers. It paid out over $300 million last year, making it one of the larger ebook retailers all on its own.

 

Nate Hoffelder

View posts by Nate Hoffelder
Nate Hoffelder is the founder and editor of The Digital Reader. He has been blogging about indie authors since 2010 while learning new tech skills weekly. He fixes author sites, and shares what he learns on The Digital Reader's blog. In his spare time, he fosters dogs for A Forever Home, a local rescue group.

9 Comments

  1. DaveMich1 November, 2020

    That’s pretty quiet all right. I did have a point, because even now, on my Kindle, many books say “Read for free with Kindle Lending Library” – just now, Nov 1, actually, and that was the case as of the previous post. The exact same books do not say this when viewed an any other device, such as a phone or tablet, or computer. The offer is device dependent. It’s a minor shame because it was a free book every month.

    Reply
    1. Disgusting Dude1 November, 2020

      KOLL is going away because it has been mostly superceded by Prime Reading.

      https://www.amazon.com/kindle-dbs/fd/learnmore-pr?pf_rd_m=ATVPDKIKX0DER&storeType=ebooks&pageType=kindle&pf_rd_p=4fd5bc5c-c96e-481a-8588-896668a50ae3&pf_rd_r=971DRCRTK3ZGFG4HX6QY&pf_rd_s=center-1&pf_rd_t=5601&ref_=dbs_0_def_awm_ntry_c1_kmw_4fd5bc5c-c96e-481a-8588-896668a50ae3_2&pf_rd_i=bookshelf

      Different rules and it is not limited to Kindle hardware but it is for Prime members. And by now most Kindle owners are in Prime. And it’s not just one book a month. It is like a mini-KU.

      Reply
    2. T Semple2 November, 2020

      KOLL was restricted to Amazon devices only (Kindle or Fire). Presumably you can still borrow books for the next couple of months.

      Reply
    3. Adele6 February, 2021

      That’s a shame that was a feature I really enjoyed, I’m very disappointed on amazon for taking that away.

      Reply
  2. […] Amazon is Killing Kindle Owner’s Lending Library on 1/4 […]

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  4. carl20 January, 2021

    i am recently retired and took to using KOLL, it was a nice feature as i could read one book each month for free and as many of my owned books in between, if i read a good review of an author i could read one of his books on KOLL,and then purchase more by the author. i will miss this service, hopefully they will reinstate it thanx

    Reply
  5. Patprit19 February, 2021

    So we now have to PAY to receive a benefit that was included in our Prime account. Does mean we will receive a reduction in the Prime membership fee in the future since we will be losing this benefit?

    Reply
  6. Patprit19 February, 2021

    This feature is included in our Prime membership, since it is being taken away, does that mean our membership fee will be reduced?

    Reply

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