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.