To find out if a book you own is lendable, or to lend it, look in Your Orders section under Manage Your Kindle where you'll see "Loan This Book" by titles for which the feature is enabled. At present, loans can only be managed through the website, and not from the Kindle itself (although you can, of course, reach the website via the clunky Kindle interface should you wish to do so). Hopefully this will change, and lending will be enabled via a link on the Kindle itself.
For more details on how the program works, follow this link to reach the Amazon help page. But meanwhile here's a general overview of how the program works, and it's essential caveats:
- Currently, Kindle book lending can only be initiated by customers residing in the United States, and only received by readers in countries where the rights to the title are available. Worldwide lending will likely be enabled for most geographic regions as soon as foreign rights are cleared.
- Recipients do not need to own a Kindle, but will be able to read the loaned book on any of the free Kindle reading apps that are available.
- Eligible Kindle books can be loaned once for a period of 14 days (this means once you loan a book to a friend, you will not be able to loan it to anyone else again, ever). This is a pretty big caveat. Initially I thought this meant once per recipient, but apparently they really do mean once. So choose your friends wisely.
- The recipient will have seven days to accept the loan before the 14 day loan period begins. During this time, the initial owner will not be able to read the book.
- While a book is on loan, the owner of the book will not be able to read it – just as if it were a print edition you had lent out to a friend. This means it could be as much as three weeks before it's "returned" if the recipient takes all seven days to accept the loan.
- 3 Days prior to a loan ending, the borrower will receive a courtesy email reminder about the upcoming loan expiration (so that they can hurry up and finish reading it). However, you can check the status of a loan at any time from the website.
- To return a book early, the borrower may simply delete the title (from the Manage Your Kindle page), after which it will reappear in the Archive section of the owner's Kindle.
- All DTP titles are lending-enabled by default, so if you want your title to be lendable you need do nothing.
- For titles with a 35% royalty option you may opt out of the lending program. To do so, simply deselect the "Kindle Book Lending" checkbox in the Rights & Pricing section.
- You may not opt out for any title that is available in another ebook lending program (such as for the Nook). Additionally, Amazon has the right to enable lending rights if they find this is the case.
- If you have chosen the 70% royalty option you are required to enable lending, per your contract agreement (which, by the way, was updated yesterday to include this without your even knowing it).
- You do not receive any royalties or notification for ebook loans, so don't ask.
- You can loan your own published books out just as any other titles you would own, and with the same stipulations (i.e. only once per title).
- If you opt out of lending for a title, any copies purchased prior to the opt out date (but presumably after the lending program began) are still eligible for lending. Once granted, lending rights cannot be taken away.
- Amazon, or course, the right to change any of these rules at any time they see fit.