There's now an easy way to see the full list of free e-book titles available to Kindle owners with Amazon Prime.
In case you missed it, Amazon recently launched the Kindle Owners' Lending Library, which allows Amazon Prime members to check out up to one e-book a month for free with no due date.
The only problem is that it wasn't so easy to find all the more than 5,000 titles in the Kindle Store that qualify for free borrowing. However, as one might expect, a somewhat helpful link has cropped up in the blogosphere.
Click on this link to get to the list.
Curiously, the Publishers Marketplace Automat link misstates the number of titles--it says it "[l]ets you browse 2,700 Prime lending titles right on their site," when the actual number is currently showing as 5,377. The Amazon link also directs you to the list of print books that are eligible for free Prime shipment--you need to click on the Kindle-specific link that I supplied above.
The default sort on the list is by popularity, but you can use the genre list on the left-hand side to filter accordingly.
It's important to remember that Prime-eligible loaners can only be read on Kindle hardware devices; you can't read them with Kindle apps on devices such as the iPad or Android smartphones and tablets, nor can you read them on your computer in the browser-based Kindle Cloud Reader. Likewise, you can't "send" loaners to Kindle devices from your Web browser, as you can with e-book purchases; you'll have to look up the book on the Kindle itself to download it.
That said, the link lets you browse Prime-eligible titles, so you can be sure that you won't be buying (or wish-listing) a title that you can otherwise read for free.
In other Kindle Owners' Lending Library news, not everybody is happy about Amazon's latest move. As expected, there's been some chatter from wary publishers as well as agents and authors wondering how authors will be properly compensated.
The compensation issue is full of questions because it's currently unclear how Amazon is stocking the titles in its Lending Library. Paid Content reports that Amazon is paying a lump sum to publishers who agreed to be part of the new program. But in other cases--according to Publishers Marketplace (registration required for full article)--Amazon isn't asking for consent and is simply paying the wholesale rate for the "free" book (about 50 percent off the list price) and taking the loss. (CNET hasn't independently verified any of the publishers' deals--or lack thereof--with Amazon Prime.) As this is new territory for publishers, it's unclear how all this plays out with authors' contracts.
In the meantime, though, it makes that $79 that many of us spend on Amazon Prime membership a better and better deal.