As ebook lending becomes a growing trend, we see more websites that fulfill the role of marketplace, matching ebook lenders and borrowers.
But who are these websites? And what they offer those of you who want to take advantage of the feature allowing Kindle and Nook users to swap ebooks with each others? We decided to provide you with a comparison of the three websites that seems to lead the ebook lending market - eBookFling, BookLending and Lendle.
At least that was our initial intention. We contacted the owners of these 3 websites and asked them to answer couple of questions, but only Catherine MacDonald of BookLending and George Burke of eBookFling got back to us. Although we wrote couple of times to Jeff Croft of Lendle, we didn't hear back from him. Therefore it's going to be a comparison between BookLending and eBookFling.
We hope you will find it useful and if you have any information or experiences with one of these websites you would like to add, feel free to add a comment!
First, a short video from each of the two websites and then a comparison between the two:
1. Who created the website?
BookLending (BL): Catherine MacDonald
eBookFling (EF): BookSwim
2. Lending Length
BL: 14 days
EF: 14 days
3. Where you're located?
BL: We are Canadians who are currently traveling abroad
EF: New Jersey
4. How many users you have? Are you serving also non-US users?
BL: We have over 19,000 users and we do serve non-US users.
EF: We crossed the 10,000 user mark in less than a week after launching. We've been growing steadily. These are all US-based members with plans to expand as soon as Amazon/B&N open up lending overseas.
5. Is it only available to both Kindle and Nook users?
BL: Yes, only Kindle users.
EF: Available to both Kindle and Nook users
6. Is it a free service?
BL: Yes. You don't need to pay anything to borrow ebooks, no matter if you make e-books available for loan or not.
EF: Yes, but only if other users borrow books from you. You get one credit point for every book you lend which can be used to borrow another ebook. But if you don't earn credit points (i.e. no one wants to borrow your books..), you will need buy credits for $1.99 per credit.
7. Do you need to loan books to others to be able to borrow?
BL: No. There's no such requirement.
EF: No, but then you'll need to pay $1.99 for every ebook you want to borrow.
8. What's your best user-friendly feature?
BL: Members love our Browse by Genre and "Read It Today" features.
EF: eBookFling.com allows members to manage notifications on books in their wishlist so they're not inundated with "this book is now available" emails for books they're not yet ready to read. Similarly, we send out loan requests one at a time, rather than blast all lenders every time someone asks to borrow a book.
9. How many people operate your business?
BL: Right now, we have a core group of two plus our wonderful development team.
EF: 4 of BookSwim's team initially founded the eBookFling.com service and we're expanding. We just hired a social media manager and are on the lookout for an ad-sales person.
10. What Is your business model?
BL: Commission and display advertising based.
EF: Revenue from credits, commission on ebook sales and in the future selling ad space and providing other services (acting as marketing tool for authors and publishers for example)
11. In one sentence - What differentiate you from the other websites?
BL: We're not just a free, fair and easy-to-use platform, but also a community of Kindle book enthusiasts.
EF: A. We manage the entire lend process by masking a book requester's email address which keeps the privacy of all our members while also allowing us to track when a book has been successfully delivered and reaching out to others if the loan never came through. B. Our use of credits as a swapping currency ensures that there is never any deficit of available books to borrow. C. As far as I'm aware, eBookFling.com is the only service with Nook and Kindle titles, allowing for more availability of books.
For more information visit eBookFling at http://ebookfling.com/ and BookLending at http://www.booklending.com/
Raz @ Eco-Libris
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