Friday, April 8, 2011

Earth Day Campaign - 41 Reasons to Plant a Tree for Your Book: Reason no. 27

We continue with our Earth Day campaign - 41 Reasons to Plant a Tree for Your Book, where we share with you 41 reasons provided by readers in celebration of the upcoming 41st anniversary of Earth Day!

With more than 180,000 trees planted so far on behalf of readers, authors and publishers working with Eco-Libris, it's no surprise that we think planting trees to green up books is a great idea.. But we also want to hear what readers think about it and why they believe planting trees for their books is a good idea.

So for 41 days until Earth Day, we publish here the 41 best replies we receive, one reply a day. All replies are gathered and presented on the Earth Day 2011 page.

Reason no. 27:
I would plant a tree because a tree can be so much more than a book, than an offset for the paper I use or for the emissions I send into the atmosphere. A tree for me defines place, provokes thought, and is a subject of amazement. It is a tiny tick mark in time, like a book is, but forever timeless. - Joost

Thank you Joost for sharing with us your thoughts on planting trees for your books!

Joost, just like a
ll the other readers whose replies we'll publish, is winning one of the great 41 prizes we give away on this campaign, courtesy of our partners. Winners can choose their prize from a great list of gifts including audiobooks from Simon & Schuster Audio (such as The Half Life by Jennifer Weiner, Left Neglected by Lisa Genova and Essence of Happiness by the Dalai Lama) and great books, like Planet Home by Jeffrey Hollender, Spit That Out! by Paige Wolf and The Healthy Home by Dave Wentz and Dr. Myron Wentz. You can see the full list of the prizes on the campaign's page.

Every day we'll give further details on one of the prizes. Today we present you with the audiobook
Essence of Happiness by the Dalai Lama.

Essence of Happiness by the Dalai Lama - Meditations and Spiritual Wisdom on Achieving Lasting Happiness from His Holiness the Dalai Lama

The Dalai Lama inspired millions around the world with his wisdom and compassion in The Art of Happiness. Now, in The Essence of Happiness, some of His Holiness’s most unforgettable insights are presented in a meditative audiobook that listeners will return to again and again. Offering sage advice on defeating day-to-day depression, anxiety, anger, jealousy, and other emotions that get in the way of true happiness, The Essence of Happiness contains transforming reflections on overcoming suffering and obstacles to create a fulfilled, joyous life.

The Essence of Happiness is truly an indispensable guide for living.

If you want to participate in the campaign, we still have some spots available so please send us your reply it to We look forward to hearing from you.

Raz @ Eco-Libris

Eco-Libris: Promoting sustainable reading!

Interested in borrowing an ebook? Check our comparison of BookLending and eBookFling

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: 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 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?
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, is the only service with Nook and Kindle titles, allowing for more availability of books.

For more information visit eBookFling at and BookLending at

Raz @ Eco-Libris

Eco-Libris: Promoting sustainable reading!