Huffpost Books

Amazon Offers 'Free' Harry Potter

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Amazon will offer the Harry Potter series in their Kindle Owners' Lending Library starting next month, thanks to an "exclusive" deal the company has struck with J.K. Rowling's website Pottermore. Amazon's exclusive lending library now offers 145,000 books, including over 100 New York Times Best Sellers.

However, unlike a typical public library, visitors can only borrow one book per month, though there is no due date on that book. Also, this feature is only available to Kindle users who are Amazon Prime members, who have to pay $79 per year to access the library, as well as free movie and TV streaming, and free two-day shipping on physical products.

The seven Harry Potter books can also be accessed electronically via public libraries across the country that use the OverDrive lending system, however these have their own restrictions, as Amazon's press release announcing this new deal points out: "With traditional library lending, the library buys a certain number of e-book copies of a particular title. If all of those are checked out, readers have to get on a waiting list." This isn't the case with Kindle Lending Library titles.

The Harry Potter series were released as e-books at the end of March, and quickly rose to become some of the most downloaded books in history according to Overdrive. In their first month, they accounted for 64% of downloaded juvenile fiction.

When Amazon's lending library was launched late last year, it caused controversy with publishers, who say their books were being offered without their consent.


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