eBookFling: eBook Sharing Site – Net Positive for Authors & Publishers IMHO

eBooks always seemed like a good idea to me. It even seemed like a good idea when the available mobile hardware was not quite ready for them. I remember reading a Star Trek novel or two using Microsoft Reader for the Palm-size PC a decade ago. However, it wasn’t until I started using the Kindle for iPhone app that ebooks finally arrived for me. The Kindle for iPad app provided an even better ready experience (at the cost of weight). And, the arrival of the 3rd generation WiFi-only Kindle for $139 convinced me that a lighter smaller dedicated ebook reader made sense for even a casual reader like me.

As wonderful as eBooks are (regardless of which technology platform you chose), it has a couple of drawbacks. Sharing books is nowhere near as simple as with physical books. Sharing your ebook book with someone else has a 14-day sharing limit if you use the Kindle or Nook. And, if people you know do not use the same ebook platform, how can you loan or be loaned a book you might want to read?

A new service named eBookFling.com is attempting to address this and make a profit too. Here’s how they say it works.

– Join the service by providing your email address
– List the ebooks (Kindle or Nook) that you are willing to loan
– Respond to a borrower request, loan your book, and receive credits
– Borrowing a book requires spending a credit. If you do not have a credit, it costs $1.99 to borrow a book for 14 days

NOTE: During the current beta period, there is NO borrowing. eBookFling is building their list of books to share. This shouldn’t be an issue since nothing will happen to your ebook until it is actually loaned to someone.

Book authors and publishers will probably hate this service since they don’t make any money from loaning. However, I believe it will have net positive side effects for them in the long run:

1. Some people will not finish the borrowed book in the 14-day time limit and decide they like the book enough to buy their own copy
2. Authors of more than one book may develop a fan in the 14-day period which results in the borrower buying other ebooks by the same author
3. Even if the borrower does not buy the ebook or a different ebook by the same author, he or she may mention the book to friends which results in sale

You can find eBookFling site at:

http://ebookfling.com/