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It wasn’t until I reached the third grade and got Charlie and the Chocolate Factory as a present that I became an avid reader. Now a new, free ebook lending service, eBook Fling, may happily and conveniently feed my reading habit.
eBook Fling takes advantage of the fact that you are allowed to lend a copy of your Kindle book or NookBook one time for up to 14 days. The service acts as a matchmaker, bringing together people who have books with the people who want them.
To lend books, you go to the site and list all of your lendable books using eBook Fling's searchable catalog. Not all publishers let you lend their books, so it's worth checking to avoid inputting a bunch of unlendable titles into your library.Until now, I’ve gotten get free ebooks from my local library, Project Gutenberg, the Google eBookstore — even Amazon and Barnes & Noble. But the selection is limited, and I usually end up buying them. With new releases typically costing between $7.99 and $14.99, it gets to be an expensive habit.
To borrow a book, you need credits — one per book borrowed. You earn a credit each time you lend a book, or you can buy credits (three for $8.99, 10 for $19.99, or 20 for $29.99). Then you can start browsing for books to borrow. For each title, you’ll see the cover art and author, along with a series of buttons: +Wishlist; Borrow Now!; Buy; and My Books.
When you hit the Borrow Now! button, eBook Fling contacts the person who owns the book and requests that they lend the book to you. eBook Fling handles the transaction, so the borrower and loaner don't make contact directly. This ensures everyone's email addresses remain anonymous and that lending credit is distributed properly.
If the lender accepts your request, eBook Fling sends you a code to borrow the book. In 14 days, the book disappears from your library.
If you have a Nook or the Nook app, your lendable books will have a "lendable" flag on them. For Kindle users, it's not as easy. The best way to check is by logging into Your Account on Amazon.com. In the Digital Content section you’ll see a link to Manage Your Kindle. After clicking on it, you’ll scroll down to the Your Orders section. Clicking on the + next to each title reveals more details, including a Loan This Book button if the book is lendable.
Ideally, the lending process would work quickly, but it's all dependent on the lender receiving the email, reading it, and acting on it. If the first lender on the list doesn't respond within a day, an email is sent to the next available lender, and so on. If after seven days, there's no response from any lender, your request is cancelled and you get your credit back.
eBook Fling just launched, so the process may take a little longer now than it will in the future. I just put some requests and am still waiting. So whoever is out there holding onto a lendable copy of Iris Johansen’s Eight Days to Live, please fling it my way.
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