“With Prime, Kindle owners can now choose from thousands of books to borrow for free including over 100 current and former New York Times Bestsellers – as frequently as a book a month, with no due dates.”Amazon has established a fund to be divided among authors in the program, according to how many times one's title is borrowed, which seems like a good idea. As they explain it,
“Your share of the Kindle Owners' Lending Library Fund is calculated based on a share of the total number of qualified borrows of all participating KDP titles. For example, if the monthly fund amount is $500,000, the total qualified borrows of all participating KDP titles is 100,000, and your book was borrowed 1,500 times, you will earn 1.5% (1,500/100,000 = 1.5%), or $7,500 for that month. ”Or if it's borrowed 50 times, which seems more likely, $250. Or 5 times, $25, which in any case is more than I would make from that many sales (I'm selling the book for $4.99, of which my share is $3.44). In fact, this month's fund is $700,000, so (assuming 100,000 "total qualified borrows") my 5 book-loans would bring $35, more than 5 sales. My real motive, however, is to reach more readers, so even if there are a million readers and my share only comes to 70¢ per "borrow", I can live with that.
To make my book available, I had to offer the electronic version exclusively through Kindle (for at least 90 days), which means I had to "unpublish" from Smashwords. Amazon is so much more visible on the web, I think it's worth it.