updated 10:00 pm EDT, Mon March 21, 2011
Service said to run counter to sales goals
Amazon has reportedly revoked API access for Lendle's e-book lending service, effectively shutting the company out from the Kindle platform. In a blog post regarding the situation, the company points to an e-mail from Amazon that explains that Lendle does not "serve the principal purpose of driving sales of products and services on the Amazon site."
Although Amazon still maintains a sharing feature on the Kindle, Lendle's service added another layer by connecting users. Participants could create lists of books they were interested in reading, and Lendle would connect them to other Kindle owners who already own the titles and might be willing to share them for 14 days.
"We take issue with this, as Lendle was built from the ground up to ensure that it would be beneficial to authors, publishers, and Amazon," Lendle co-founder Jeff Croft wrote. "Our site requires that you be willing to lend books before you can borrow them. We even went so far as to allow users to sync their Lendle accounts with their Kindle accounts, so that we could ensure anyone who borrows books on Lendle has previously purchased lendable books from Amazon."
Croft voiced further frustration with the timing of Amazon's move, which came just six weeks after Lendle first launched its program. The notification e-mail reportedly came from a 'no reply' address, while other Amazon contacts have allegedly failed to respond to requests for clarification.
"We know publishers have been skittish about lending, and aren't yet seeing how much value it brings them, so we might speculate Amazon was acting on pressure from them," Croft added. "It may take us a bit of time to rebuild, but one way or another, we'll continue lending eBooks." [via GalleyCat]