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Amazon deals a blow to Lendle e-book lending site

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(Read caption) Kindle readers are free to offer one-time loans of their e-books – but as of today they can't coordinate those loans on Lendle, a site designed to facilitate e-book swaps.

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Wow, that was fast! E-book lending service Lendle, launched just last month to capitalize on Amazon's Kindle e-book lending capacity, is now off-line. Amazon has revoked the site's API access – which means access to all Amazon products – and the site is now "unavailable indefinitely."

Lendle explained via Twitter that: "Amazon has revoked Lendle's API access. This is why the site is down. It's sad and unfortunate that Amazon is shutting down lending sites."

The reason? Lendle further explained: "According to Amazon, Lendle does not 'serve the principal purpose of driving sales of products and services on the Amazon site.' "

Lendle is not the only e-book lending site. At least two other sites – eBook Fling and BookLending – have also sprung up in recent weeks. All are hoping to take advantage of the new e-book lending capacity provided by both Amazon and Barnes & Noble. Both sites offer "lendable" e-books which means that readers are free to loan books to one another for a limited 14-day period. (Each book, however, may be loaned only once.)

The point of the new sites is to connect readers willing to lend with those interested in borrowing. Readers able to match their interests might be able to arrange a swap – allowing both readers to enjoy a second book for free.

And therein lies the problem: the possibility of lost sales for Amazon.

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