A few weeks ago, Amazon announced KindleUnlimited. For $10/month, you can read from their list of books, and listen to some of them on Audible.
Doesn’t this sound like charging for what libraries already offer?
Start where your donors are
In my book on raising library support, I talk about the importance of talking the language of your donors. Here is a great opportunity! Almost everyone knows Amazon. And people are talking about KindleUnlimited. A quick Google search on “KindleUnlimited” shows thousands of posts about Amazon’s new service.
So why not do a blog post or pitch a story with your local media like this one in the Wall Street Journal “Why the Public Library Beats Amazon — for Now.”
This gives you a terrific way to show the leaps and bounds your library has been making in providing books, ebooks, audiobooks, and other digital offerings. You don’t have to bash Amazon or be negative. You could simply show how much better your catalog is than theirs, and remind people they have access to other library’s catalogs too. You could share that your library offers more choice, allowing readers to find information however they prefer: print, CD, DVD, or digital. Even on their Kindles.
And you offer this for free.
You have a powerful opportunity to ride a media bump. Will you seize it?
Year-end fundraising idea: If you’re writing your library fundraising year-end appeals, you could make your appeal related to KindleUnlimited too. It might include: “While we’re thrilled at any attempt to help people read more, thanks to donors like you, we are able to stay committed to keeping it open to people regardless of ability to pay.”