If you have ever read my Simply Stacie “Meet Jennifer” blurb, then you probably know how much I LOVE books. Over the years I have collected hundreds of books and because I had too many yet still wanted more, I joined a book swapping site called Paperback Swap. Then after we moved about a year ago, and I got stuck with packing and unpacking ALL of my books, I decided I was finally ready to consider an e-reader. Now I have both a Kindle and a NOOK, and the majority of books that I purchase brand new are e-books.
One of the cool things about e-books is that the publishers allow us to loan out the book 1 time ever for up to 14 days. Then the book is returned to the owner’s library and cannot be loaned out again. (Not every e-book can be loaned out, however; the publisher decides if this capability will be enabled or disabled.) I’ve enjoyed sharing e-books with friends, but I don’t really get anything out of it like I do when I send out books on Paperback Swap.
Now that Kindles and NOOKs are rising in popularity, swapping sites have been created for owners of e-books. One such site is eBookFling.com. The sign-up process is simple: your Login is your email address and you create a password. You are given the option of purchasing credits at a lower, introductory price. If you skip this, you can still buy credits later in bundles. The larger bundle you purchase for credits, the more you will save on them. This is actually a great deal; compare the cost of a credit on Paperback Swap, which is $3.49 per credit, plus a $.50 transaction fee.
The site is really easy to maneuver; just add the books you are interested in reading by their titles or authors and they are added to your Wish List. Check the box if you want to be notified when the book is available for you to have a “fling” with. Likewise for your lendable books, find them by their titles or authors and add them to your My Books list. Make sure to indicate whether yours is a NOOK or Kindle title.
When one of your books is requested for a “fling”, you’ll be notified by email and asked to accept or decline. You’re then provided with an email address so that you can loan the book to the other flinger. As soon as that person accepts the book, a credit will be deposited into your account so you can initiate a fling yourself!
Currently eBookFling.com is not set up so that I can import a list of my e-books. From what I read in the FAQs, this is in the works. It’s really time consuming to enter in every single e-book I have because in addition to purchasing e-books, I also get a lot of free ones. (You should also know that a lot of the free e-books are lendable, so a good way to earn credits is to download some of the books you aren’t even interested in, and then list them in My Books. Then you’ll have earned a credit without even spending a dime!) I think once this feature is implemented, eBookFling.com will be much more user friendly.
In some cases, lendable books are actually cheaper to purchase as your own copy than to borrow with a credit. I have several e-books that I paid $0.99 for, and for me, it’s not worth spending a credit to borrow the book. Other people don’t seem to mind, so think about what works best for you when it comes to really cheap e-books. Remember: you can then lend that book out and earn a credit to use on a more expensive ebook.
If you buy a lot of e-books or download a lot of free ones, it’s going to be really easy for you to accumulate credits. I’ve been a member of eBookFling for a couple weeks now, and have already earned 2 credits in addition to the complimentary 10 credits I received for agreeing to write the review. Take into account how fast you read, and how often you plan on borrowing ebooks through eBookFling.com. Your credits have an expiration date; if you don’t use them in a year from the date that you either purchased on earned the credit, then it’s gone. If you’re not a fast reader or you amass a bunch of credits all at once, consider putting your account on vacation until you can use up some of those credits. So far, this is the only thing that I do not like about eBookFling.com; I wish the credits didn’t expire, and I don’t understand why they do expire.
As soon as I signed up, I started listing my available e-books. Within minutes of listing one, I was notified that someone was requesting a loan. I immediately responded, and a few hours later after the fling began, I earned my credit. As for borrowing books, I’ve started a Wish List, but nothing has been made available to me yet from that list. I noticed that there were several books that are available right now that I was interested in, so I requested one of them and am currently enjoying it. The owner of the book responded within a few hours, and I downloaded the book that night. I’m excited to finish this one and then start hunting for another great read.
I’m pretty thrilled with this site, actually. I think it’s important to read the rules before you get started, because up until today I didn’t know credits had an expiration date. That is a very important thing to make note of. One other thing I hope to see in the future is interaction with other eBookFling.com members. I’d love some kind of feature to be added that is along the lines of, “was this fling as good for you as it was for me?” But for now, it really works well and it’s designed to get you your requested books in as little time as possible.
*I did not receive any financial compensation for this review, though I did review a sample of the product for evaluation purposes. The opinions are based only on my experiences with the product.*