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Amazon Expands Ebook Rentals Beyond Textbooks – Maybe Not

Amazon launched Kindle textbook rentals earlier this year, and it looks like they might have expanded beyond just textbooks. Strange Histories  is a non-traditional history book which normally sells for $14.55. Twitter user Merralin noticed yesterday that you can now rent the ebook from Amazon in the usual 30/60/90/120 segments, with prices ranging from $8.02 to $12.77. That's in keeping with Amazon's other textbook rental prices, so this doesn't appear to be an accident.

But I'm reserving judgement at the moment. This title looks like this is a book a professor would assign. In fact, I can think of at least 1 history professor who would have assigned this book in class. Also, it was published in paper by Routledge as the "New Educational" edition, which makes it sound like a textbook.

I also did some digging, and I cannot find any non-textbook available for rent via the Kindle Store. This wasn't easy to confirm, so I fell back on the tried and true complex Google Search. I've scanned the first 5 or so pages of results and all seem to be textbooks.

So this is probably a false alarm. And that's a good thing, because the rental prices aren't a good value. If you're planning to sell a book, you're much better off buying  a title in paper. You can get half or more of the cover price back on a textbook, and that's a far better deal than the 15% to %30 a rental will save.



About Nate Hoffelder (11117 Articles)
Nate Hoffelder is the founder and editor of The Digital Reader: "I've been into reading ebooks since forever, but I only got my first ereader in July 2007. Everything quickly spiraled out of control from there. Before I started this blog in January 2010 I covered ebooks, ebook readers, and digital publishing for about 2 years as a part of MobileRead Forums. It's a great community, and being a member is a joy. But I thought I could make something out of how I covered the news for MobileRead, so I started this blog."

1 Comment on Amazon Expands Ebook Rentals Beyond Textbooks – Maybe Not

  1. It’s interesting to see more and more places offering the option to rent textbooks. Definitely can be good for students, however.

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  1. Would you rent an eBook from Amazon? - Liliputing

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