Breaking News: Amazon Still Only Offering Kindle Rentals for Academic Titles

fire-40954_640[1]There’s a hot story going around today that Amazon is renting out non-textbooks titles in the Kindle Store. Zatz Not Funny broke the story and Engadget, Liliputing, and The Next Web have repeated it.

I would not get too excited; the titles mentioned in the posts above were published by Princeton University Press so I’d bet they are being regarded as textbooks (or at the very least academic titles).

The title mentioned by Engadget (here) is listed under the categories Cognitive Psychology and Study Skills.  The ebook found by Zatz Not Funny (here) is listed in the categories political humor and political history & theory. I would not be surprised to learn that those titles were required for college classes somewhere, thus making them textbooks.

Amazon has been renting out Kindle textbooks since 2011, and they have long been expected to move the plan beyond textbooks to other content. In fact, this particular situation of someone finding a non-obvious textbook for rent has happened before.

Today’s breaking news is basically a repeat of a story which cropped up in December 2011. Someone noticed that Amazon would rent the Kindle edition of a niche history book. I looked into it and I concluded that it was a textbook and thus not actually new story (Amazon had been renting Kindle textbooks for a couple months at that point).

Move along. There’s nothing to see here.

image by Nemo

Nate Hoffelder

View posts by Nate Hoffelder
Nate Hoffelder is the founder and editor of The Digital Reader. He has been blogging about indie authors since 2010 while learning new tech skills weekly. He fixes author sites, and shares what he learns on The Digital Reader's blog. In his spare time, he fosters dogs for A Forever Home, a local rescue group.


  1. Mike Cane19 January, 2013

    It took you long enough. Dumb story has been out there for at least 24 hours now. Apparently techies don’t understand metadata errors. Like Amazon would QUIETLY introduce non-textbook rentals. Hell, they’d blare it.

    1. Nate Hoffelder19 January, 2013

      I posted it last night at 7pm. Zats broke the story at 3:40pm and I don’t see that anyone beat them to it.

      Where the hell did you get the 24 hours?

      1. Mike Cane19 January, 2013

        I thought I saw it at Liliputing yesterday morning. Here 7PM Friday night? I must have been distracted and didn’t check your site again that late.


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