Early last month Google briefly rented YA titles from HarperCollins for a dollar a day. Now they are running a similar sale on Harlequin titles.
The weekly sales email from Google Play Books brought me the news that readers can now rent the works of Lisa Harris, Debbie Macomber, Maya Banks, and others.
We're heating up your winter with red-hot Harlequin romance! Enjoy a special 99¢ rentals offer on great reads now through February 2nd. The rental period begins at the time of purchase, and can be accessed in your library for the next 24-hours. Explore contemporary crushes, westerns, and suspenseful love stories, and fall for your next favorite.
Over twice as many titles are included in this sale as in the sale back in December, and given the voracious reading habits of the average romance fan that could prove a costly mistake for Harlequin.
Judging based on the reader I share a Kindle account with, romance readers can easily go through three or four titles a day. This sale lasts for two weeks, which I am told is enough time to finish 60 ebooks.
It will cost less than $60 to rent ebooks which usually sell for $4 to $8 each. That means that Harlequin could be missing out on as much as 80% to 90% of the revenue from a sale. And unless some of those readers go back later and buy a copy of an ebook they read, it's going to be a permanent loss.