Google Play Books is Renting Harlequin Titles for $.99 a Day

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.

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. […] The Digital Reader: Google Play Books is Renting Harlequin Titles for $.99 a Day […]

  2. Frank23 January, 2017

    Yes, some readers may read 60 titles in two weeks, but I suspect other readers will read just a few during that time. Yes, the publisher will lose potential money, but they may gain a long term customer.

  3. […] (via & Digital Reader) […]


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