Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Renting Kindle Textbooks!

The great thing about Kindle books for students is how they greatly reduce the weight a student has to carry around on their backs. Unfortunately they are not always much cheaper than paperbooks, and that's not always because publishers are greedy. Especially in subjects were research is always changing, text books can be very expensive to write and produce. That means the ebook edition isn't necessarily going to be very cheap. In some cases, an older text book might need some special formatting for Kindle and early release of it in Kindle format might even seen a price hike to cover these new costs.

In addition to that, a downside of ebook editions from Kindle/ Nook etc is that students cannot sell their ebook when they have finished the course as they could with a paper book. So aside from lighter book bags and a built in dictionary, where's the good news for our students?

Well, Amazon have introduced textbook rentals!  You can rent a textbook from Amazon for a period as short as 30 days up to a year, saving a lot on the cost of the book. You can still make notes and highlights - and even after the book is returned, you will still have access to those electronic notes on your Kindle!

Amazon's list of benefits include:

  • Great savings: Save up to 80% off the list price of the print textbook
  • Pay only for the time you need: Choose a rental length between 30 and 360 days and pay only for the exact time you need a book. Extend your rental for as little as one day or convert to purchase
  • Rent once, read everywhere: Rent and read tens of thousands of textbooks on PC, Mac, Kindle, or your mobile device http://amzn.to/KindleAppsFree
  • Keep your annotations: Access your notes and highlights anytime, even after the rental expires, at kindle.amazon.com
Pricing varies of course and it's not available for every text book (even if there is a Kindle edition) though I suspect, like all the other Kindle editions, the numbers will grow.
I noticed that prices seem quite high for the first 30 day rental, but don't jump as high if you rent for longer. Example. 30 day rental on one was $35, but 120 day $55, only $20 more for an extra 3 months rental.

Visit the Amazon Textbook store to see what's available!

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