Amazon has rolled out textbook renting for students who own a Kindle eReader or the Kindle app that’s freely available for Windows PCs, Mac, Android devices, iPad, iPhone, iPod Touch, BlackBerry devices, and Windows Phone devices. By renting out textbooks for 30-360 days, students can save up to 80% of the cost of a textbook, and even retain their annotations on the cloud.
The discount on the book depends on the rental period but even so it makes for a great saving, especially for books you don’t need to keep after a year. Amazon is offering tens of thousands of textbooks for the 2011 school year from publishers such as John Wiley & Sons, Elsevier and Taylor & Francis.
With Amazon’s Whispersync technology, students can keep highlighted content and their notes on Amazon cloud even after returning the book. You can access them anytime on the Kindle website and they will be accessible to you if you rent the book again. If needed, students can also extend the rental period for a book for as little as a day to more. That’s the fun of digital copies, at least you don’t have the limitation of restricted physical copies.
Amazon will be competing against the likes of textbook rental giants Chegg and BookRenter that rent hardcover and paperback textbooks to students at low prices. In fact, Chegg has an e-book option that will compete directly with Amazon’s new service. Other companies such as Kno and Inkling are also targeting the digital textbook arena.
More details on Kindle’s textbook rental service are available at www.amazon.com/kindletextbooks.