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Amazon Launches Cross-Platform Textbook Rentals

Amazon's Kindle Store is now renting textbooks for the 2011 school year using a model that lets students decide how long they will rent the book for--and on which platform they'll use it.

Through the new service, students will be able to rent textbooks for periods ranging from a month to nearly a year. Textbook rentals are handled through the free Kindle reader app, which is available for smart phones, tablets, and traditional computers, including devices running Android, OS X, iOS, Windows, Windows Phone 7, and Blackberry, along with Kindle devices.

According to Amazon, students will pay only for the time they're renting the book, and they can extend their rental period by as little as one day with an unlimited number of extensions. They can also opt to purchase a textbook they're renting. Amazon estimated that rentals can save as much as 80 percent off the list price for a print edition.

In addition, all notes that students have taken and highlights they've made in their textbooks during the rental period will remain available to them in the Amazon Cloud "even after a rental expires," explained Kindle VIce President David Limp. "If you choose to rent again or buy at a later time, your notes will be there just as you left them, perfectly Whispersynced."

International Human Resource Management, whose hardcover edition retails for $1,050, sells for $47.96 as a Kindle e-book and rents for as little as $11 for 30 days, about $16 for 90 days, and about $21 for 180 days. The price for 360 days is $26.22.
International Human Resource Management, whose hardcover edition retails for $1,050, sells for $47.96 as a Kindle e-book and rents for as little as $11 for 30 days, about $16 for 90 days, and about $21 for 180 days. The price for 360 days is $26.22.

Not all of the textbooks in the Kindle Store are available for rental. Those that are available will show a rental option along with purchase options, as seen above. As of today, Amazon reported that "tens of thousands of textbooks are available for the 2011 school year from leading textbook publishers such as John Wiley & Sons, Elsevier and Taylor & Francis."

Additional details can be found on the Amazon Kindle Store.

About the Author

David Nagel is the executive producer for 1105 Media's online K-12 and higher education publications and electronic newsletters. He can be reached at dnagel@1105media.com. He can now be followed on Twitter at http://twitter.com/THEJournalDave (K-12) or http://twitter.com/CampusTechDave (higher education). You can also connect with him on LinkedIn at http://www.linkedin.com/profile/view?id=10390192.

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