Monday, July 18, 2011

Amazon Launches Kindle Textbook Rental Program


University students will be able to rent textbooks through Amazon's Kindle Textbook Rental program -- even if they don't own a Kindle e-reader. With free Kindle reader apps, Kindle Textbook Rental participants will be able to read the textbooks on multiple computing devices. Besides saving money, students will be able to keep study notes.

Amazon.com has launched Kindle Textbook Rental -- a new program that enables university students to rent the textbooks they need for courses while realizing substantial savings off the list prices of selected titles from Elsevier, John Wiley & Sons, Taylor & Francis, and other textbook publishers. Even better, students don't need to own a Kindle e-reader to participate in the program.

Students will be able to access Relevant Products/Services Kindle editions of textbooks they rent on PCs, Macs, iPads and many smartphones by downloading free Kindle reading apps. According to the online retail giant, tens of thousands of textbooks are available for the 2011 school year.

Students will be able to select the rental period that best applies to their needs: From 30 days up to 360 days. Students now have the "option to rent Kindle textbooks and only pay for the time they need -- with savings up to 80 percent off the print list price on a 30-day rental," said Amazon Vice President Dave Limp.

Text Highlights and Notes

Students can determine whether Kindle editions of the textbooks they need are available by searching Amazon's online Textbooks Store, where they can even preview portions of selected titles using Amazon's "look inside" feature. If a title is available for rental, the student merely needs to select the desired rental period and click on the "rent now" button.

For example, the Kindle edition of the textbook Operating System Concepts is priced at $70.80 but can be rented for 30 days for $29.46. Additionally, students in need of additional time will be able to extend the rental period by paying for the additional days they require.

Amazon's Whispersync technology synchronizes the reader's bookmarks as well as saves notes and highlighted text across multiple devices. What's more, the new program gives students the ability to search for keywords and phrases within any textbook.

Rent Once, Read Everywhere

Students will be able to retain their personalized notes as well as highlighted text. So even after the rental period ends, they will continue to have access to their study notes and highlighted text -- for review before taking an exam Relevant Products/Services, for example.

"Normally, when you sell your print textbook at the end of the semester, you lose all the margin notes and highlights you made as you were studying," Limp said. "We're extending our Whispersync technology so that you get to keep and access all of your notes and highlighted content in the Amazon Cloud, available anytime, anywhere."

Kindle Textbook Rental delivers a "rent once, read everywhere" experience similar to what consumers get when they purchase the Kindle edition of any book title. So students will be able to seamlessly access the textbooks they rent across all the computing Relevant Products/Services devices for which free Kindle reading apps are available.

Amazon's Kindle technology opens the door to the possibility that two or more students could form a study group and share Relevant Products/Services a single Amazon account. In theory, the participants in a study group would be able to share their insights via the notes they enter as well as the text segments they highlight.

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