Do you find ebook pricing especially onerous given reduced manufacturing and distribution costs, an inability to share purchased content, vendors yanking previously purchased content off our devices, and the number of retired DRM schemes that often take our access with it to the grave? Can’t find anything worth reading or don’t have the patience to wait for that single Overdrive public library ebook license? Well, perhaps digital rentals are a reasonable compromise that we can all get behind. And it looks like Amazon and at least one publisher are willing to give it a shot – beyond textbooks.
As you can see from the pics, Amazon is offering Theories of International Politics and Zombies as both a Kindle purchase and a rental. Their rental model is more flexible than what we see from digital video that offer a fairly standard 24-48 hour viewing window within a 30 day period. Instead, Kindle book rentals are being offered with a sliding price/duration scale. And it’ll be interesting to see if they offer upgrades to convert rentals into purchases.
I hope Amazon and, more importantly, the publishers stick with it. As it’s win-win. I’ll be a happier consumer, buying significantly more content without researching free alternatives, while the powers that be generate revenue they wouldn’t otherwise see. But maybe that’s too logical.