The Future of the Book

Google book rental

By posted at 9:48 am on November 14, 2005 0

As the saga surrounding digitizing books gets ever more convoluted, the Wall Street Journal is now reporting that Google is interested in offering book rentals. Apparently, Google has approached publishers about offering to rent digital versions of books for a week at 10% of the cover price. According to a article (the WSJ article is subscribers only), an unidentified publisher said that 10% was too low. It sounds like an odd idea to me. I can’t imagine paying to rent a book, when I could “rent” it for free from the library, but I’m also somewhat astonished that a publisher would say that 10% of the cover price is too cheap. Google would be able to rent out an infinite number of each title, and people – if they are so inclined – would be paying for something that they can get for free. The upside here seems huge for the publishers.


See Also: Amazon’s digital book initiative: paying by the page and The publishers’ big blunder

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