It will be interesting to see which publishers and authors get on board with eBook rentals compared to library borrowing. This isn’t the only issue in the eBook market that is giving us all consternation, nor will it be the last, but it again shows that the industry is still trying to play catch up with eBooks while one aggressive player keeps moving forward. The book industry is by no means perfect but it is also not broken. But if we don’t support our public libraries through the digital transition they will become undermined and irrelevant to future generations. And if we allow a powerful retailer to rent books like videos the changes that will occur to our industry will be irreversible and I think fundamentally unsustainable for publishers, authors, retailers and most importantly readers.
Now Amazon is trying a new tact, eBook rentals. Instead of purchasing an eBook you can rent it for 30, 60, 90 or 120 days paying progressively more, but never more than buying the eBook outright. This raises some serious questions for the book industry.
Amazon has today announced a new ebook rental service called . The new service enables consumers to choose from over 600,000 books, listen to thousands of audiobooks from Audible and more for just $9.99 a month. Think of it as a music streaming package, but for books with Amazon.