We all know that college is expensive, and outside of convincing someone to marry you (which, according to our friends at Moneyland, can save you up to $80k in tuition costs), debt-ridden students need all the financial help they can get.
Today, Amazon announced a new textbook rental program that can help students save as much as 80% off a textbook’s list price.
Here’s how it works: Students can choose a rental length from as short as 30 days to as long as a full year. If they need a textbook for longer, they can pay day by day or choose to buy the book. Once rented, the textbook can be accessed from their Mac, PC, Kindle or smartphone, and any highlights or annotations will still be available to the student after the rental expires.
Obviously, this is great news for college students. Not only does it mean lighter book bags for all, but it’s also less of a dent on a student’s pocketbook and saves them the hassle of having to resell a textbook. Plus, another benefit of using digitized books is that students will theoretically be able to use the most current versions out.
I recently finished a graduate program at NYU where I had to lug around as many as three textbooks a day (most of which are still earmarked and collecting dust under my bed). Textbooks are constantly being revised and updated, which doesn’t bode well for students looking to sell them back: By the time their $150 textbook has outlived its usefulness, a newer version is already the standard, leaving them shorted. Had I had the option to use Kindle versions that could be accessed from a laptop while taking notes in class, I definitely would’ve used them.
Hopefully as this program progresses we’ll see even more economy introduced: I’d like to see the ability to rent out individual chapters at a time (plenty of professors just assign bits and piece). And maybe soon, we’ll see digital books introduced to public schools who simply don’t have enough textbooks to go around (which could be a hybrid with of Amazon’s library program they’re currently instituting).
Still, great news for college students, especially as Kindles are only getting more reasonably priced. Read the full press release after the jump.
Students Can Now Save Up To 80% with Kindle Textbook Rental
Low rental prices and flexible rental periods of any length between 30 and 360 days
Margin notes and highlighted passages are stored in the Amazon Cloud for viewing anytime, anywhere – even after a rental expires
SEATTLE, Jul 18, 2011 (BUSINESS WIRE) —
(NASDAQ: AMZN)–Today, Amazon.com announced the launch of Kindle Textbook Rental–now students can save up to 80% off textbook list prices by renting from the Kindle Store. 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. Students can find details about the program at http://www.amazon.com/kindletextbooks.
“Students tell us that they enjoy the low prices we offer on new and used print textbooks. Now we’re excited to offer students an option to rent Kindle textbooks and only pay for the time they need–with savings up to 80% off the print list price on a 30-day rental,” said Dave Limp, vice president, Amazon Kindle.
Kindle Textbook Rental offers the ability to customize rental periods to any length between 30 and 360 days, so students only pay for the specific amount of time they need a book. Students can also easily extend any rental period in increments as small as one day or choose to purchase the book they are renting at any time.
“We’ve done a little something extra we think students will enjoy,” continued Limp. “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. 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 – even after a rental expires. If you choose to rent again or buy at a later time, your notes will be there just as you left them, perfectly Whispersynced.”
Kindle Textbooks are “Rent Once, Read Everywhere” as they can be read across the most popular devices with free Kindle Reading Apps for PC, Mac, iPad, iPod touch, iPhone, BlackBerry, Windows Phone and Android-based devices.
For more information about Kindle Textbook Rental, visit http://www.amazon.com/kindletextbooks.
Amazon.com, Inc. (NASDAQ: AMZN), a Fortune 500 company based in Seattle, opened on the World Wide Web in July 1995 and today offers Earth’s Biggest Selection. Amazon.com, Inc. seeks to be Earth’s most customer-centric company, where customers can find and discover anything they might want to buy online, and endeavors to offer its customers the lowest possible prices. Amazon.com and other sellers offer millions of unique new, refurbished and used items in categories such as Books; Movies, Music & Games; Digital Downloads; Electronics & Computers; Home & Garden; Toys, Kids & Baby; Grocery; Apparel, Shoes & Jewelry; Health & Beauty; Sports & Outdoors; and Tools, Auto & Industrial. Amazon Web Services provides Amazon’s developer customers with access to in-the-cloud infrastructure services based on Amazon’s own back-end technology platform, which developers can use to enable virtually any type of business. Kindle, Kindle 3G, Kindle with Special Offers, Kindle 3G with Special Offers and Kindle DX are the revolutionary portable readers that wirelessly download books, magazines, newspapers, blogs and personal documents to a crisp, high-resolution electronic ink display that looks and reads like real paper. Kindle 3G, Kindle 3G with Special Offers and Kindle DX utilize the same 3G wireless technology as advanced cell phones, so users never need to hunt for a Wi-Fi hotspot. Kindle is the #1 bestselling product across the millions of items sold on Amazon.
Amazon and its affiliates operate websites, including http://www.amazon.com, http://www.amazon.co.uk, http://www.amazon.de, http://www.amazon.co.jp, http://www.amazon.fr, http://www.amazon.ca, http://www.amazon.cn, and http://www.amazon.it. As used herein, “Amazon.com,” “we,” “our” and similar terms include Amazon.com, Inc., and its subsidiaries, unless the context indicates otherwise.
This announcement contains forward-looking statements within the meaning of Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933 and Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934. Actual results may differ significantly from management’s expectations. These forward-looking statements involve risks and uncertainties that include, among others, risks related to competition, management of growth, new products, services and technologies, potential fluctuations in operating results, international expansion, outcomes of legal proceedings and claims, fulfillment center optimization, seasonality, commercial agreements, acquisitions and strategic transactions, foreign exchange rates, system interruption, inventory, government regulation and taxation, payments and fraud. More information about factors that potentially could affect Amazon.com’s financial results is included in Amazon.com’s filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission, including its most recent Annual Report on Form 10-K and subsequent filings.
SOURCE: Amazon.com, Inc.