Friday, August 14, 2009

Textbook Publisher to Rent to College Students; New York Times, 8/14/09

Tamar Lewin via New York Times; Textbook Publisher to Rent to College Students:

"In the rapidly evolving college textbook market, one of the nation’s largest textbook publishers, Cengage Learning, announced Thursday that it would start renting books to students this year, at 40 percent to 70 percent of the sale price.

Students who choose Cengage’s rental option will get immediate access to the first chapter of the book electronically, in e-book format, and will have a choice of shipping options for the printed book. When the rental term — 60, 90 or 130 days — is over, students can either return the textbook or buy it...

Besides giving students a new option, rentals give both publishers and textbook authors a way to continue earning money from their books after the first sale, something they do not get from the sale of used textbooks.

Our authors will get royalties on second and third rentals, just as they would on a first sale,” said Ronald G. Dunn, president and chief executive of Cengage, formerly Thomson Learning. “There’s a tremendous amount of activity around rentals now, but we’re the first higher-education publisher to move in this direction.”"

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