Textbook Publisher Offers Rental Plan
In the rapidly evolving college textbook market, one of the nation’s largest publishers, Cengage Learning, announced on Thursday that it will start renting books to students later this year, at 40 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 purchase it.
With the growing competition from online used-book sales, digital texts and new Internet textbook-rental businesses like Chegg and BookRenter, other publishers and college bookstores are also edging toward rentals.
Follett Higher Education Group, which manages more than 850 college bookstores, is starting a pilot rental program this fall at about a dozen stores, including those at the State University of New York at Buffalo, Grand Rapids Community College in Michigan, and California State University-Sacramento. The stores will offer about 20 percent of their titles for rent, charging 42.5 percent of the purchase price.