Originally Posted by peter02l
Do you realize that most people know if you wanted to "rent" a book the best place is the library.
Not really, libraries differ, some have a homeless problem, some don't carry nearly any sort of selection worth bothering with, some require traveling a great distance to access, and if you find a book you like odds are someone else has it out already or they have to order it, sometimes it's just to dam cold (or hot) to go, etc. That's the penalty for little or no cost renting.
There is a large market for e-book rentals like movie rentals, people read for enjoyment and then really have no further use for it. (if they want to keep it, then they get to apply the rental price to the e-purchase price). The vast electronic library would be nearly instantly available to anyone with a device and a net connection.
Publishers were fine getting 50% of Amazons $9 e-book prices, and the math for the $13-$15 iBookStore also netted them about $4.50 profit per e-book as well.
I see room for iBookStore e-book rentals coming in the iPad's future. Rental volume will be orders of magnitude larger, as e-book rentals is a untapped market and it's a lower price point for consumers.
With e-book rentals being half the cost of a say $14 e-book purchase price, and publishers getting their 70% (Apple getting 30%) that still nets $4.90 per book, about what the net is on the purchase price on Amazon. (thus why I feel Amazon was jammed up by publishers so quickly after the iPad announcement, they needed to adjust prices to take advantage of the more affluent Apple market)
Publishers see e-books sales and rentals as a extra avenue of revenue with a product they already have invested in with traditional paper books, merely transferring the existing prepared electronic files over to Apple/Amazon is all that's needed.
However if e-books were to seriously erode the traditional paper book model, some of those traditional costs would have to be applied to e-books and the models of renting and buying reworked. I doubt that will happen anytime soon, as the barrier to entry for e-books with the iPad is a whopping $499, plus internet connection fees and one can't resell the book to recoup.
Apple is leveraging their iPad in the MacBook space to gain the fastest adoption possible, thus e-book rentals would surely be coming, just like movie rentals in iTunes.
E-book rentals also work in favor of publishers because it allows them more viewing and profit control. One reads the book and it's yanked off the device. Right now with traditional paper books, one copy could be read by hundreds of people.
My guess is right now Amazon has to work their site and create a rental model, we all know Amazon can yank e-books off Kindles, so it shouldn't be too much of a issue for them.