Amazon offers rental service for print textbooks; Kno enters K-12 market

BACK AND FORTH: Add paper textbook rentals to the ever-growing list of services provided by Amazon. (The company also offered Kindle textbook rentals last year.) It now allows U.S. students to rent print textbooks by the semester, or 130 days, at savings of up to 70%. (This claim is pretty legit; this $154 macroeconomics tome is available for rent for $44. Chegg, whose toes Amazon are clearly stepping on, offers this same text for rent for $72. Barnes and Noble has the lowest price out of them all.) Amazon says it will split the delivery costs--students pay to have the texts shipped to them but the company picks up the return tab. Other perks include a full refund within 30 days and a 15-day extension for a fee. See press release here.

On a similar vein (and in timely fashion), Kno announced its move into the K-12 market through a partnership with Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. The company, which made its name through creating digital textbooks for higher ed, hopes to work its magic for HMH's K-12 textbooks--some of which are already available. These digitized texts can be rented for $9.99 a year.

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