Google Book Rentals?
This may be a response to Amazon.com's "Amazon Pages" program and Amazon's plans to allow purchasers of books to receive a digital copy for an additional charge.
Search company Google Inc. has approached at least one book publisher to measure interest in a program for consumers to "rent" an online copy of new books for a week.
According to this publisher, the books wouldn't be downloadable or printable. Those features may be worked out at a later time, he said. Although this publisher said that the proposed fee to end users -- 10% of each book's list price -- is too low, he said it still may represent a significant opportunity for publishers to tap the budding digital-book market.
While the exact shape of any rental approach by Google doesn't appear to be final, the current discussion with the publisher is a strong indication the Internet-search company plans to head in the digital book-renting direction. "Google Print is exploring new access models to help authors and publishers sell more books online, but we don't have anything to announce," a Google spokesman said.