Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Renting a Book

“Today convenience is the success factor of just about every type of product and service that is showing steady growth.” –Charles G. Mortimer

For the movie buffs, there’s NetFlix. You select a movie, it’s delivered to your door, and you return it when you’re finished. Now someone has taken that same concept and applied it for book lovers. It’s called BookSwim. The books are shipped to your home in recycled packaging and you keep them as long as you wish.

BookSwim cannot be good news for bookstores or online booksellers. I’m torn as to whether this service will help or hurt authors. On the one hand, there’s the added exposure. On the other, like a library, the book is borrowed—not purchased, although there is that option.

Because I couldn’t find The Ride listed, I assume the selection is not as great as on However, they did have many titles from which to choose, including textbooks.

I haven’t signed up because I’m a bookstore fan. I love browsing. I also enjoy owning the books I read. But, I do think it is a very clever idea and offers a valuable service to readers, especially for anyone who doesn’t live near a library or bookstore.

Would you use a service like BookSwim?

Thanks for stopping by.
Tags: NetFlix, BookSwim, The Ride, Charles Mortimer, Amazon


L. Diane Wolfe said...

Not sure!

Always wondered how royalties were handled for video stores & the like who rent movies. Maybe there's none!

I would think that like a library though, after time a book would need to be replaced as it became worn, so that's a plus.

BTW - we love NetFix!

L. Diane Wolfe

Helen Ginger said...

I don't know. Guess I'd want to know more about how it works and what the consequences are for the authors. Seems like it would work best for people who don't have a library close, although the sharing of textbooks might be good for college students - those things are mighty expensive. There's still the authors to consider, though.


Sandy Lender said...

Hi there, Jane.
You know, our author friend Michelle Weston got hooked on J.K. Rowling because of a loaned book. So Ms. Rowling made money off Michelle to the tune of SEVERAL book sales because of one book that was loaned to Michelle. That's just one example, but I look at the library and loaning option as good exposure for an author. I mean, if someone gets a pirated copy of my book, Choices Meant for Gods, and loves it, well, they're likely to grab up the rest of the series (especially because it ends on that cliff hanger that everyone scolds me about).

I think borrowing books is a good way to find new authors.

And the author does get a royalty off one sold book. When Choices Meant for Gods came out, I was thrilled that a friend of mine who managed a library in town bought a copy and put it on the shelf. With any luck, folks browsing his branch will want to find more titles by Sandy Lender. With more luck, the second novel in the series will be out soon! Keeping my fingers crossed!

Karen Walker said...

Hi Jane,
Ooh, not sure how I feel. I also love browsing in bookstores and owning the books I read. But since my house is running out of room, perhaps Bookswim is a good idea. My friends and I exchange books all the time--this is just expanding on that idea.

Karen Walker

Anonymous said...

I already "rent" books. Someone should've told BookSwim that it's called a "library."

I'll take supporting my community library (that I can walk to) over a company. With the interlibrary loans, I can get just about any book I want. If I lived someplace where the library was far away, though, I might consider BookSwim.

Cheryl said...

I have used a similar site called BooksFree, though it wasn't free. They had the similar $9.95 per month plan. The only difference is NetFlix gets the movies to you much quicker.

I use the library often. I'll read the book, and if I really enjoy it, I will buy it and read it again later. I do love bookstores!

Galen Kindley said...

Yes, I think I would. I use the library, and that works out fine. Additionally, it gives me a chance to look the book over really well. If I like it that much, hey, I'll buy the darn thing. So, for me, it would work. Now, to find time to just read.


Anonymous said...

Need more info before I'd sign up. Love Netflix, though. I'm sure the movie industry gets paid somehow thru movie rentals. If that holds true for this service, then I'd endorse and use it.

Jane Kennedy Sutton said...

Diane and Marvin, I tried looking up the royalty question - from what I found Blockbuster pays a royalty each time the movie is rented, however, other video stores pay only when the movie is originally purchased. Evidently, Blockbuster was able to pay less for each movie and had a guarantee that the movie wouldn’t be available for public sale for a certain period of time.

N A Sharpe said...

It's an interesting concept - I've noticed some of the Cracker Barrell Restaurants have started doing that with audio books for travelers - kind of like a rental library between the chains pick up an audio book to listen to on the way and return it to another when you finish.

NA Sharpe

Jane's Ride - Novelist Jane Kennedy Sutton's journey through the ups and downs of the writing, publishing and marketing world