Ebooks are not exactly new, but University of Chicago Press seems to be experimenting with an interesting pricing model for some of its ebooks, including mine. You can buy the ebook for $45, the same as the retail price of the book, or you can buy a 30-day license of the ebook for only seven dollars ($7.00). If you’re the kind of person who would otherwise buy the book, read it, and then resell it on Amazon at a loss of 5 to 10 dollars, you can skip the hassle and just buy the 30-day license. Better yet, if you’re the kind of person who would buy the book, read it immediately, and put it on a shelf never to be looked at again, you can save $25 or so relative to the discounted Amazon price by just getting the ebook license. And of course, it’s easier to take an e-reader to the beach with you over July 4th weekend than to take a stack of books.
By contrast, Amazon’s Kindle edition costs over $30. I’ll be interested to see how this works, and whether it catches on.