Google Play Store to Rent and Sell Textbooks

In Tech Digest by Hannah Johnson

By Hannah Johnson

Google Android Nexus 7At a press event on Wednesday in San Francisco, Google announced a new textbook section of its Play store, along with two new gadgets (the Nexus 7 tablet and the Chromecast dongle). According to TechCrunch, Google Play store customers will be able to purchase or rent a selection of textbooks from the top five education publishers in the US: Cengage Learning, Macmillan Higher Education, McGraw-Hill, Pearson and Wiley.

PC Magazine reports that users will have access to their textbooks via web, Android and iOS platforms. Features like bookmarks and highlighting will sync across multiple devices, and there will also be a “night mode” for studying in the dark. The service will launch in early August, in time for students to buy their materials for the coming school semester. Though no prices have been announced, Ellie Powers, product manager for Google Play, did say that students will save up to 80% on retail textbook prices.

This announcement comes just months after Google announced Google Play for Education, a curated selection of apps for K-12 students which will launch this fall. The apps will be organized by subject and grade level, making it easier for teachers to identify apps for the classroom.

About the Author

Hannah Johnson


Hannah Johnson is the publisher of international book industry magazine Publishing Perspectives, which provides daily information and news about book markets around the world. In addition to building partnerships with international cultural and trade organizations, she works with the Frankfurt Book Fair to organize and support a number of its overseas initiatives. Hannah has also worked as the managing editor for an online media company, The Hooch Life, focused on craft distillers and cocktail experts. Prior to that, she worked as a project manager for the Frankfurt Book Fair’s New York office, managing various business and marketing activities.