Earful of Books Inc., the audiobook-only retailer headquartered in Austin, Tex., is moving beyond its base of traditional outlets and is offering listeners the opportunity to purchase or rent audiobook titles through the company's Web site, www.earful.com. The site features more than 1,000 titles from a variety of audio publishers in categories that include fiction, nonfiction and children's. Renters may select a seven-, 14- or 30-day rental period and will receive a postage-paid return envelope for mailing titles back to Earful.

"One of the main reasons we wanted to do this is that our customer base is much more diverse than the areas we have stores in," said J.J. Baskin, Earful's executive v-p. "In many areas it's harder for us to justify putting in a bricks-and-mortar store," he continued. "The Internet allows us to keep things simple and provide great products and a seamless customer experience for more people."

A typical rental title is available for seven days for $5.99, 14 days for $7.99 and 30 days for $11.99. A $1 late fee is charged each day the item is overdue. The retail stores also offer a one- and three-day rental option not available online.