What happens when you take a world-class public library system, mix in hundreds of indie authors, power up with Smashwords, and use OverDrive to top it all off? You get Multnomah County Library’s Library Writers Project.
As I have researched the issues and realities of indie authors in libraries, I have found that the intersection of indies and libraries is potentially a much nicer place than I had originally thought. The technology and distribution problems have been solved, and the solutions comes from reliable vendors. No doubt there will be new developments, but existing technology and distribution systems are more than adequate to empower libraries to add indie ebooks to their collections and to promote them to their patrons.
Continue reading Multnomah County Library is setting a powerful example with the Library Writers Project
Has one of your library patrons ever asked why your library had a Kindle bestseller title in print but not as an ebook? Maybe someone who preferred reading e rather than p? Or have you ever wondered the same thing, yourself, when you found an ebook you wanted to read but then found that your collection development people had missed it, or that they had trouble adding it to your collection?
In an earlier article in this column on indies in libraries we looked at indie authors whose ebooks have become bestsellers and discussed why libraries would want to add these to their collections. To summarize what we found, while libraries focus their acquisitions efforts on books from the Big Five, there is a parallel universe of publishing that generates bestsellers and sells them to the public. Some of these bestsellers get into library collections, but not all. The issue for libraries is acquiring as many of these bestsellers as possible to minimize their loss of patrons to Amazon and other ebook services that provide instant access to the titles.
These books are not the old-fashioned self-published books with bad covers and typographical errors that many library and publishing professionals still think of when thinking of independent authors and independent publishing; rather, these are professionally written, edited and produced books (mostly genre fiction) that have been published by highly skilled writers who take advantage of the new realities of publishing. They purchase the editorial and design services of publishing professionals through marketplaces, such as Reedsy, where they can contract for services from editors and others who are current or former employees of the Big Five. They publish and distribute their books on platforms, such as Amazon, that are built to drive sales for them. And they market their books through book blogs, store appearances, and direct email services, such as BookBub.
In this article, we will look at the practical aspects of adding indie ebooks to a library collection, how indie authors distribute their ebooks, and the channels that libraries can use to add these books to their collections. Continue reading What’s the best way to get indies into libraries?
Pronoun, a self-publishing platform for easy ebook design, distribution, and marketing, now includes library distribution.
NEW YORK — June 7, 2017 — Pronoun today announced the addition of library distributors OverDrive and Bibliotheca to its retail distribution, which includes Amazon Kindle, Kobo, Apple iBooks, Barnes & Noble Nook, and Google Play.
Authors are now able to add OverDrive and Bibliotheca as distributors when publishing on Pronoun, adding their ebook to catalogs from which over 20,000 libraries can purchase for circulation.
Library distribution expands Pronoun’s already easy-to-use self-publishing platform including free ebook conversion, Author Pages, book tracking, data-powered marketing tools, and one-stop distribution across all major ebook retailers. Authors can set their own price for books distributed in library catalogs and can earn 70% royalties. Continue reading Self-publishing platform Pronoun adds Overdrive and Bibliotheca, expanding distribution to libraries for indie authors
Later in 2017, libraries and schools working with OverDrive will see a new option for purchasing eBooks and audiobooks: Cost-per-Circulation (CPC). As stated by OverDrive: “This addition enables any school or library to provide a patron-driven acquisition (PDA) model to select titles from [the OverDrive] catalog. CPC joins other PDA models in OverDrive’s catalog including Recommend to Library and Demand-Driven Acquisition. Based on a popular model in academic markets, OverDrive has offered Cost-per-Circ for some of its Streaming Video suppliers since 2013. Libraries and schools that select content available under the CPC model will only incur a charge when a reader borrows a title.”
Simon & Schuster Audio, Baker Publishing and Lerner Publishing are among the first to provide libraries and schools additional options via OverDrive.
This shows signs of maturity on the part of the publishers participating, and is a step in the right direction for OverDrive. CPC model is in a way a stepping stone to the model that holds a lot of promise for public libraries: pay-as-they-read (the model that removes the idea of borrowing/lending from the equation entirely and empowers libraries to simply enable as much reading/listening as possible).
Read more on OverDrive’s blog.
This is the third in a series of articles on ebook models in K-12 or school libraries. The first article was about why school librarians would want to know about anything as abstract as an ebook business model (hint: knowing the basic models will help you choose the best products to meet your library’s goals). The second article examined the four basic models and boiled them down to their simplest levels. One treats ebooks like printed books. One treats ebooks like journal articles. One treats ebooks like books in a bookstore. One treats ebooks like shared resources. Today’s article will show how to use these basic concepts to select the best kinds of ebook products for your library.
Some issues to keep in mind
Before going further, let’s look at some of the issues that come with ebooks in school libraries. We want to have these in mind as we consider how to create a combination of products with different ebook business models. These issues involve three areas: the supplier’s platform and business model, assuring that the ebooks are used to support the educational goals of the school, and bridging the digital divide.
To begin with the platform and business model issues, we need to understand what an ebook platform is, and why it is important. We already know what a business model is and how the four kinds of business models affect school libraries. The platform is the specific technology that an ebook supplier uses to provide ebooks. It includes a web-based interface for student use. It may include apps that make the books readable on mobile devices. It will have an administrative interface or dashboard for you to use so you can control loan periods, track usage, etc. It may also have a teacher interface so that teachers can assign reading to students, and then monitor their progress. If you need to select and purchase individual ebooks before your students can read them, it will also include a book ordering function. In other words, the platform supports everything you, your students and your teachers do with ebooks. Without the platform, you cannot use the ebooks. Continue reading Choosing Ebook Platforms for K-12 Libraries
This Thursday heralds opening day for the 8th season of AudiobookSYNC Audiobooks for Teens. Here’s an opportunity to acquire 32 audiobooks for free and to keep for personal use (not for library collections). All comers are granted each week’s pair of free audiobooks, while the program selections target middle and high school aged teens. Last year, the program provided more than 170,000 free audiobook downloads of 30 titles.
What it is: AudiobookSYNC aims to highlight listening as a means to reading both high teen-interest titles and titles either assigned for summer reading or likely to require student attention for curriculum support. The audiobook review magazine AudioFile, hosts the annual program, uses the OverDrive app and computer software for distribution, and acquires its titles through donations from more than a dozen audiobook publishers, including the big guys like Penguin Random House and Recorded Books, and smaller houses like L.A. Theatre Works, Ideal Audiobooks, and Naxos AudioBooks. Continue reading Show a teen how to build a summer listening library
OverDrive has just announced its plans to support public libraries in their efforts to cultivate more reading (and take advantage of the flexibility of the digital format) through Digital Book Clubs. Participating institutions include public libraries in cities like New York and London, among others.
According to recent numbers (from BookBrowse), 22 percent of readers belong to at least one digital Book Club with friends and family. Efforts by libraries and companies that support libraries to cultivate reading by taking advantage of all that the digital format has to offer are commendable on every level. They are, of course, especially impressive when they involve places and institutions other than the world’s most affluent cities and countries. If the below press release is any indication, our industry is well on its way to reaching (and creating) more readers regardless of their zip code. Continue reading Digital Book Clubs — the next chapter in the evolution of Book Clubs
COLUMBUS, Ohio, Nov. 2, 2015 — Follett continues to expand its market-leading Destiny solution to be an open agnostic discovery tool for print and digital content that supports PreK-12 classroom and curriculum needs. Another major step in that direction was announced today when Follett unveiled new product integrations with OverDrive and Mackin Educational Resources.
The announcement coincides with the American Association of School Librarians (AASL) National Conference, which starts Thursday (Nov. 5) in Columbus, Ohio. Continue reading Follett announces key product integrations with OverDrive, Mackin
From the OverDrive blog:
OverDrive conducted an end user survey from June 26-July 15, 2015. Administered via library websites, the survey collected input from 16,756 respondents. Their full report examines the positive effect the shift to digital content has had on the role of libraries in their communities by helping attract new readers, serve existing patrons better and reach beyond their physical walls.
There is a nice infographic on the original OverDrive blog post.
Click here to see the full report and survey.
CLEVELAND, OH — March 19, 2015 OverDrive, Inc., the leading eBook, audiobook and streaming video platform for libraries and schools, today announced it entered into an agreement to be acquired by Rakuten Inc., one of the world’s largest Internet services companies. Insight Venture Partners has been the majority shareholder of OverDrive since 2010. OverDrive (www.overdrive.com) will operate as a subsidiary of Rakuten USA and will work closely with other Rakuten companies.
(410 million news listed at DBW)
Rakuten USA, headquartered in Boston, is the United States operating division of Rakuten. Rakuten companies provide a variety of consumer and business-focused services including eReading (Kobo), e-commerce (Rakuten.com, formerly buy.com, and Ebates), instant messaging (Viber), and others in the US, Canada and around the world. Since 2012, Rakuten (http://global.rakuten.com) has been ranked among the world’s “Top 20 Most Innovative Companies” in Forbes magazine’s annual list. Continue reading Rakuten to acquire OverDrive for 410 million
CLEVELANDJanuary 8, 2015Capitalizing on the latest advances in eBook technology and popular catalog availability, public libraries saw digital checkouts rise again to record levels in 2014. OverDrive (www.overdrive.com), the leading eBook and audiobook platform for libraries and schools, announced today that circulation of eBooks, audiobooks and other digital media increased 33% in 2014 to 137 million checkouts, while web traffic and discoverability similarly increased, especially on mobile devices.
Continue reading Library eBook use up 33% in 2014 through OverDrive
From the OverDrive blog:
We’re excited to announce that 2014’s “1 Million Checkout Club” includes 10 public library systems, surpassing the six lirbaries that accomplished this feat in 2013! Checkouts include all borrowed digital items including eBooks, audiobooks, music, streaming video and periodicals from the library’s OverDrive-powered collection and each of the libraries experienced significant year-over-year growth from 2013.
The following libraries have joined the 2014 Million Digital Checkouts Club:
2 Million or more digital checkouts
Continue reading OverDrive announces 10 public library systems in the “1 Million Checkout Club”
From the OverDrive blog:
OverDrive, the leading platform for eBooks, audiobooks and streaming video to libraries and schools, announced today that more than 200 publishers have joined the company’s network in 2014, 64 of which represent partners outside of North America. Now offering content in 40 languages in more than 50 countries, OverDrive continues to grow its global footprint and expand and diversify its catalog of more than 2.5 million in-copyright digital titles. Continue reading OverDrive adds more than 200 new publishers to global eBook catalog for schools and libraries
From the OverDrive blog:
NOOK Media, a subsidiary of Barnes & Noble, Inc. (NYSE: BKS), and OverDrive, the leading eBook platform for libraries, today announced a new partnership to enable public libraries to provide readers with access to hundreds of the most popular digital magazines and newspapers from the NOOK Newsstand®. Utilizing OverDrive platforms integrated with library catalogs, library patrons in the U.S. and U.K. will be able to discover, access and read a huge selection of NOOK Newsstand titles on their NOOK tablet device and on tablets, smartphones and PCs via the suite of Free NOOK Reading Appsâ„¢. The new service is expected to roll out to customers in the coming months. Continue reading Nook and OverDrive partner to provide digital magazines and newspapers to libraries
Dear Library Partner,
We’re pleased to announce that a new version of the OverDrive app for Android, iOS (iPhone/iPad/iPod touch), and Windows 8 is here!
This update features the long-awaited elimination of the Adobe Authorization step from the app installation processone of your most frequently requested enhancements! We expect this change will significantly reduce library support questions and provide excellent benefits to users like syncing reading progress across multiple devices and saving libraries and common searches. Continue reading New OverDrive app eliminates Adobe authorization step
OverDrive’s browser-based OverDrive Readâ„¢ allows seamless reading on any device with a modern web browser and now optimizes the reading experience on desktop and mobile devices for a variety of graphic children’s titles, comics, and other illustrated titles as beautifully as the author and publisher prepared for print. This EPUB3 fixed-layout breakthrough gives OverDrive partners unprecedented access to thousands of never-before-available eBooks, including highly-illustrated series of DK titles such as Ancient Rome and Star Wars Jedi Battles, as well as iconic and popular children’s titles like Corduroy and Armadilly Chili from publishers such as Penguin and Albert Whitman & Company. Continue reading EPUB3 fixed layout eBooks live for public libraries via OverDrive
OverDrive announced today that eBooks from more than 20,000 schools and libraries in its U.S. network are available to be used with Amazon’s Kindle FreeTime. OverDrive is the only supplier of eBooks to schools and libraries with support for Kindle devices. This enables kids and parents to access thousands of Kindle format eBooks from the library and read them within the FreeTime feature using the same parental controls and educational goal-setting that FreeTime offers for other activities. Continue reading OverDrive ebooks now available with Kindle FreeTime
Received this email from OverDrive. Not surprising, the BlackBerry app isn’t seeing a lot of traffic.
Dear Library Partner,
Effective April 10, 2014, the OverDrive Media Console (OMC) mobile app for BlackBerry will no longer be available to download on BlackBerry, BlackBerry 10, and Playbook devices. Continue reading OverDrive sunsets Media Console app for BlackBerry
CLEVELANDMarch 28, 2014OverDrive announced today that more than 17,000 Penguin Group (USA) eBooks are now available for school digital libraries in the United States. Educators now have access to Penguin Group’s full catalog of bestselling and classic titles, previously offered only to public libraries. Continue reading 17,000 Penguin ebooks available to U.S. school libraries via OverDrive
CLEVELANDMarch 3, 2014OverDrive announced today that it has acquired TeachersNotebook.com, a leading online marketplace for teacher-created curriculum materials for K-12 education. TeachersNotebook.com enables teachers to not only browse free and low-cost instructional resources, but also to create their own “shop” where others may purchase their original materials. The website operates with a “teachers helping teachers” mentality of engaging and educating students of all ages and optimizing the classroom experience.
Continue reading OverDrive acquires TeachersNotebook.com