October 16, 2017

Google Directs Users to Library Ebooks from OverDrive

OverDrive is enabling Google to display library ebooks prominently in open web search results. Announced in a tweet last month by Google, and reported by media outlets including Slate, Fortune.com, and TheVerge, the new feature displays a “Borrow ebook” option highlighting the searched for title and linking to libraries within a user’s geolocated range.

OverDrive’s Libby App to Include Remote Library Card Signup

OverDrive will soon launch a feature for its new Libby ebook and audiobook app that will enable new patrons to sign up for a library card using their smartphone or tablet, confirming residency requirements without requiring a visit to a library branch.

OverDrive to Introduce Cost Per Circ Option

OverDrive announced last week that Simon & Schuster Audio, Baker Publishing, and Lerner Publishing will be making ebooks and audiobooks available for licensing on the OverDrive platform via a cost-per-circ (CPC) model later this year.

Controversy Continues as Proposed IDPF/W3C Merger Comes to a Vote

The International Digital Publishing Forum (IDPF), the trade and standards organization responsible for the EPUB standard for ebooks, on October 14 asked members to begin voting on a proposed merger with the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C), the international organization that oversees standards for the web. Voting is currently scheduled to continue through November 4, but on October 19, an online petition was launched demanding that the voting stop.

Kobo Launches E-reader Integrated with OverDrive

Kobo on September 30 will launch the Aura ONE, a dedicated e-reader that promises seamless searching and one-click downloading of library ebooks via OverDrive. Using a review unit provided by Kobo and a personal New York Public Library (NYPL) account, LJ explored the process.

Sno-Isle, OverDrive Test Demand-Driven Ebook Acquisition

At the request of Sno-Isle Libraries, WA, OverDrive has developed a demand-driven acquisition (DDA) model for popular ebooks, enabling patrons to discover thousands of titles for which the library has not yet purchased a license. When a user checks out one of these titles, Sno-Isle is invoiced, and the ebook is added to the library’s collection in a transaction that appears seamless to the patron.

OverDrive’s Potash and Penguin Random House’s Applebaum Honored by UJA-Federation

At a high energy midtown New York gala, the UJA-Federation of New York honored Steve Potash, president and CEO of leading library ebook distributor OverDrive, Inc., and Stuart S. Applebaum, emeritus executive vice president of Corporate Communications at Penguin Random House. UJA’s annual Publishing Division Dinner, held May 24, marked the first time the organization has acknowledged someone entirely dedicated to digital content with its celebration of Potash’s contributions.

OverDrive Working on PDF Conversion, Faster Cloud-based Platform

OverDrive is working on a project that could ultimately enable the company to convert PDFs and other file formats into the industry-standard EPUB format for ebooks, without significant loss of formatting and functionality, CEO Steve Potash said during his “Crystal Ball” presentation, which concluded the company’s biennial Digipalooza user group conference in Cleveland, OH earlier this month.

Ebook Vendors Anticipate Big Five Licensing Terms Becoming More Flexible

After years of expressing concern about the potential impact that library lending might have on consumer sales, major publishers have good cause to take another look at the library market for ebooks, according to executives from library ebook distributors OverDrive, 3M, and Baker & Taylor. With consumer sales growth slowing, bolstering institutional sales will likely become more of a priority for major publishers. OverDrive CEO Steve Potash noted that publishers, like all for-profit companies, are always looking for growth, and “there’s still a lot a growth in institutions, and there [are] significant opportunities for growth in education…. If retail is flattening, you have to experiment.”

Kobo Parent Acquires OverDrive

Leading library ebook distributor OverDrive was sold to Rakuten on March 19 for $410 million cash, more than 16 times OverDrive’s annual earnings of $25 million. The purchase from private equity firm Insight Venture Partners, OverDrive’s majority owner since 2010, is scheduled to close in April. OverDrive will become a subsidiary of Rakuten USA, the U.S. arm of Japanese e-commerce company Rakuten. CEO Steve Potash will continue to lead OverDrive, and its headquarters will remain in Cleveland, OH.