This week team OverDrive will be at BookExpo America (BEA) offering hands on demonstrations of OverDrive Media Station at booth #1438. In addition to in-library use, OverDrive Media Station is designed to merchandise and sell eBooks in retail stores. OverDrive Media Station is a digital touchscreen eBook station that can be customized with a retailer’s brand for in-store engagement with readers. It displays top-selling titles and provides access to one million eBook and MP3 audiobook titles in every genre.
“Publishers and authors are very excited to support retail booksellers to supplement their print book sales by enabling them to sell eBooks to customers in their stores,” said Erica Lazzaro, Director of Publisher Relations at OverDrive. “It’s one more way to broaden digital content discovery and bring publishers and retailers closer together, which ultimately creates a richer experience for readers.”
OverDrive Media Station will provide an affordable option for independent and large brick-and-mortar booksellers to offer one million eBook and audiobook titles for direct sale to customers and is ideal for discovery and sampling. Using wall-mounted or free-standing touchscreen stations, customers will have the ability to browse and instantly sample eBooks and audiobooks compatible with hundreds of popular devices including tablets and smartphones. The ability for readers to instantly sample the first chapters from nearly one million titles provides the same previewing experience that hardcopy books do.
In addition to previewing its new eBook station at BEA, OverDrive will focus on how publishers and retailers can create a branded reading experience, such as PulseIt.com, Simon & Schuster’s branded teen community, as well as early results of the worldwide Big Library Read event that began May 15 and concludes June 1. The first event of its kind, the Big Library Read invites millions of library patrons around the world to simultaneously access and read The Four Corners of the Sky, by Michael Malone. More than 7,500 libraries around the world are participating in the Big Library Read, which was organized to demonstrate the importance of libraries as a discovery channel.
For more information about OverDrive Media Station use for retail stores, contact email@example.com.
Adam Sockel is a Marketing Communications Specialist at OverDrive
In September, we completed rollout of a major milestone for our publishing partners: instant samples with OverDrive Read. The vast majority of EPUB titles available in the OverDrive catalog can now be sampled at thousands of library websites with the click of a button. These samples are a discovery tool for library browsers; readers can now access samples instantly from any device with a modern web browser.
For our publishing partners, instant samples in OverDrive Read offer highly qualified opportunities to engage readers with title and author brands. OverDrive Read samples are flexible—able to be read on modern devices of any size, embedded into webpages, and surrounded by dynamic content. Each book sample is delivered as a persistent URL, which can be shared just like any website.
OverDrive Read allows you to reach your readers on every device with targeted recommendations for what to read next. At the end of each sample, OverDrive Read is capable of presenting the reader with options to purchase the title, view similar titles, or engage more deeply with a title and/or author on websites and social media. Expect to hear more on this exciting feature in the coming months.
Later this year we will be making full titles available through OverDrive Read, allowing readers with permissions to instantly enjoy an entire book. As we approach the full release, we will share more details about the ways in which OverDrive Read can help you connect readers with the books and authors they love. Stay tuned.
We’re happy to announce that the OverDrive Developer Portal is now open and accepting applications from interested developers. Our initial set of APIs gives third-party applications the ability to browse OverDrive digital media collections, search for titles, display detailed metadata for a given title, and determine the availability of a title within a given library collection. We’re excited to see the powerful new discovery tools our library, retail, and publishing partners develop to extend their digital catalogs to more readers around the globe.
We hope you’ll take a moment to browse around the OverDrive Development Portal and read our documentation. We’ve included helpful guides to get you started, examples of real-world applications for OverDrive APIs, and an overview of the design and security standards that shaped our internal development process.
We will review Developer Portal applications on a weekly basis. Approval will be based on the applicant having an existing customer relationship with OverDrive, or the applicant applying as a third-party developer agent for an OverDrive customer. For a third party (non-OverDrive customer) to be approved, the application must disclose the nature of the project and identify the specific OverDrive account(s) for which it will utilize the OverDrive APIs. All applications will be reviewed to confirm that they are within the scope and permitted uses for OverDrive APIs. Prior to gaining access to OverDrive APIs, all applicants will be required to accept the OverDrive API Terms and Conditions.
If you have further questions about OverDrive APIs or the approval process, please contact us through the OverDrive Development Portal.
Jeff Morgan is a Marketing Communications Specialist at OverDrive.
See Book, Read Book. For the past several weeks that’s been the mantra at OverDrive. It’s a vision of simplicity—an idea that drove us to develop easier ways to get more readers in front of the books they love to read and want to buy. Later this year, we’ll be delivering two new services that will extend publisher catalogs to more readers on a wide range of devices: OverDrive Read and streaming audiobooks.
OverDrive Read is our browser-based eBook reading experience. It’s built using HTML5, which offers flexibility in both use and implementation. For publishers and retailers, OverDrive Read is a brandable platform. We can build custom menus, embed OverDrive Read in branded web pages, and deliver customized social features.
OverDrive Read also allows booksellers, authors, and publishers to embed eBook samples in any page on the web. From those samples, readers can purchase full access to the title from various independent, local and national booksellers. OverDrive Read also features comprehensive social integration, extending your catalogs to the worldwide community of readers.
As an OverDrive publishing partner, your EPUB content is already compatible with OverDrive Read. If you have questions, please contact our Publisher Partner Services team.
As an OverDrive retail partner, be sure to check back soon or get in touch with the Retail Partner Services team. We will have more information about the ways OverDrive Read can support your retail services in the near future.
As part of our upcoming Next Generation Digital Library Platform, we announced last month that we would be introducing audiobook streaming as part of our mobile application, OverDrive Media Console. This exciting development will give us the opportunity to offer WMA audiobook titles across a wider range of devices.
Streaming audiobooks also provide another avenue to increase discovery. We will be integrating the streaming service into our upcoming OverDrive Media Station, giving library patrons the opportunity to sample audiobooks within the library. OverDrive Media Station features our powerful recommendation engine, displaying related titles based on a reader’s search results.
We will provide more information about our streaming audiobook service as we get closer to launch. If you’re interested in extending the reach of your audiobook catalog, contact our Publisher Partner Services team.
Just a few weeks ago, team OverDrive was exhibiting at the Javitz Center amidst the hustle and bustle of Book Expo America. Between participating in IDPF’s Digital Book 2012 and getting our books signed by Michael Ian Black, we were also sitting down with our publishing partners.
We were happy to hear success stories from Baker Publishing Group, which publishes a wide range of Christian fiction and nonfiction for evangelical readers. We took some time post-BEA to talk with Nathan Henrion, the company’s national sales manager, about Baker Publishing Group’s digital content offering and its growth in the library space.
OverDrive: How long have you been working with OverDrive, and what drove your initial transition into the digital marketplace?
Baker Publishing Group: Baker Publishing Group began working with Overdrive in April of 2010. We had made a start in the digital marketplace in early 2009, but it took us about a year to get our ebook inventory built and our conversion system in place.
OD: Have you been surprised by increased sales in a particular section of your catalog? For example, are mid and backlist titles selling more than you had anticipated? Is there a particular genre that is doing exceptionally well?
BPG: The most surprising aspect of the digital marketplace (and this is thinking back to the mindset of 2010) is the uptick in backlist sales. “Backlist” and “Frontlist” are industry terms, and are not consumer terms. As long as the content is relevant, and it fulfills a reader’s interest at the time they are looking for it, then an old title will perform just as well, if not better, than a new release. Now, obviously certain titles and genres age quicker than others as far as reader interest is concerned, but for us, many of our most successful titles in digital sales are those that released more than 5 years ago.
One of the interesting facts about working with OverDrive in particular is that in the past 12 months Overdrive has booked sales on 74% of the titles making up our digital trade catalog. This compares to 49% of our print catalog having library sales over the same time period.
Another great surprise has been the increase in international sales. We are getting our authors’ content into more international libraries than ever before. The hurdles for a small to mid -size publisher to execute these placements are very high in the print environment. Not so with digital. While this is no longer a revelation, I don’t believe we were expecting it back at the beginning.
OD: What factors influenced the decision to work with the library market?
BPG: Baker Publishing Group has always had a robust presence in the library market for print, so moving to participation with the digital side of the channel was just a natural step. We view it as a lateral move, and not a completely different paradigm. With publishers there is much contention on that point, but it is how we choose to see the landscape.
OD: How have sales and promotions through OverDrive affected your digital strategy?
BPG: Working with OverDrive has opened up more promotional opportunities directed to the library market. As we do not sell direct to libraries, we rely on the distributors taking promotions to market. OverDrive has offered us creative access to this process and has worked with us to offer libraries promotional opportunities that really are unparalleled in the print environment.
To learn more about how OverDrive can help increase sales of your digital content, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Earlier this month, Nokia began the roll-out of Nokia Reading, an eReading app and service for Nokia’s Lumia 900, 800, 710, and 610 Windows Phone devices. Nokia Reading will offer popular eBooks in local languages to readers in established and emerging eBook markets. OverDrive’s global reach and extensive catalog made us a natural partner for the fulfillment of Nokia Reading titles as the service expands from the UK and Russia to Spain, Germany, Italy, France and beyond.
By offering local language titles, Nokia hopes to drive and develop interest in eReading in places where eBooks may not yet be popular or widely available. Readers that use Nokia Reading will also have access to today’s bestselling titles in English, including international hits like “The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo” and thousands of classic titles.
For Nokia, the development of the Reading app was about capturing the way readers engage with books. As Nokia Reading lead designer Tim Geoghegan said on the Nokia Conversations blog, “We realised early on that people were more likely to ‘snack’ on a phone-based book. They’ll most likely use it for shorter periods of time: while they’re on the bus or waiting for their kids to come out of school, for example. But it should be an immersive reading experience, nonetheless.”
For OverDrive, supporting that immersive experience means seamless delivery of the world’s best content through Nokia Reading. Our experience delivering content to every corner of the globe provided the backbone necessary to support a company of Nokia’s scale.
We’re excited to support the eBook market with Nokia, but we don’t stop at eBooks. OverDrive currently handles fulfillment of all forms of digital content, including digital audiobooks, video and music to libraries, schools and booksellers in 20 countries and 52 languages. If you’re looking to find a supply channel for digital content, we want to hear from you. Contact email@example.com for more information.
Incoming college freshman are often given their first homework assignment over the summer (gasp!) before the fall semester begins. Taking a page from the City Reads programs, many colleges are selecting a book that all incoming freshman students are “required” to readin preparation for first year orientation. The books selected typically serve as a jumping off point for a discussion on social, gender, race or other meaty issues.
Many publishers have entire divisions and department focused on supporting these programs. Random House, for example, has its Freshman Year Reading program and supporting materials. There are also educational organizations promulgating these programs and the addition of a digital component, including The National Resource Center for First-Year Experience and Students in Transition at the University of South Carolina and the National Orientation Directors Association.
Some universities subsidize the cost of the selected title and send out physical copies to students, while others provide the book at a discounted rate. Many colleges and universities are interested in offering eBook and/or digital audiobook versions of the selected title to supplement the physical book offerings. OverDrive can help!
Last summer, OverDrive worked with Purdue University to support its Common Reading Program by delivering the Random House title “The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks” in eBook formats.
OverDrive hosted a custom branded microsite where first-year students were able to enter a redemption code distributed by Purdue University. Students were then presented with a link to download their copy of “The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks” in eBook format. OverDrive provided FAQs and other best practices documentation for inclusion on the microsite.
We encourage publishers, colleges and universities to contact OverDrive for more information about adding digital content to First Year Reading Programs around the country. Email OverDrive’s Publisher Partner Services team to get started.
This guest post was written by Josh Gertz, the VP of Marketing and Content Licensing for Hip Digital Media. Previously, Josh pioneered digital promotions as SVP at Neurotic Media and co-founded XACT Radio, an Internet radio network partnered with virtually every major broadcasting group. When not working, you can usually find him in the kitchen or at a poker table. Follow him on Twitter @joshgertz and @hipdigitalmedia.
I am constantly amazed at how quickly our world seems to change. Lately it feels like modern technology is a snowball rolling down a mountain growing ever faster, challenging consumers to have the latest and greatest almost hourly. As a child of the 70’s I can honestly say I remember a simpler time when the things we bought were expected to last forever. The family car, the family TV, dad’s home video camera – it seemed like these things never changed. Today our insatiable hunger for all things new leads thousands of crazed consumers to camp out overnight yearly in front of retail stores for the newest iPad or an unheard of discount on a flat screen for Christmas. We have even reached a point where TV commercials tout wireless customers who have new and exciting information 15 seconds before others.
This obsession with new technology fuels a worldwide connected web of computers and phones (and phones that look like computers) where everyone who’s anyone feels the need to check their friends status updates every 30 seconds. It also leads us to find our favorite brands online. Just like we wear them on our clothes, the logos and “likes” of our favorite brands on our profile page is a key part of our online identity. What logos adorn our pages – who we “wear” online, is a reflection of who we are.
So for brands who work so hard to generate fans and be worn by the coolest kids at the back of the bus…I ask you: Read more…
Based in the UK, Audiobooks Online has adapted with changing technology to provide their customers with the audiobooks they love. Audiobooks Online began in 1997 by renting audiobooks on cassette tapes under the name the Tape Exchange. The company has grown and evolved over time to include a separate retail store on their website alongside their rental business.
Through this retail store, Audiobooks Online prides itself on offering “a wide range of formats to suit your individual needs.” Indeed, their thousands of customers can purchase favorite audiobook titles as CD ROMs, preloaded MP3 Players, USB Cards, and now audiobook downloads provided through OverDrive.
Audiobooks Online describes their customers as people who “love books, but don’t have the time to read.” The addition of audiobooks from OverDrive will speed up delivery for those busy customers by allowing them to purchase, download and listen to their title, all within minutes.
The Audio Publishers Association has announced the finalists for the 2012 Audies Competition. The Audies, sponsored by the Audio Publishers Association (APA), is the premier awards program in the United States recognizing distinction in audiobooks and spoken word entertainment. The APA has nominated 140 individual titles for categories such as best Audio Drama, Fiction, History, Humor, Non-Fiction, Solo Narration and many more!
We would like to congratulate our publisher partners who have 104 titles nominated for an Audie!
AudioGO/BBC Audio has 6 titles nominated in 6 categories
Blackstone Audio has 11 titles nominated in 7 categories
Brilliance Audio has 6 titles nominated in 5 categories
eChristian has 5 titles nominated in 2 categories
Hachette Audio has 9 titles nominated in 6 categories
HarperAudio has 11 titles nominated in 8 categories
HighBridge has 2 titles nominated in 2 categories
Hyperion Audio has 1 title nominated in 1 category
L.A. Theatre Works has 3 titles nominated in 2 categories
Listen & Live Audio has 3 titles nominated in 3 categories
Live Oak Media has 3 titles nominated in 1 category
Macmillan Audio has 9 titles nominated in 8 categories
Oasis Audio has 4 titles nominated in 3 categories
Penguin Audio has 1 title nominated in 1 category
Random House Audio/Books on Tape/Listening Library has 9 titles nominated in 8 categories
Recorded Books has 3 titles nominated in 2 categories
Scholastic Audio has 2 titles nominated in 2 categories
Simon & Schuster Audio has 1 title nominated in 1 category
Symphony Space has 1 title nominated in 1 category
Tantor Audio has 16 titles nominated in 11 categories
Weston Woods has 1 title nominated in 1 category
Zondervan has 2 titles nominated in 2 categories
Visit www.theaudies.com or the APA website for more information about the 2012 Audies competition and about the titles nominated. Congratulations to the publishers, authors, narrators and production staff for all the wonderful material!