Amazon e-books in US libraries

GoodEreader has reported that a technical bug which prevented Amazon Kindle ebooks being made available on OverDrive has been resolved. Overdrive is currently the only ebook provider which has an agreement with Amazon to provide ebooks in Kindle format.

In December a glitch hit the Overdrive system that prevented the delivery of ebooks in Kindle format. Small press and self-published titles were available, but hundreds of bestsellers from major publishers were not. GoodEreader liased with libraries and patrons and contacted OverDrive to alert them of the problem; who have since resolved the issue attributing it to a technical bug. However there has been some speculation that there may have been a contract dispute between the two corporations, while the terms of the agreement were being renegotiated.

Overdrive announces plan for audiobooks to be solely available in MP3 format

OverDrive have announced that they will be discontinuing the sale of audiobooks in the WMA format, making all audibooks available in a DRM-Free MP3 format. The change will allow Overdrive to able to add the titles to the catalog quickly and then resell them to libraries, without a lull period of manually adding encryption.

The Overdrive press release is available here and the decision has also been discussed on the Good-Ereader blog.

Simon & Schuster eBooks available on US Overdrive

The Simon & Schuster ebook catalogue will soon be available to U.S public libraries using Overdrive. Libraries that wish to offer Simon & Schuster ebook titles must have a ‘buy it now’ option on the page alongside borrow or place a hold.

According to the Overdrive blog post:

“With Library BIN, your library will earn a content credit equal to 50 percent of the retail markup for titles purchased from the OverDrive-hosted referral page. The content credit will be applied to your OverDrive Marketplace account for future orders”.

Simon & Schuster publish ebooks by many popular authors. This agreement will offer U.S library patrons a greater choice of titles for ebook loan.

Over 5 000 HarperCollins e-book titles now available on OverDrive UK

Over 5,000 HarperCollins e-book titles are now available on OverDrive for UK customers, including school, public and university libraries. Borrowing terms are the same as for U.S titles: each copy purchased may be borrowed 26 times before its license expires and a new copy must be purchased. The Overdrive blog post is available here.

Two more via Twitter – “WMF panel: libraries need national e-lending model” & “OverDrive Launches Digital Library Champions Contest”

Today’s twitter search on #ebooks and #libraries brings us the following:

The Bookseller reports on UK policy group Westminster Forum Projects‘ Westminster Media Forum on publishing.  Highlights included Tim Coates, CEO of e-book company Bilbary suggesting a patron driven model allowing “readers to access books from a national catalogue, with the library paying a fee to the publisher for each loan“; Janene Cox, president of the Society of Chief Librarians, reporting that the Sieghart Review had found “remote e-lending has meant more people and more actual library visits, not less” and  Phil Bradley, president of CILIP, saying:

Libraries are about books as much as hospitals are about beds. In both cases they are integral to what is done—but libraries are not just about books . . . they are about reading—and in many respects, it doesn’t matter if [people] are reading a physical item or a digital copy.

Goodereader reports that major ebook platform provider Overdrive has launched a Digital Library Champions Contest.  

The contest centers around five different aspects of marketing and promotion and Overdrive is serious about libraries blazing their own trail and not being reliant on stock marketing materials.

Winners receive $500.00 in eBook credits, an e-Reader and promotion on their main website.

ebook news roundup from the Twittersphere

A twitter search on #ebooks and #libraries has brought up a number of new and interesting posts relating to ebook advocacy:

OverDrive and Sourcebooks are preparing to launch an innovative and ambitious pilot program whose goal is to clearly demonstrate the impact library ebook lending has on book sales and author recognition.

  • A paper by two academic librarians Navigating the e-book maze, which “addresses some of the challenges of library e-book lending and compares major vendor options” has been published in The Charleston Advisor. Thanks again to infoDOCKET for the heads up.

“Challenges Borrowing an e-Book from the Public Library”

Thanks again to infoDOCKET for drawing our attention via Challenges Borrowing an e-Book from the Public Library to the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation radio programme Spark‘s 24 minute segment E-Libary Letdown. The full panel discussion E-book Lending in Libraries is available on Spark‘s website, both podcasts are also available  from iTunes.

Back in February, Peter wrote about how he kept fellow Prince Edward Islanders from borrowing an electronic edition of Learn Norwegian – Level 1: Introduction to Norwegian from the public library, in part because the Mac version of Overdrive’s software didn’t allow him to return it. “This is crazy, and we must demand better, more rational systems from our library, if only because we’re making up systems and processes here that will be with us for generations.”

Intrigued by Peter’s experience, Spark assembled a panel to discuss e-books, public libraries, and artificial scarcity.

E-Book Lending in Libraries

Hachette ebook catalogue available to libraries / E-Books and Democracy

infoDOCKET is reporting that

the Hachette eBook Catalog Will Soon Become Available to All Libraries

This commences on May 8th 2013, and will include distribution via OverDrive.  It is unclear from the press, at time of writing, whether “all libraries” includes those outside the USA and Canada.

In an op-ed piece, E-Books and Democracy, for the New York Times Anthony W Marx (President of the New York Public Library) discusses this latest development and provides a useful summary of the state of play with the big six publishers and of the importance of ebooks in libraries.

Today Hachette, which had been a holdout, is joining the others in announcing that it will make e-books available to public libraries. This is a big step, as it represents, for the first time, a consensus among the Big Six, at least in principle, that their e-books should be made available to library users.

E-Books and Democracy / Anthony W Marx

Library eBook survey hosted by OverDrive and ALA

A survey of library patrons, sponsored by OverDrive and the ALA’s Office of Information Technology Policy, was undertaken in June and July 2012 via the thousands of OverDrive-powered public library ebook websites in the US.

The survey found that library patrons are also active book purchasers, and the majority would consider purchasing a book they discovered through a library.

View the full survey data (in PDF).

How eBook Catalogs at Public Libraries Drive Publishers’ Book Sales and Profits

How eBook Catalogs at Public Libraries Drive Publishers’ Book Sales and Profits – a ‘thought leadership white paper’ prepared by OverDrive, May 2010.

White paper largely aimed at publishers, advocating for the role of public libraries as forces for discovery and recommendation of books to purchase (and by extension, OverDrive in supporting this), and how publishers can leverage this for commercial gain.

While this paper could largely be considered a marketing piece, it does have some information about patron and library behaviour, and some data from OverDrive’s internal research.