Posted by: Kathy Temean | June 8, 2014

Ebooks and Overdrive

BEA_logo_starburstThought you might be interested in this information about Overdrive that was part of an article in the Huffington Post about BEA:

EBOOKS AT LIBRARIES IN OVERDRIVE — One of the big players in the library world is OverDrive. They’re one of the many technology-driven, backroom companies here at the BEA. There’s even a DigitalZone for those launching their ventures with hopes of becoming the new site for book discovery or a digital platform or the Netflix of books. But OverDrive is far more established than that. If your library offers ebooks (and most do), chances are they work with OverDrive to make that happen.

This is a hugely challenging task, given the multiplicity of ereaders and tablets, the varying ways in which books are published digitally, the challenges of visual efforts like picture books and how every darn device seems to have their own annoying rules for what they’ll display and how. Just making a simple copy of a text-based thriller (you know, a book with just words) and getting it to download to your personal device via your library and thus be readable on your phone or Kindle or Nook or whatever device you choose is really, really hard. Don’t get us even started on “enhanced” books, which have video and music and other stuff embedded into them.

OverDrive is the company that fights to make that as seamless as possible. Libraries and publishers were at loggerheads for years and it’s only now that every major publisher makes their ebooks of new releases available in some way, shape or form to libraries. (Sometimes at absurdly onerous terms.)

OverDrive is Switzerland when it comes to those battles. But they do push for standards that can make everyone’s lives easier. And one of their clever innovations has appeared on HuffBooks (a sponsoring presence at BEA) — this was a way to allow anyone to “embed” code for a particular book the way anyone can embed a video from YouTube on their blog, Facebook page or wherever they choose. The result is that offering an excerpt from a book (usually up to the first 10 percent but fully controllable by the publisher) will be easier than ever, allowing fans to share their passion the same way music fans can share songs and TV fans share a clip.

Freelance writer Michael Giltz has so much more about the happenings at BEA in NYC in his article published in the Huffington Post. Here is the link to read everything.

Talk tomorrow,



  1. You know, I really wanted to attend the BEA that one day, but it was on a Saturday and I wasn’t physically up to getting up super early, driving in and finding parking, then being on my feet on hard flooring the whole day 😦 It looked like SUCH a great event and the fact that they now make it possible for people to attend one day for $30 makes it so tempting!

    I’ve been reading a lot of blog posts about BEA, but this isn’t one of the aspects I heard about. It’s good to know, Kathy, and leave it to you to find it! 😀 Thanks!


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