WHSmith.co.uk Shifts into OverDrive for eBookstore Launch
Thousands of eBooks from Leading Publishers to be available at Opening
London, UK – September 4, 2001 – Today leading online retailer WHSmith.co.uk and OverDrive, Inc. (www.overdrive.com) announced a partnership for the launch of the WHSmith.co.uk eBookstore scheduled to open early next month. Under the terms of the agreement, OverDrive will provide secure hosting, copyright protection and digital inventory management services for the eBookstore that is being co-developed by WHSmith.co.uk.
At the opening in early October the WHSmith.co.uk eBookstore will feature thousands of eBook titles supplied by OverDrive’s Content Reserve, a wholesale distribution service for digital content with over 250 publisher members which include Random House, McGraw-Hill, Time-Warner Publishing, Cambridge University Press, Taylor & Francis, and John Wiley & Sons. The eBookstore will feature Microsoft digital media technologies, with Microsoft Reader, and Microsoft Digital Asset Server.
“OverDrive has been at the forefront of the eBook industry providing leading solutions to both publishers and resellers of digital content,” stated Ross Beadle, Commercial Director, WHSmith.co.uk. “We are excited about adding their experience to our team to offer our customers eBooks as an option to enjoy reading in new formats and with great titles. This partnership illustrates WHSmith.co.uk’s commitment to bringing innovation to interactive retailing.” he added.
“We are very proud to be partnering with the award-winning eCommerce team from WHSmith.co.uk,” stated OverDrive CEO Steve Potash. “We aim to extend their success in book retailing with leading technologies developed for eBook,” Potash added.
“This agreement represents a wonderful combination of proven technology and world-class partners. WHSmith.co.uk is a well-recognized media destination–OverDrive Inc. is a proven service provider in the digital media business. Microsoft is delighted that these two companies have chosen Microsoft Digital Asset Server and Microsoft Reader as their digital media platform.” Commented Steve Stone, General Manager, Microsoft Corporation.
In addition, OverDrive provides WHSmith.co.uk with an experienced ePublishing partner that offers author and publisher services that quickly convert and prepare books to be offered for sale at the WHSmith eBookstore. These include conversion services to popular eBook formats, for Print on Demand, and to XML. Content Reserve (www.contentreserve.com) provides publishers a free distribution service where they can directly upload their digital product and manage marketing and sales information for use by WHSmith for retail purposes.
About WHSmith.co.uk WHSmith.co.uk is the interactive arm of multi-channel retailer WHSmith. The site offers 2.1 million products, including 1.5 million books. WHSmith.co.uk offers the widest range of books, music, films and educational content via the Internet, and Interactive TV.
In the Henley Centre Report (5 June 2000), WHSmith.co.uk was rated the 4th most trusted website in the UK, and voted ‘Website of the Year’ at the E-tail 2000 Conference and in March this year WHSmith.co.uk was ranked 6th in the MMXI top 10 online retailers (by unique visitors).
About OverDrive, Inc. (www.overdrive.com) is a worldwide leader in technology services to the content industries. It provides secure hosting, eCommerce and Digital Rights Management services for eBook retailers both in the US and throughout Europe. OverDrive operates www.ContentReserve.com, a global wholesale digital distribution service for secure distribution of eBooks and Print-on-Demand files. With world headquarters in Cleveland, Ohio OverDrive has offices in Amsterdam and operates an eBook Technology Center in Montego Bay, Jamaica. OverDrive is a strategic partner for eBook technology for Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) and Adobe Systems (NASDAQ: ADBE).
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