Palm eBook Distributor First To Enable A Major Retailer To Sell eBooks To PDA Users


LONDON – July 16, 2002 – WHSmith Online, a division of WHSmith PLC, the largest book and magazine retailer in the UK, today announced that its award-winning eBookstore is the first online bookseller to offer eBooks in the Palm Reader TM format.  More than 4,000 best-selling Palm eBook titles from leading UK and US publishers including HarperCollins, Random House, Simon & Schuster, McGraw-Hill, St. Martin’s Press, and Time Warner are available for immediate purchase and downloading from the WHSmith eBookstore located at

The WHSmith eBookstore is powered by OverDrive, Inc., a leading digital rights clearinghouse and a global provider of solutions for the secure distribution of media products.  Steve Potash, CEO of OverDrive said, “WHSmith has a long history as one the premier booksellers in the world and we’re honored to be partnered with them.  Our solutions make it easy for PDA, wireless and mobile customers to instantly purchase and download the most popular new releases for immediate enjoyment on their handheld devices.”

Palm Reader, which is available for downloading at no charge from the WHSmith eBookstore, runs on Palm PoweredTM handhelds using Palm OS 3.0 and higher, as well as on Pocket PC handhelds. Most Palm Reader eBooks take less than two minutes to download and require only a few hundred kilobytes of available memory on the reader’s handheld computer.

Ross Beadle, Commercial Director, WHSmith Online said, “We’re excited to be the first retailer to distribute and sell market-leading Palm Reader eBooks to our customers.  With an extensive inventory of Palm Reader eBook titles to choose from, WHSmith Online is slated to become the eBookstore of choice for the mobile and PDA users,” he added.   Mike Segroves, Director, Business Development, Palm Digital Media, “With consumer adoption of eBooks and handheld devices steadily increasing, WHSmith, a highly respected bookseller in the UK, is well-positioned to be a leader in a global marketplace.”


About WHSmith and WHSmith Online

With over 200 years of retail experience, WHSmith is one of the best-known retail brands in the UK. The company has over 1,500 stores world-wide employing 32,249 people in 13 countries and is the number one book and magazine seller in the UK.  WHSmith PLC is listed on the London Stock Exchange (SMWH) and is part of the FTSE 250 index.

WHSmith Online is the interactive arm of multi-channel retailer WHSmith and offers 2.1 million products on its award-winning website. recently won the Gold Award for ‘Best eBook Website’ by Web User magazine, a leading UK technology publication.

About OverDrive

OverDrive, Inc. ( is a leading provider of eBook, DRM and media marketplace technologies enabling the secure management and distribution of digital media over global networks.  OverDrive is a strategic partner to Microsoft Corporation (Nasdaq: MSFT), Adobe Systems, Inc. (Nasdaq: ADBE) and Palm Digital Media, a business unit of Palm, Inc. (Nasdaq: PALM).  The company is a Gold Sponsor of the Open eBook Forum.  OverDrive was founded in 1986 and is headquartered in Cleveland, Ohio.

About Palm Digital Media, PalmSource, Inc. and Palm, Inc.

The award-winning Palm Reader eBook application was developed by Palm Digital Media, the leading publishers and distributor of eBooks for handhelds. Palm Digital Media is a business unit of PalmSource, Inc., the Palm OS™ subsidiary of Palm, Inc. (Nasdaq: PALM). Information about Palm Digital Media is available at

Media Contacts

Jennifer A. Jackson

OverDrive, Inc.

(216) 573-6886

Palm OS is a registered trademark and Palm Reader is a trademark of Palm, Inc. Other brands may be trademarks of their respective owners.


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