Instant reading and sharing of OverDrive eBook “samples” drives discovery


Cleveland—September 24, 2012—Millions of eBook readers are turning to public and school libraries to browse for “what to read next.”  This is welcome news for libraries, schools, publishers and authors who are using highly-viewed library eBook catalogs as an effective new marketing tool to reach new readers. Fueling this dramatic shift is OverDrive Read, a free web browser-based eBook reading option introduced this month at OverDrive’s worldwide network of 19,000 libraries and schools.

OverDrive Read allows readers to simply “See book–Read book” to sample and browse titles without software or app installation or device “activation.”  eBook “samples” (excerpts) using OverDrive Read permit instant reading in the web browser of up to 10 percent of a book’s content and do not require checkout.  Later this year, OverDrive will launch OverDrive Read as an option to borrow full titles from library and school catalogs.

OverDrive Read also provides new, efficient ways for publishers and authors to promote titles.  Because each eBook “sample” has a unique URL, titles can be easily promoted on popular library websites and through “word of mouth” channels such as social media and email simply by sending or posting links.  With millions browsing library eBook catalogs each month, OverDrive Read broadens and deepens reader engagement which translates into millions of eBook samples discovered.  OverDrive library network data for the first eight months of 2012 (Jan. 1 – Aug. 31):

Total OverDrive library catalog visits:   34.8 million

Library catalog page views:  1.82 billion

Average pages viewed per visit: 13.82

Average time spent browsing or searching per visit:  9:46

Book cover images viewed:   5.4 billion (est.)

eBook samples viewed since OverDrive Read introduced (early Sept.):  up 783% from March

OverDrive Read is compatible with most computers and devices that use a modern web browser, including tablets, laptops and Smartphones. OverDrive Read samples such as Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone, Game of Thrones and Heaven is for Real enable instant browsing, mimicking the experiences of thumbing through a title at the library or bookstore.

OverDrive supplies its Next Generation eBook platform, including OverDrive Read, to more than 19,000 libraries, schools and retailers worldwide with support for all major computers and devices, including iPhone®, iPad®, Nook®, Android™ phones and tablets, and Kindle® (U.S. only). With more than two-thirds of U.S. public libraries participating, 87 percent of the U.S. population has access to eBooks and audiobooks via OverDrive. Worldwide, readers checked out more than 34 million eBooks and audiobooks through OverDrive in the first half of 2012—more than double the checkouts in all of 2011.

To find a library near you, visit


About OverDrive
OverDrive is a leading multichannel digital distributor of eBooks, digital audiobooks, music and video. We deliver secure management, DRM protection and download fulfillment services for hundreds of publishers and thousands of libraries, schools and retailers, serving millions of end users. OverDrive has been named to the EContent 100 as a company that matters most in the digital content industry. Founded in 1986, OverDrive is based in Cleveland, Ohio.

David Burleigh
OverDrive, Inc.
216-573-6886 x218