Digital book clubs, Instant Digital Cards, Magazines, Audiobooks driving growth


CLEVELAND, OHIO – October 2, 2018 –  2018 is on pace to produce another record-breaking year for digital book sales. Rakuten OverDrive, the leading global digital distributor of ebooks and audiobooks to libraries and schools, reports strong double-digit sales growth with the largest gains in international and K-12 markets as well as a renewed focus on midlist and backlist titles. OverDrive provides worldwide sales channels for authors and more than 30,000 publishers of digital books in over 100 languages to readers in over 70 countries.

Publishers and authors are expected to receive record digital book earnings from OverDrive’s sales channels again this year as 2018 is on pace to set another new milestone.  International markets experiencing extraordinary growth include Germany, Sweden, China, Singapore and Malaysia, in addition to strong digital book institutional sales in all English language markets. OverDrive’s digital book catalog is also expanding dramatically from international publishers including HarperCollins France, Vietnamese publisher Thái Hà Books and Beijing Book & Audio, which has seen its catalog sales increase 363% YoY.

In North America, the fastest growing institutional channel, K-12 schools, has already achieved 39% YoY growth in 2018. OverDrive supplies ebooks and audiobooks to more than 21,000 schools around the world, expanding its educational catalog with Taylor & Francis (76,000 titles), Peter Lang Publishers (10,000 titles) and Springer Publishing (4,000 titles). With the introduction of OverDrive Education’s new student reading app Sora, schools and districts are finding it easier than ever to purchase and use digital content. Sora connects students with their school collections and benefits teachers by offering education-specific features such as reading assignments.

OverDrive pioneered digital book clubs, which leverage the power of digital by reaching new audiences around the world and maximizing social media and online discussions. This increased exposure and buzz results in boosted visibility along with elevated sales rankings. Currently, more than 19,000 libraries and schools around the world are participating in Big Library Read, while over 1,000 libraries in the UK are joining Together We Read next month. Boston Public Library is supporting the citywide book club initiative, Mayor’s Recovery Month Book Club, with digital books to complement its print collection.

Rakuten OverDrive founder and CEO Steve Potash is participating in a Digital Book World panel, The Evolving Job of Modern Libraries, on October 3 in Nashville.  Rakuten OverDrive will also be meeting with international partners at the Frankfurt Book Fair (Booth 6.0 C124).

To learn more about OverDrive, visit and


About Rakuten OverDrive

Rakuten OverDrive is the leading digital reading platform for libraries and schools worldwide. We are dedicated to “a world enlightened by reading” by delivering the industry’s largest catalog of ebooks, audiobooks, magazines and other digital media to a growing network of 40,000 libraries and schools in 70 countries. Named one of Google Play’s Best Apps of 2017, Libby is the “one-tap reading app” for libraries. Founded in 1986, OverDrive is based in Cleveland, Ohio USA and owned by Tokyo-based Rakuten.

David Burleigh
Director of Marketing