Public library and school budgets dramatically increasing for ebook and audiobook collections


FRANKFURT, GERMANY at the Frankfurt Book Fair, Halle 6.2, Stand B111 – October 18, 2022 – As volatility in book publishing’s supply chain continues to impact print sales and profitability, publishers worldwide are experiencing record earnings from the sales of their digital catalogs to institutional buyers. Digital book revenue for authors and publishers from libraries and schools has consistently grown over the past decade and accelerated the past two years due to pandemic-related changes in the markets.

OverDrive, the leading global supplier of digital books and other digital content to libraries and schools, is able to offer unique insight into anticipated 2023 trends. Library and school reader demand is growing faster than institutional budgets, and as a result, buyers are prioritizing their spending on catalogs that offer flexible options for access models to serve a wide variety of readers and campaigns.

“When a digital book is available with several lending options, authors and publishers sell more units and maximize top line revenue and promote discovery and sales of their catalogs to new audiences for the work,” said Steve Potash, founder and CEO of OverDrive. “Each ebook and audiobook sold through OverDrive Marketplace performs best when several purchase options are available.”

Offering a variety of access models has been a key to sustained growth for forward-thinking publishers, including HarperCollins, Sourcebooks, Lerner Publishing and Open Road Media. International suppliers benefitting from this sales strategy include Allen & Unwin (AU), W.F.Howes (UK), Wavesound (AU), Canongate (UK) and Laxmi Publications (India). Best practices for growth provide libraries and schools access to flexible models that enable them to meet “on demand” opportunities including cost-per-checkout, school Class Sets, Simultaneous Use, and a new model introduced in 2022, OverDrive Max.

“The ability to curate collections for our readers with the OverDrive Max model has improved our engagement with readers,” said Beth Godlewski, Senior Collections Specialist at Toronto Public Library. “This cost-effective purchasing option contributed to Toronto Public Library’s 2021 success for serving our communities of readers with digital titles.”

Offering a variety of access models allows libraries and schools to serve their readers more efficiently. In addition, once the digital books are purchased and added to the library and school collections, the books enjoy the discoverability boost that only libraries and schools can offer, such as social media promotion, merchandising, sampling in the award-winning Libby reading app, community reading events, author events and other readers advisory services.

OverDrive serves 81,000 library and school channel partners in 106 countries representing access to millions of readers. The OverDrive channel also includes 1,500 academic, corporate, government and other special libraries. The fastest growing formats and audiences include digital comics, graphic novels and manga for children and young adults.

At the Frankfurt Book Fair from 19-21 October, OverDrive is meeting with publishers representing all genres and languages from across the globe. For over 20 years, OverDrive has been the source of significant growth for publishers for ebooks, audiobooks, digital comics, magazines, graphic novels and other media. OverDrive offers easy setup to the OverDrive catalog, with program guidance and ongoing support and reporting. To schedule a meeting, email or stop by Frankfurt Buchmesse Hall 6.2 booth B111.

Learn more about OverDrive and the Libby app.


About OverDrive

OverDrive serves more than 81,000 libraries and schools in 106 countries with the industry’s largest digital catalog of ebooks, audiobooks, video and other content. Award-winning apps and services include the Libby library reading app, the Sora student reading app, the Kanopy streaming video app for libraries and colleges, and, which offers one of the largest catalogs of supplemental materials that enhance literacy outcomes. Founded in 1986 and named a Certified B Corp in 2017, OverDrive is based in Cleveland, Ohio USA with offices in UK, Australia and China.

Media contact:

David Burleigh
OverDrive Director of Brand & Communications