I’m sure you know that the Kindle will be getting library ebooks later this year, and that the new service is going to cause some problems for libraries who already have a collection in Epub, PDF, or Mobi.
OverDrive confirmed some time back that Kindle owners would be able to check out any ebook in a library’s collection, no matter the format.
Today they expanded that promise to all ebook formats, and it’s difficult to express quite how big a deal that is. OverDrive just went format agnostic for the first time. I’m still thinking about what it’s going to do to the market.
They also made a number of another announcements today, and most won’t directly affect users. But some will, and they are also pretty damn important.
OverDrive will start pushing for DRM-free ebooks, which is itself earth -shattering. I know I’ve always wanted it, but it’s a surprise to see a company to reverse direction like this. They’re also going to let library patrons start requesting ebooks, which is something they should have had years ago.
After those 3 items, the new ebook and audiobook samples that OverDrive will soon offer are icing on the cake.
- Eliminate the need for librarians and readers to deal with various eBook file formats
- Add hundreds of thousands of in-copyright eBook and digital audiobook records with free “eBook Samples” for immediate access on reading devices and platforms
- Enable patron driven acquisition, an opt-in program that will allow readers to immediately borrow a title, recommend to a library, or ‘Want It Now’ from online booksellers
- Provide new ‘always available’ eBook collections for simultaneous access of romance, self-help, young adult, children, and other fiction materials
- Launch ‘Open eBook’ titles, free of DRM
image by Dublin City Public Libraries