The American Library Association held one of their two annual conferences this past weekend, and OverDrive was there to show off their latest projects. There are many projects which OverDrive has been working on, including a new partnership with Microsoft's Bing and new fruits from OverDrive's 2012 acquisition of Booki.sh.
If you're looking for a book, chances are you will be using a search engine. Thanks to a new deal between OverDrive and Microsoft Bing will now be more useful for finding library ebooks and reading samples online. Search for an author or book title on Bing and in addition to the usual search results you will find a sidebar with information provided by OverDrive.
This is similar to the deal Inkling had at one time with Google, only instead of being limited to one publisher the Bing sidebar will show any titles distributed to libraries by OverDrive. For example, this search will bring up details on a Stieg Larssen title.
After you click the link, scroll down the search results page a bit and click the link which says "read excerpt". This will take you to OverDrive's next new trick. OverDrive is now serving up excerpts of ebooks and encouraging interested buyers to find the ebook at an OverDrive library, or in a retail store.
What's more, OD is also enabling websites to embed the ebook much like what Amazon has offered since 2012. In the case of OverDrive, the ebook will look like this:
I'm told that this feature sometimes doesn't work (and even when it does it isn't terribly functional) but that is less important than the opportunities OverDrive just opened up. Now authors and publishers will be able to embed a sample on their website and improve their chances of making a sale.
And best of all, you don't have to depend on people using Bing in order to make use of the embed feature. The latest statistics show that Bing was only used for 18% of searches in the US in 2013, far behind Google's 67% share, but since the OverDrive-Bing integration is all handled behind the scenes authors won't be affected.