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OverDrive to Host International Read an eBook Day on 18 September

overdrive harry potterEver one to promote ereading and ebooks, OverDrive will be holding a Read an eBook Day next month.

Thursday, 18 September, will mark the first International Read an eBook Day, a day which OverDrive hopes will become an annual holiday to celebrate and raise awareness for reading on tablets, smartphone, and ebook readers.

Libraries around the world are encouraged to take part by helping new readers try ebooks for the first time (here’s how OD can help), and readers are encouraged to take part in the largest digital reading event by checking an ebook out of the library or downloading one from one of many free ebook sites.

Overdrive will be doing their part to promote the day by giving away tablets and devices every hour on and through social media to readers who tell their story of what eBooks mean to them. Readers can use the hashtag #eBookDay on Facebook or Twitter to tell their story, or comment directly at

Do you have any plans to celebrate the day? Given my day job it will simply be another Thursday for me, but I think I might make an exception and help out at my loval library (assuming they plan to schedule as event).

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Ebook Bargains UK August 12, 2014 um 6:17 am

Not much cause for indies to get excited, as the great Smashwords deal continues to look like the great wash-out.

Both OverDrive and Smashwords are observing discreet silences over this, but from what we can deduce from librarians willing to discuss, there appears to be a little over 100,000 Smashwords titles (of 200,000 promised) in the OverDrive indie ghetto.

These titles are invisible to OverDrive library patrons, but in the unlikely event a librarian knows the self-publishing section exists (apparently OverDrive has made no effort so far to enlighten libraries – but that may just be because the ingestion is not yet complete) its is theoretically possible to ask a librarian to search OverDrive Marketplace (not accessible to the public) to see if a given author/title is there.

So zero chance of discovery. A very remote chance of being borrowed by someone who knows the Smashwords edition exists, and if they can be bothered to ask a librarian to search for it, and if the librarian knows the self-published section exists and where to find it.

Convincing the library to then buy the Smashwords title from the OverDrive Marketplace is yet another hurdle.

On the bright side, anything that raises awareness of ebooks around the world is good for indies, so we might see some knock-on benefits.

Ebook Bargains UK August 12, 2014 um 10:14 am

It gets worse. From a US librarian:

"One odd thing is that (Smashwords titles) only available to read in a browser, not in any downloadable formats…

"Overdrive and its app usually offer several choices for ebook formats–EPUB, Kindle, and “Overdrive Read” which lets you read the book in a browser as long as you have an internet connection/phone signal. Smashwords titles seem to only be available as “Overdrive Read”, so users can’t read them offline.

"I’m not sure how many librarians realize the “Self-Published” section is there–I don’t remember Overdrive alerting me to its existence."

From comments –

Felipe Adan Lerma August 12, 2014 um 8:54 pm

Yeah, this is like the coffin nail.

OverDrive should fix this and make it right.

Otherwise, there are other ways that will develop to get indie books into libraries. One being worked on is via Joe Konrath & friends :

I would like to see OverDrive get itself in gear for indies. It’s always best to have more complete competition.

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