OverDrive Read, a browser-based eBook reader to launch later this year

Great news from OverDrive about a forthcoming browser-based eBook reader.  This should really open up many more ereading alternatives for patrons who don’t have a dedicated eReading device or a tablet. More from the press release:

(Cleveland) – May 30, 2012 – Leading global eBook distributor OverDrive today announced plans to launch later this year a new eBook reading platform, “OverDrive Read.”  Based on open standards HTML5 and EPUB, OverDrive Read creates a fresh, direct and immersive reading experience offering significant benefits for publishers, booksellers, libraries and schools.  Unlike eBook apps or devices, OverDrive Read enables readers using standard web browsers to enjoy eBooks online and offline without first installing any software or activating their device.  OverDrive will demonstrate this new eReading platform at Book Expo America, in New York City, June 5-7, 2012 (Booth #4340), as well as at the American Library Association annual conference in Anaheim, Calif., June 22-25.

Based on the best-of-breed technology developed by recently-acquired Australian eBook firm Booki.sh, OverDrive Read will provide new options for millions of readers who access eBooks from OverDrive’s global network of retail, library and school catalogs.  Browser-based eBooks improve discovery and social options for authors and publishers to more directly connect with readers. To that end, OverDrive Read creates a URL for each title where preview, review copies, browsing and sampling can be widely and easily promoted.  OverDrive Read supports both online and offline reading with configurable, industry-approved copyright protection for eBooks.

To view a demo title using OverDrive Read, please visit https://penelopiad-18893a.booki.sh/.

As with other browser-based systems, OverDrive Read will enable publishers, authors and retailers to benefit from more direct engagement with readers and to gather data about how users are discovering, browsing and selecting eBooks and catalogs through OverDrive global channels. “OverDrive Read’s use of open web standards will enable online communities to accelerate discovery and socialization of eBooks,” said Erica Lazzaro, OverDrive’s director of publisher relations.  ”It will enable OverDrive’s catalog of premium eBooks from over 1,000 publishers to be easily integrated across retail, school and library catalogs for standard computers and connected mobile devices.”

When launched, OverDrive Read will complement OverDrive’s support for EPUB and PDF eBooks on a broad range of dedicated e-Ink eReaders, smartphones, tablets and computers.  OverDrive also provides distribution of eBooks and audiobooks using OverDrive® Media Console™; the application has been installed more than 15 million times on PC, Mac®, iPhone®, iPad®, Android™, BlackBerry®, and Windows® Phone devices.  OverDrive Read will be available through all of OverDrive’s extensive eBook catalogs available to its global network of booksellers, OEMs and other resellers—as well as through public, school and corporate libraries—in more than 20 countries.

With an industry-leading catalog of more than 800,000 eBooks and audiobooks, OverDrive provides digital distribution services for more than 18,000 libraries, schools and retailers worldwide with support for major desktop and mobile platforms listed above, as well as Kindle® (U.S. only), Sony® Reader and NOOK™. To find a bookseller or library in the OverDrive network, visit search.overdrive.com.

About OverDrive
OverDrive is a leading multichannel digital distributor of eBooks, digital audiobooks, music and video. We deliver secure management, DRM protection and download fulfillment services for hundreds of publishers and thousands of libraries, schools and retailers, serving millions of end users. OverDrive has been named to the EContent 100 as a company that matters most in the digital content industry. Founded in 1986, OverDrive is based in Cleveland, OH. www.overdrive.com