Screen Shot 2012 05 30 at 10 08 46 AM

From the press release:

 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, 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

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.” 


  1. It worked very well on iPad, PeteB. 🙂

    I agree that HTML5 is a big improvement on Adobe-DRM-based ereaders. However, I would want to be able to backup my ebooks. I certainly hope cloud-based services will make that option available.

    I was amused by the book.ish exhortation not to buy from “faceless robot armies”. Presumably “robot” retailers are more acceptable if they acquire faces, or if they aren’t in uniform. There’s nothing wrong with an effective software platform, guys: it does the job quickly and conveniently, and it frees humans up to do more interesting stuff. Let’s not create more “the machines are taking over!!!” FUD. If a publisher or group is scared of Amazon, Apple or the Big Publishing Cartel, don’t blame the hardware or software. People designed it, people built it, and people give it instructions.