October 23, 2014

OverDrive to Launch Browser-based Ebook Reader

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Ebook distributor OverDrive has announced plans to introduce “OverDrive Read,” a new ebook platform that will enable readers to use standard web browsers to read ebooks on computers and mobile devices without installing any additional software or activating a dedicated device.

The platform is based on HTML5 and EPUB open standards, and technology pioneered by Australian ebook firm Booki.sh, which OverDrive acquired in March.

“OverDrive Read’s use of open web standards will enable online communities to accelerate discovery and socialization of ebooks,” Erica Lazzaro, OverDrive’s director of publisher relations, said in a press release.  ”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.”

Browser-based platforms can enhance the use of discovery and social media tools for authors and publishers. To facilitate these functions, OverDrive Read will create a specific URL for each title, where preview, review copies, browsing, and sampling can be easily promoted. The new platform will allow online and offline reading, and will complement OverDrive’s catalog of EPUB and PDF ebooks for a range of dedicated ereader, smartphone, tablet, and computer platforms.

OverDrive will be demonstrating the platform at Book Expo America in New York, June 5-7 (Booth 4340), and at the American Library Association’s annual conference in Anaheim, CA on June 22-25. A demo title is currently viewable here.

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Matt Enis About Matt Enis

Matt Enis (menis@mediasourceinc.com; @matthewenis on Twitter) is Associate Editor, Technology for Library Journal.

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