OverDrive Announces Massive Global Expansion at Frankfurt Book Fair
Fittingly, at the international Frankfurt Book Fair, OverDrive announced a significant global expansion. Adding 300,000 titles to its catalog, the ebook provider now offers books to schools and libraries in over 50 countries and in 50 languages. OverDrive added titles from more than 100 publishers, including Faber & Faber, Simon & Schuster U.K., Penguin Random House Spain, and China International Book Trading Corporation.
“We are very bullish about the exploding new international market opportunities for publishers,” said Erica Lazzaro, OverDrive’s director of publisher services in a press release. “OverDrive’s global market is now providing tremendous discovery opportunities for readers at libraries and schools around the world.”
The news follows on the heels of major moves from publishers like HarperCollins and Penguin Random House which have developed publishing arms abroad in recent years. After it’s acquisition of international publisher Harlequin last year, HarperCollins has launched foreign language publishing programs in Holland, Poland, Japan, and more. Most recently, on October 4th, HarperCollins announced the latest addition to its global publishing program, HarperCollins Italia. Penguin Random House has also acquired its way toward a more global footprint. Last year the publisher purchased Santillana’s Spanish-language and Portuguese-language trade book business and merged them with Penguin Random House Grupo Editorial.
Though these publishers have the scale to extend their publishing programs into other countries and languages, OverDrive’s expansion may open the way for small and mid-sized publishers to do the same.
Read the full OverDrive press release below.
FRANKFURT, October 13, 2015 – As the world’s authors and publishers convene in Frankfurt, Germany for the 2015 Frankfurt Book Fair, leading digital content provider OverDrive announced global expansion with institutional buyers now in more than 50 countries. To meet increasing global demand in libraries and schools, OverDrive, the leading supplier of eBooks and audiobooks to libraries and schools, announced that it has added 300,000 digital titles from more than 100 top publishers such as Faber & Faber, Simon & Schuster UK, Penguin Random House Spain, Planeta, Random House Germany, China International Book Trading Corporation, Bookwire, Litres Global Russia and W.W. Norton.
In addition, OverDrive has added popular genre publishers to its roster. With the popularity of comics-based TV shows and movies growing internationally, OverDrive’s global eBook catalog now also offers comics and graphic novels from IDW Publishing, Dark Horse Comics, BOOM! Studios, Titan Comics, Radical Publishing, Archie Comics and MediaDo. To learn more, OverDrive will be exhibiting at the Frankfurt Book Fair in Frankfurt, Germany October 14-18 in booth 6.2 D79.
“We are very bullish about the exploding new international market opportunities for publishers,” said Erica Lazzaro, OverDrive’s Director of Publisher Services. “OverDrive’s global market is now providing tremendous discovery opportunities for readers at libraries and schools around the world.”
Now offering content in 50 languages, OverDrive continues to grow its global footprint and expand and diversify its catalog of more than two million digital titles. More than 500 new international channel partners from 30 countries this year joined the 34,000 libraries and schools worldwide that use digital book services through OverDrive. New partners include libraries and schools in Japan, Denmark, South Korea, United Kingdom, Switzerland, South Africa, Ireland, Germany, Thailand, Sweden, Turkey, Luxembourg, Singapore, Malaysia, and Ireland. In support of these diverse communities, libraries and schools partnering with OverDrive are able to integrate a complete multilingual website interface available in 13 languages to search, browse and borrow titles.
This year, more people have visited their digital library, browsed and borrowed than ever before. Of the millions of active users, including 3 million first time users in this year alone, library patrons, students and teachers borrowed more than 120 million digital titles from January to September 2015, representing year-over-year growth of 20 percent.
To help meet the increased global demand, OverDrive has introduced several key features to its platform and apps, including OverDrive Read-Alongs (with audio synced to text using industry-standard EPUB3), OverDrive Listen (which allows users to “see audiobook, play audiobook” immediately in their browser), support for both double-byte language audiobooks and right-to-left reading (to enable readers to enjoy the original manga-style titles).
Currently, more than 30,000 libraries and schools are participating in the world’s largest global eBook reading club. From October 7 to 21, Big Library Read (BLR), facilitated by OverDrive, connects millions of readers around the world simultaneously with an eBook. For the first time, two titles are available to borrow online 24/7 through participating libraries and schools: The Door in the Hedge by Robin McKinley (Open Road) and In the Shadow of Blackbirds by Cat Winters (Abrams). As with previous BLRs, the spotlighted titles are expected to generate significant awareness and engagement in the library and school channels, which will serve to increase sales for these titles and others for the authors.
OverDrive is the leading digital distribution platform, supplying the industry’s largest catalog of eBooks, audiobooks, streaming video and periodicals to 34,000 libraries, schools and retailers worldwide. We support all major computers and devices, including iOS®, Android™, Chromebook™ and Kindle® (U.S. only). OverDrive delivers all digital media on a single platform, and offers innovations such as OverDrive Read, the breakthrough EPUB and HTML5 browser-based reading experience, and narrated eBooks (Read-Alongs). Founded in 1986, OverDrive is based in Cleveland, Ohio USA and is owned by Tokyo-based Rakuten. For more information, visit www.overdrive.com or follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and our blog.
Ellen Harvey is a freelance writer and editor who covers the latest technologies and strategies reshaping the publishing landscape. She previously served as the Senior Editor at Publishing Executive and Book Business.