Thursday, April 21, 2011

Overdrive and Amazon announce their engagement

The big buzz this week for eBook lovers is the announcement that Overdrive Digital Reserve (which provides the eBook and audiobook service for NH Downloadable Books) and Amazon are planning to join forces to create Kindle Library Lending. Until now, the Kindle is the only eReader that has been incompatible with Overdrive. Amazon uses its proprietary AZW digital rights management system, while other eReaders use ePub. If you've taken one of our eBook workshops or stopped by the Reference Desk to ask about eReaders, you've been told that you can't access NHDB with a Kindle. That is going to change.

Overdrive is the largest provider of eBooks to libraries in the US, so a marriage with another industry giant makes sense. (Personally, I'm not surprised, but I'm not sure which one proposed.) Press releases and revised press releases are flowing out of the offices at both companies faster than we can read them, so I don't want to get too specific with details, and there are some questions we can't answer at this time. Here are a few thing, though, that we're pretty certain about.

  • We don't have a start date, just "sometime in 2011."

  • All of our current eBook titles in NHDB will we available for Kindle.

  • Future eBook purchases will also be available for Kindle.

  • Lending periods will remain the same as they currently are for ePub books--two weeks.

  • Publishers that currently don't support library lending (notably Simon & Schuster and Macmillan) will not be available in NHDB, even if Kindle versions are available.

We will keep you updated here, on our website, and on our Facebook page as we get closer to the big day. All good wishes to the happy couple and the library users who will benefit from their marriage.

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