Recently, LockerGnome reported that Amazon Kindle books are now available at thousands of public libraries. Similarly, German eBook and audiobook supplier OverDrive will be making its WIN (Want It Now) catalog available to 15,000 libraries around the world. The idea is simple: major and independent book publishers will gain publicity for their products, and public libraries will earn affiliate revenue from sales referred by links on their sites.
Erica Lazzaro, OverDrive Director of Publisher Relations, says: “Public libraries offer for lending a small fraction of publishers’ eBook or audiobook catalogs. The WIN Catalog will take hundreds of thousands of early, midlist, and backlist eBook titles that are virtually invisible to library customers and present them for discovery. WIN will also enable for patrons who do not want to wait for popular titles to become available the option to immediately shop for it from a list of booksellers that support their local library.”
New York Public Library director of collections and circulation operations Christopher Platt elaborates on what libraries stand to gain from this deal: “At this time, libraries do not have the funds to purchase all of the bestselling titles, let alone mid- and back-list titles. With the WIN Catalog from OverDrive, in addition to the tens of thousands of eBooks we offer for lending, we will have the ability to reference, browse, sample and provide a connecting point to entire catalogs of eBook titles, allowing us to serve our patrons and community in the best way possible.”
Digital distribution is handled by OverDrive for over 15,000 public libraries, schools, and retailers around the world, with support for Windows, OS X, iOS, Android, Sony Reader, NOOK, Kindle, and BlackBerry. OverDrive also has a search engine that finds audiobooks, eBooks, music, videos, local libraries, and bookstores.
OverDrive will be presenting its WIN catalog at the Frankfurt Book Fair from October 12th through the 16th, 2011.