Ebook distributor OverDrive has announced that it will launch a new web browser-based ereading platform later this year, based on the HTML5 ereading technology developed by local ebook platform provider Booki.sh.
OverDrive, which supplies ebooks to libraries, schools and retailers including Australian ebookstores Booku and Read Without Paper, said in a statement this week that the new platform, OverDrive Read, will be demonstrated at BookExpo America. OverDrive said that the platform, which can be sampled here, will be launched ‘later this year’.
‘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,’ said the statement. ‘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.’
Booku managing director Clayton Wehner described the development of the platform as ‘good news’, telling Bookseller+Publisher that ‘cloud-based offerings are getting traction elsewhere and it's important that OverDrive stays competitive with Google and Amazon’.
As previously reported by Bookseller+Publisher, OverDrive acquired Booki.sh in March. OverDrive said at the time that it planned to ‘integrate Booki.sh HTML5 and EPUB reading technologies’ into its library and school services, as well as ‘expand the Booki.sh distribution and digital bookstore platforms’.
Booki.sh, which provides an ebook platform for many local independent booksellers, launched its ebook platform in partnership with Readings and the Small Press Network (SPUNC) in early 2011. Independent stores including Gleebooks, Fullers, Books for Cooks, Avid Reader, Mary Ryan’s, The Turning Page and Imprints Booksellers have all signed with Booki.sh to provide ebooks since the launch of the platform.