OverDrive is best known for their digital infrastructure that allows libraries to loan out eBooks to their patrons. The company has a massive footprint in Canada, Australia, US, Ireland, and the UK. Recently, OverDrive attended the IFLA annual conference, as well as the Beijing International Book Fair. The big news that broke out of these two events was a new contract that will bring OverDrive to China.
The China National Publications Import & Export Corporation (CNPIEC) and OverDrive signed an E-Publications Import License Agreement in an official signing ceremony. With this agreement in place, OverDrive can now take steps towards making OverDrive’s catalog of digital content available in China to libraries and retailers.
CNPIEC is the largest importer of publications in China with domestic customers of over 10,000 libraries and institutions. OverDrive’s entry into China will provide an additional market for OverDrive’s publisher partners, who can rely on the trusted relationship with OverDrive as their digital distribution partner.
The foray into China is something OverDrive has been focused on for the better part of a year. This is a huge deal, but there is no timeline in which the digital ecosystem will be widely available. Sources within the company have speculated that English Schools will be the first ones to make the eBooks available, as this makes up the bulk of OverDrive’s digital portfolio. It is currently unknown how many digital editions are currently in Chinese libraries, as publishers have resisted embracing them.
Michael Kozlowski is the Editor in Chief of Good e-Reader. He has been writing about audiobooks and e-readers for the past ten years. His articles have been picked up by major and local news sources and websites such as the CBC, CNET, Engadget, Huffington Post and the New York Times.