OverDrive, the powerhouse behind ebooks and other forms of digital media making their way into public and school libraries, are one of our favorite companies. They are risk-takers, and along with a fey key companies (looking at you, Sourcebooks!) they are always willing to experiment in order to make books and media available to all. On top of that, they’re library gurus, and libraries need all of the support network they can get.
Take a look at today’s press announcement from OverDrive concerning the future of book clubs in the digital age:
Public Libraries Launch Next Chapter of Book Clubs
Digital Book Clubs increase visibility, community engagement by reaching more readers
CLEVELAND — May 9, 2016 – You know that feeling: you finish a good book and you just have to talk about it with someone. It’s one of the reasons why Book Clubs have become extremely popular. Now, as eBooks are available from public libraries, readers are joining the next chapter of Book Clubs, Digital Book Clubs to discuss the next great read. Public libraries across the country are hosting and promoting a digital version of a local Book Club with simultaneous access to eBooks and audiobooks, enabling dozens of “city read” and “one-book, one community” programs.
According to BookBrowse, 22 percent of readers belong to at least one digital Book Club with friends and family (Book Clubs in the USA, July 2015). OverDrive is maximizing the scalability of digital by supporting citywide and global digital book clubs through public libraries. New York Public Library is using their eBook collection for the Gracie Book Club where First Lady Chirlane McCray will collaborate with authors to select six books to read and discuss with fellow New Yorkers over the next year. The first book, Bright Lines (Penguin Random House) will be discussed by the city of New York on Tuesday, May 17th. The Gracie Book Club was launched earlier this year to begin a citywide conversation on the diverse experiences of New York City’s many communities as depicted through the lens of literature.
Last month, OverDrive helped Cityread London (UK) go digital by working with Canongate to offer Ten Days in eBook format to participating libraries in London for the April 2016 program. Additionally, OverDrive works with publishers and thousands of libraries and schools three times a year for Big Library Read, a global Digital Book Club that connects millions of readers around the world with the same eBook from their local library. These programs have reached thousands in the communities they serve and have increased visibility, reach and engagement for the selected digital book.
Publishers are capitalizing on this growing trend by working with libraries to put authors’ works in the hands of more readers – digitally. To enable the discovery and readership of popular content and maximize the number of readers served, libraries are taking advantage of publishers’ flexible digital access models on the OverDrive platform, such as per-unit or simultaneous use to support community reading programs.
Digital Book Clubs offer a powerful marketing opportunity for authors and publishers. Promoting an eBook or audiobook to traditional Book Clubs puts that book in the hands of new readers and helps publishers and authors engage and cultivate loyalty among a base of readers. Public libraries across the globe have built engaging campaigns to promote these successful Digital Book Clubs, including dedicated websites, organized group discussions and even special author
appearances, which are helping publishers and authors expand discovery and reach and engage more readers.