We Told You So…Amazon & OverDrive Partner Up For Ebooks

April 25, 2011

We’ve been predicting for a while now that Amazon would eventually concede to the pressure to allow its Kindle users to download books for free from the OverDrive eBook lending services offered by public libraries…and that day has come. Last week Amazon announced that they signed an agreement with OverDrive with the service to be launched for Kindle users at an unspecified date later this year. This is great news for Kindle owners who’ve, up to now, been turned away from Libraries offering the OverDrive service.

Currently, the OverDrive eBooks can be downloaded to many devices including the Barnes & Noble Nook, Borders’ Kobo, Sony eReaders, Apple devices and many, many others. To see the complete list, click here.  Service to Kindle owners will maintain the same lending rules–lending periods and number of downloads allowed as delineated by your local Library. The Essex Library allows patrons to check out up to 4 eBooks each with a lending period of 14 days.

Here’s a statement from Amazon with details regarding the new deal:

SEATTLE—April 20, 2011—(NASDAQ: AMZN)— Amazon today announced Kindle Library Lending, a new feature launching later this year that will allow Kindle customers to borrow Kindle books from over 11,000 libraries in the United States. Kindle Library Lending will be available for all generations of Kindle devices and free Kindle reading apps.

“We’re excited that millions of Kindle customers will be able to borrow Kindle books from their local libraries,” said Jay Marine, Director, Amazon Kindle. “Customers tell us they love Kindle for its Pearl e-ink display that is easy to read even in bright sunlight, up to a month of battery life, and Whispersync technology that synchronizes notes, highlights and last page read between their Kindle and free Kindle apps.”

Customers will be able to check out a Kindle book from their local library and start reading on any Kindle device or free Kindle app for Android, iPad, iPod touch, iPhone, PC, Mac, BlackBerry, or Windows Phone. If a Kindle book is checked out again or that book is purchased from Amazon, all of a customer’s annotations and bookmarks will be preserved.

“We’re doing a little something extra here,” Marine continued. “Normally, making margin notes in library books is a big no-no. But we’re extending our Whispersync technology so that you can highlight and add margin notes to Kindle books you check out from your local library. Your notes will not show up when the next patron checks out the book. But if you check out the book again, or subsequently buy it, your notes will be there just as you left them, perfectly Whispersynced.”