Some asked about Amazon, Overdrive and the ePub format, the cost to libraries of an added format , and how it works.
On April 21
, I posted how it would work based on various Overdrive and Amazon statements and it turned out to match what happened this week.
Here's the post, which I took out of mothballs on Kindle Library day :-)
' [April 21, 2011]
MY INTERPRETATION of this varies from others' I've seen
Caveat: It's only my interpretation and nothing more, but I think it has a good basis.
' Estrovich is writing to partners who have OverDrive-powered ‘Virtual Branch’ websites for the Overdrive library e-books program. This is important to an understanding of what she's describing.
The existing collection of a partner's downloadable titles will be available to Kindle customers.
When the partners add new ebooks to their collections available for loan, those titles will be available in Kindle- and ePUB formats for lending. No one will have to, to my mind, convert from ePUB to Amazon's mobi format, as some have written -- for the reasons given below.
This indicates strongly that the titles in Amazon Kindle/mobi format will be available from Amazon's servers directly once the requirements are met for the loan of a title to a Kindle customer.
It's the only way Amazon would be able to (1) synchronize between the various Kindle/compatible devices and (2) back up annotations for a customer. This would be done via matching the server's usual Amazon-formatted e-book and the copy on the customer's Kindle.
The partners' libraries will not need to purchase any additional units as the partners are purchasing TITLES from a publisher via Overdrive, and the partners can decide which format a customer will get, depending on the customer selection of "destination" device. Again, no conversion would be needed.
Amazon wouldn't be using ePUB-formatted books that are transformed, nor would ePUB books be affected.
Most important, this would mean the partners' existing copies and units would continue to work, as-is, totally unaffected.
The reason is that the Kindle ebooks would be handled (and sync'd and backed up) by Amazon servers. The delivery of the Kindle format books to Kindle customers would not affect the ePub books in the overall collection one iota. The e-books that Overdrive partners offer will be available in both formats.
There would still be DRM involved in the library loan but probably Amazon's DRM rather than Adobe's. I think that Amazon resisted partially because they don't want to pay Adobe for their DRM process when they have their own (and apparently they don't want to switch to ePub).
This would be a better solution than most had expected. '
On May 11, I listened to and referenced Kindle Director Jay Marine's interview with TheKindle Chronicles in which he actually said that:
1) they were going for 'seamless' wireless delivery (rather than the kludge of computer transfer with most library lending of Adobe DRM'd ePub books),
2) the by-"location" tracking of annotations, which Amazon does on its servers for its Kindle-formatted books, and
3) the fact that Adobe DRM would NOT be involved
All of that meant Amazon would take over the serving of the books, and they already have the books in their own format and have more contemporary e-books than any other online-store. B&N's numbers heavily relyon the 1.5 million or so e-books that Google let them have for direct download.
Re number of books available, I saw a post on the Kindle forums last night that said:
" Interesting. In Salt Lake County Libraries, it shows 13,522 Kindle books, and 10,767 Adobe eBooks. "
Whatever anyone thinks about Amazon's reluctance to use ePub and pay $ to Adobe for their DRM for that, we get a pretty good choice now.
What I can't get from Amazon even with its Kindle apps for everything (even webOS), I can get for my NookColor or Pocket Edge (which now has v2.2.1, thanks to people's advice in this forum).