Cleveland, OH:(BUSINESS WIRE)--Feb. 14, 2001--OverDrive Inc., a worldwide leader of electronic publishing tools and services, has launched www.ebookexpress.com, a Web site that offers free eBook authoring online in Microsoft Reader format.
OverDrive's www.ebookexpress.com provides immediate and free eBook authoring capabilities that would otherwise cost more than $100 (U.S.) if acquired elsewhere. Using a basic text file -- in any of a variety of formats -- the online service lets users convert content into a Microsoft Reader eBook title while they wait. It also lets users add custom art to an eBook cover page.
According to OverDrive's CEO Steve Potash, site visitors and users will include "authors, business executives, teachers and students -- anyone interested in turning an ordinary document, such as a Microsoft Word file, into an eBook." He says OverDrive will use www.ebookexpress.com to increase the awareness and use of Microsoft Reader and OverDrive ReaderWorks eBook software products.
Microsoft Reader is a free eBook reading software application that enhances the readability of text and materials by paying strict attention to the traditions and benefits of good typography. With its innovative ClearType display technology, Microsoft Reader delivers an on-screen computer reading experience that approaches the convenience and quality of reading text on paper. It can be downloaded at www.microsoft.com/reader/download/default.htm.
Sarah Wood, group product manager at OverDrive, says the company's new site makes eBook authoring fast and easy, regardless of an individual's operating system, and in many cases, the word processing version of their manuscript. "In just a few keystrokes, a user's documents and art files are transformed into an eBook. It's really as easy as attaching a document in an e-mail application."
The authoring application at the site is supported behind the scenes by OverDrive servers, which use OverDrive's ReaderWorks Software Developers Kit to convert submitted documents into eBooks and return them to site users' PCs while they wait.
Besides individual users, OverDrive foresees online media outlets, content portals and other informational Web sites using its authoring tool to allow users to take away articles in the eBook format. "ReaderWorks SDK is being used by a number of leading online media companies," says Wood.
"Microsoft is delighted to be a part of OverDrive's ongoing success in building world-class publishing tools," says Steve Stone, general manager of Microsoft's eBooks group. "This innovative new site demonstrates how easy and powerful it can be to publish in Microsoft Reader."
OverDrive's new site debuts this week while Potash presents at BookTech East 2001 Expo and Conference in New York, North America's largest book technology event. He has been participating in panel discussions about how traditional print book publishers around the world are adjusting their business models to include ePublishing, how eBooks are being sold today, as well as Digital Rights Management, standards and software format issues.
OverDrive is a worldwide leader in eBook authoring, content management, and digital rights management tools and services for the ePublishing industry. Its products for eBook authoring include ReaderWorks Standard, a free utility available at www.overdrive.com, ReaderWorks Publisher for commercial eBook authoring, and ReaderWorks Software Developers Kit for automating production and "on-the-fly" eBook authoring from Web sites. The Company provides secure eBookstore hosting and Digital Rights Management as part of its MIDAS Technology suite of customizable services. Headquartered in Cleveland, OverDrive has successfully developed and delivered thousands of commercial titles for leading trade, reference, education and business publishers. It has licensed its technology and provides services to divisions of Time-Warner, Simon & Schuster, McGraw-Hill, Random House, John Wiley & Sons, Harcourt Brace, Hungry Minds, Ziff-Davis and others.