NEW YORK — February 17, 2016 — OverDrive, the industry's leading supplier of eBooks and audiobooks to libraries and schools, has signed an agreement with French technology company Nord Compo, a leader in providing prepress and digital services to publishers worldwide, and Book Buddy, a leading supplier of professionally created audio files to educational publishers. The agreement establishes Nord Compo and Book Buddy as OverDrive's preferred technology provider to produce content for publishers who wish to offer Read-Along eBooks but cannot produce them in house. Read-Along eBooks, which feature word-by-word, line-by-line or page-by-page text highlighting, synched with audio narration, is one of OverDrive's premier growth segments.
According to Alexis Petric-Black, Publisher Account Services Manager at OverDrive, "The Read-Along eBook category is one of our highest growth areas. Combining our technology with that of our technology partners allows publishers who have not created Read-Alongs or who want to expand their Read-Along eBook offering to deliver popular eBooks with word, line or page highlighting, providing our educational and library clients with a great learning tool that entertains young readers and enhances their skills at the same time".
Brett Hodus, president of Book Buddy adds, "Librarians and educators have long known that a Read-Along eBook with text-highlighting is a great tool for teaching reading, especially for reluctant readers and ESL students. However, up to now it's been cost prohibitive to create the needed files. Combining Nord Compo's technology with ours brings the production costs down to a manageable level."
Larry Bennett, Nord Compo's Executive Director for North America, commented, "Providing publishers with technology to facilitate education has been part of Nord Compo's culture for decades. We are proud to be part of this collaboration."
Book Buddy records the Read-Along soundtracks in their state-of-the-art recording studios, using professional voice actors. Nord Compo produces HTML-based FLO ePUB3 files utilizing proprietary technology that facilitates rapid, highly cost-effective synchronization with MP3 files, including text highlighting.
OverDrive, through its browser based reading technology OverDrive Read, provides the platform and the user interface that allows readers to read and listen to the story at the same time, along with its unparalleled worldwide distribution network, making these enhanced eBooks widely available to millions of readers worldwide. The result is an affordable, high-quality Read-Along eBook with audio track, whose text highlighting helps teach reading to young children, reluctant readers and ESL students.
2015 was a year of impressive growth for audiobooks in lending libraries. OverDrive, which serves over 90 percent of the nation's libraries, saw digital audiobook circulation reach 43 million in 2015, a 36% increase vs. 2014.
To find the nearest digital library collection, visit www.OverDrive.com.
OverDrive is the leading digital distribution platform, supplying the industry's largest catalog of eBooks, audiobooks, streaming video and periodicals to 34,000 libraries, schools and retailers worldwide. We support all major computers and devices, including iOS, Android, Chromebook and Kindle (U.S. only). OverDrive delivers all digital media on a single platform, and offers innovations such as OverDrive Read, the breakthrough EPUB and HTML5 browser-based reading experience, and Read-Along eBooks. Founded in 1986, OverDrive is based in Cleveland, Ohio USA and is owned by Tokyo-based Rakuten. For more information, visit www.overdrive.com or follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and our blog.
About Book Buddy
Seattle and California-based Book Buddy is a leading supplier of audio and content-creation services to North American educational and trade publishers. Book Buddy controls a network of state-of-the-art sound studios around the country and produces audio files in a variety of formats using its deep and talented pool of professional voice actors. Book Buddy's audiobooks are used by most major educational publishers and many are available through the GoReader, Book Buddy's patented audiobook listening device, which carries one or multiple audiobooks in a self-contained unit that is about the size of a cell phone.
About Nord Compo
For more than 40 years, Nord Compo, headquartered in France, has been providing exceptional levels of quality pre-press, production, digital and design services to book publishers. Today, we bring the advantages of leading-edge technology to thousands of publishers ranging from small businesses to industry giants throughout the world. Nord Compo North America was created in 2015 to better service a growing roster of clients in the U.S. and Canada. Based in New York City, Nord Compo North America draws from a global workforce of over 450 professional staff members and full time employees—all of whom are committed to serving our customers with affordable, high quality solutions to their printed and digital publishing needs.