Monday, June 29, 2015

Over Drive Media // What Exactly is it and How do I use it

I've been thinking a lot about the ways in which I consume books. I attribute this to a rise in Bookstagramming.  I've had an Instagram page for the blog for a while now but I haven't really done anything with it, recently I have started following more and more booklovers and bibliophiles, which has inspired me to post my own photos. It's also created an increase in the number of physical editions that I buy and a decrease in the number of Kindle editions. I've also been spending some more time in my local library. At the beginning of June I picked up roughly nine books at the library.
However, as I mentioned in my previous post, I spend about 40% of my days in car which can severely limit the amount of reading I am able to do. 
Over the years I've held several outside sales positions and in each of these  find myself gravitating towards audiobooks as a source of entertainment. 
There are really 3 ways that I get my audiobooks, the first is through buying/subscription services such as Audible and iTunes.
I enjoy Audible and one reason is because of the badges and the fun sense of accomplishment that you get with their app. For those of you who haven't tried it, they have badges that you get if say you listen to a book all through your lunch break or if you listen half the night (or most likely fall asleep listening).  They also have some wonderful scrubbing tools and the app works very well.
The second way that I get audiobooks is through Amazon's Whispersync for voice and I absolutely love this! How it works is that you go to purchase the ebook of your choice. I recently got The Scorch Trials for $3.99. Then there is an option to add narration. Now, sometimes the narration is $12 or $13, but in the case of The Scorch Trials, the narration was only $2.99! Score! From there you download the book to your Kindle reading app with the narration. I don't know what Magic (errr Tech) they use to accomplish this, but you can essentially read to page 394 and then get in your car and the narration picks up. It's wonderful. If you are a Kindle Unlimited subscriber you can actually use this feature on a good number of the Kindle Unlimited Selections, which I did with Graceling and 1984.

But, all that is a story for another day, today I want to talk about Over Drive!
Over Drive is the name of the App. It doesn't cost anything and all you need is a library card to access. You signup for your account, enter your library card number, and BAM! You're in. You have access to your libraries complete digital collection. 
My collection is called Tennessee R.E.A.D's and from what I understand it is for the complete Tennessee library collection. 

Here is the homepage:
So you can see that I have several options. The Menu, My Account, Questions and Search. 
The first part of what pops up is Recommendations for me. Based on what I have checked out recently. I usually look over those but often I ignore them. If I were to suggestion improvements I would say there should be a way to link it with Goodreads so that it knows what I have already read and suggest new titles. 
Below what you see here is New Ebooks, Ads (only for them), New Audiobooks, and they also have some streaming video too. They also have a topical section like Summer Reads or Travel Reads. 
Under the menu they have different categories where you can see books that are available. Featured Collections, eBook Fiction and NonFiction, Audiobook Fiction and Non Fiction and Streaming video. I selected Audiobook fiction and then Young Adult Fiction.
Which then took me to the YA Fiction page. I can search within that genre if I am looking for a particular title, I would probably use that for if I knew that a book I wanted to read had the word "ashes" in it but I didn't know the full name. You can view as a grid or list and sort by several categories. 
According to this there are 1441 Young Adult audiobook titles in my libraries eBook collection. But that's a lot, and there are only X amount of copies, so there maybe 19 copies of If I Stay and they may all be reserved. What I do if I am not looking for something specific is filter my search. I only ever use one: Available Now. That means that I can start reading, or listening, right now.

From there I can select which books I want to listen too, or if I see something that is not available right now I can put it on hold, which I will get to in a minute. 
Another feature that I enjoy is being able to search by author. If I already have a book in my 'bookshelf' that I really enjoyed and I want to see what other books are by that author.
I click on the book which takes me to the books page giving me all the information. I can then look at all the other books in the series by click on the series name or I can click on the author's name. I use it both ways, especially if I have read everything in that series and I want to know what else the author has written. From there I can select other works by the author. 

I chose Sarah J. Maas, because who else right? I want to check out A Court of Thorns and Roses. So I click it, get to the info page, and see that it is available to put on... Hold. 
Now we get to Holds. Holds are annoying and they suck, but if I really want to read it, I'll put a hold until I either get it or buy it (there is an option to Buy It Now which gives you options of where you can buy it like iTunes or Kobo). So I click 'Place A Hold and I enter my email and it sends me an email when my book is available to download. In a previous version you had to go in and download the book within 72 hours but now it automatically adds the selection to your bookshelf (unless you choose not to). 
The last feature I will show is the bookshelf and the holds shelf. The bookshelf is where you go to download all of your titles. I use Kindle to download most of my ebooks and the Overdrive App to download all of my audiobooks.
Then there is the holds section where I can view information about books I have on hold, most importantly how many people are ahead of me on the wait list. That's pretty much it. There are some other features like search but they are pretty self explanatory. 

So that's a basic overview of how to use the app and the features that I use. My plan is to write a review in the middle of this week and then to write an overview of the Over Drive App which I use primarily for audiobooks, at the end of the week. 

I hope you enjoyed this! If you have questions feel free to email me or find me on social media! I would love to answer question and hear your feedback. 

Live Long and Prosper.