The craft and business of writing and self publishing

Distribute to OverDrive via KWL – Hassle-Free Library Distribution, 50% royalties

Did you know that you can distribute your eBooks to OverDrive with one click, right in your Kobo Writing Life dashboard? Reaching millions of library readers—and receiving the best royalty rate you’ll find anywhere—is as easy as opting your eBooks in and setting a Library price.

OverDrive is Kobo’s sister company, meaning we are working together to offer you the exact rate (50% of your library list price) you would get if you had a direct OverDrive account, but without the added hassle of managing two separate accounts, AND without any additional aggregator royalty cut.

So what do you need to know?

  • You have the option to opt-in eBooks to OD’s library system on a title-by-title basis
  • You will be able to set a unique USD library price for each title, and OverDrive will match the territories for distribution with the territories you’ve chosen for each eBook
  • Minimum library price is $0.99. OverDrive will reject Public Domain content, non-English language titles, and erotica
  • Most library eBooks are priced at around what you would charge for a mass-market paperback, or between 1.5-2x above your eBook list price
  • You will be paid 50% of the USD library price for every sale to an OverDrive-enabled library—the highest rate you will find anywhere
  • In this early phase of the KWL/OverDrive relationship, there will not be any online KWL Dashboard reporting. Reporting will all be done via the monthly sales spreadsheets that you receive from
  • Payment will be added to the regular KWL payments to KWL accounts with the same (45 days later) approach as retail sales

KWL User View

All KWL users will see the opportunity to opt their titles in via the Rights and Distribution tab in Kobo.

By default, when you go to that screen, this is what you will see….



The Terms of Service appears (when you click on that link) in a pop up box


Once the author clicks on the OPT-IN for OverDrive, the USD library price field opens up.


Here is the help text you will see when you click into that field.  (A notice that your price must be at least $0.99)



Once you have entered a price, this is what your view will look like.



OverDrive Libraries 

A listing of locations for OD empowered libraries and schools appears here.

Once your eBook is live on OverDrive, spread the words to your fans so they can request your eBook at their local library. OverDrive also launched a great free app, Libby, where users can browse eBooks right on their devices.

As you can see, the process is incredibly simple and a fantastic way to get your book out to a new market—and help you increase your earnings!



8 Responses to “Distribute to OverDrive via KWL – Hassle-Free Library Distribution, 50% royalties”

    • kobowritinglife

      Yes, you need to have a KWL account to take advantage of this.

  1. Richard Murray

    Thanks I have successfully set up nearest all none free ebooks already published to Overdrive. thanks for informing as well as the help.

  2. SK

    May I know why OverDrive will reject non-English language title ebooks? Thanks for reply.

  3. Elizabeth Barone

    This is so exciting! I just heard about this on The Creative Penn and I’ve emailed the KWL team. I really appreciate the advice on library pricing, too.

  4. Using Draft2Digital, My Experience - Word Marker Edits

    […] If you go directly to Kobo instead of permitting D2D to do it for you, then hold off on using D2D to distribute your work to OverDrive. Racuten owns both Kobo and OverDrive, and yu can distribute your e-book from your Kobo Writing Life (KWL) dashboard and receive the best royalty rate. See “Distribute to OverDrive via KWL—Hassle-Free Library Distribution, 50% Royalties.” […]


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