#245 – Optimizing OverDrive with Lateefah Zawistowski

This week on the podcast we are joined by Lateefah Zawistowski to discuss all things OverDrive. As an account manager for OverDrive, Lateefah gives us the inside look at how OverDrive works, how authors can add and market their books on OverDrive, and how libraries utilize the service.

This week on the podcast we are joined by Lateefah Zawistowski to discuss all things OverDrive. As an account manager for OverDrive, Lateefah gives us the inside look at how OverDrive works, how authors can add and market their books on OverDrive, and how libraries utilize the service. She also shares some advice on pricing your books for libraries, what trends she’s currently seeing in library sales, and she discusses the impact of the pandemic on libraries.

  • Lateefah tells us about her role as account manager at OverDrive and why she believes publishers and indie authors alike should consider opting their books into OverDrive
  • She discusses the borrowing habits of readers and how they change based on the genre, and she tells us why the library is such a great tool for discovery, especially for backlist and midlist titles
  • Lateefah explains how libraries purchase books from OverDrive, the multiple purchasing models available to authors and libraries, what time of year libraries are most likely to be purchasing books, and she gives some advice on how to price your eBook for libraries
  • She gives us her predictictions for library trends in 2021 and beyond, and explains why the surge of new library users at the beginning of the pandemic, while great, isn’t necessarily enough to support local libraries
  • Lateefah discusses OverDrive promotions and she explains how merchandising is essential to discoverability on OverDrive
  • She explains the global reach of OverDrive and how many different markets they’re available to, from public libraries to education to corporations, and she discusses the different language markets outside of English Language books
  • Lateefah talks to us about current trends in library sales, what books have sold the best during the pandemic, and she explains why genre fiction is having a big moment right now

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Lateefah Zawistowski is an Account Manager on the Publisher Relations team at OverDrive. Lateefah is responsible for maintaining the day to day relationships with existing publisher partners and for developing new content partner relationships. She represents mostly US based publishers of all sizes, as well as video suppliers. Lateefah is a proud Midwesterner that enjoys knitting, crafting, true crime and romance novels. She resides in Cleveland with her husband, Mike and dog, Braxton.

Episode Transcript

Transcription provided by SpeechPad

Stephanie: Hey, writers. You’re listening to the “Kobo Writing Life Podcast.” We’re bringing insights and inspiration for growing your self-publishing business. We’re your hosts, I’m Stephanie.

Joni: And I’m Joni. On today’s episode of the podcast, we talk to Lateefah Zawistowski, who is an account manager on the publisher relations team at Overdrive.

Stephanie: She’s responsible for maintaining the day to day relationships with existing publisher partners and for developing new content partner relationships. She mostly represents U.S based publishers of all sizes, as well as video suppliers. And we got Lateefah to talk to us it kind of about the whole process at Overdrive. So how to get your books onto Overdrive, how to market your books on Overdrive, how to promote them, sales that they have going on, and then also kind of more behind the scenes details of what libraries are looking to purchase. And when they do, they’re purchasing the most. So it’s a whole overview of Overdrive, and we hope you enjoy. So here is the interview.

Joni: We are here today with the Lateefah from Overdrive, who is going to speak to us a little bit about libraries, and how libraries buy books, and all that kind of fun stuff. Thanks so much for joining us Lateefah.

Lateefah: Thanks for having me.

Joni: Can you start by introducing yourself and explaining what you do at Overdrive?

Lateefah: Sure. So my name is Lateefah Zawistowski, and I am an account manager on our Publisher Account Services team. So basically, that means that all of the publishers and video suppliers or audiobook suppliers that we work with that Overdrive, I just manage their day to day business and make sure that their sales look nice, and that they’re getting promoted on the platform and all those fun things.

Stephanie: So we’re kind of starting from the beginning. And then we’re going to expand into our question. So how can authors get their books on Overdrive? And then why should they also consider Overdrive as poor as their distribution?

Lateefah: Well, I feel like we could talk the whole hour about how great libraries are, especially for, you know, midlist or backlist authors or self published authors. But I’ll start with your first question, how do they get onto Overdrive? And the nice thing is, this is a Kobo podcast. So nice and easy, be a part of Kobo Writing Life, and you can be on Overdrive, it’s super simple. And I’m sure that you guys, you know, promote that. We work with another other handful of aggregators. And for larger publishers, or kind of middle publishers, the 15 titles or more, you can certainly apply on our website company@overdrive.com, to have a direct account with us. And why you should be on Overdrive? Well, again, I could talk for days. But I think too, with the global pandemic and the onset of, you know, everyone staying home, schools being closed, libraries being closed, we’ve seen how important digital is for accessibility for people.

And so for people to be able to sign on to their phone, tablet, laptop with their library card, and have access to their library’s collection of digital titles and audio books and videos, it’s just been instrumental and so helpful and great for people that, you know, even if you can or can’t afford, you know, some of the other services that are available, it’s just nice to be able to have that option to be able to use your public library if the physical building is closed. Also, I would say for…I mentioned indie authors and midlist authors and things like that earlier, it’s great.

The library is such an underutilized discovery tool for authors, I feel like when authors are thinking about their marketing and, you know, maybe doing some social media tours or other things, they don’t think about the library as much. But what a librarian does for your book is the same thing that like a local bookseller will do for your book, right? Like, somebody walks in, they’re looking for a book to read, so they match the right reader with the right book. And you could find a new fan just by having somebody ask their local librarian, “What’s new?” Or “Can you suggest a book for me?” So the library is a great place or discovery to find new readers and to market your book basically.

Joni: Something that I’ve noticed when digging through library sales is that sometimes we’ll have an author that doesn’t do particularly well or outstandingly well in their regular e-book sales, but they do super, super well in the library. Like, they don’t always match. Do you have any idea why that is? Like why there’s certain titles that appear to library readers for?

Lateefah: Yeah, I think there’s a few reasons why. In the retail space, you tend to push front list titles, so, you know, what’s new, what’s coming out next month, six months from now? And the library, again, every book is new to a person who hasn’t read it yet, right? So sometimes you might see those backless titles that, you know, suddenly have a new life or a library decides to do a reading group on a title that’s a few years old. So that could be a reason why.

Another reason is the genre. So for instance, with juvenile titles and young-adult titles, a lot of like kid’s picture books aren’t really…like people don’t really buy those in digital or retail, you know, like, they just don’t. Because you want to gift those to people, they’re physical books that you can hold and read with your kid who’s learning how to read. While the library is a totally different animal, where, you know, librarians want to have juvenile titles and their digital collection available for people, a lot of publishers tell us, “You’re totally over performing juvenile YA titles.” And I think that’s part of the reason why. It’s because it’s so rooted in the gifting economy from a retail perspective, but the libraries really like to stock up on those in their digital collections as well.

Joni: Is that something that’s happened since the pandemic or it’s always been that way?

Lateefah: It’s always been that way.

Joni: Oh, that’s interesting. I actually wouldn’t expect people to read digitally to their kids, basically, because of what you said, like, it’s nice to hold a picture book or whatever. So that is really interesting, because we definitely find that e-books don’t particularly perform well with kid’s books.

Lateefah: Yeah, another thing too, I think this is why cookbooks over perform as well, people might borrow them to see if they want to buy the physical book. So they might borrow a digital title and explore it, you know, like, especially with cookbooks. You might want to try out a couple recipes, or see if there’s stuff in there that you actually like before you go ahead and purchase the physical title. So like, yeah, I don’t want to have a digital library, you know, full of $20 cookbooks on my iPad or something, but I might check it out from the library and try it out, see if I like it, then go buy it.

Joni: That makes a lot of sense. What about other books that…I’m trying to think of other books that you might not necessarily buy in digital, like yoga books or fitness type books. Do you find that it’s the same with that kind of title?

Lateefah: Yeah. And I mean, you kind of like are going down this like path too nonfiction, like professional development, or SAT prep, or things like that, that, you know, might be expensive. If I’m looking for a job, I might not have 50 bucks for professional development title. But I can borrow it from my library’s digital collection, get help with my resume, and return it when I’m done because I’m not going to need that book forever either. So, yeah, definitely, with, you know, some nonfiction instructional, if you want to call it that.

Joni: That’s really good to know, something we can push with our authors for sure.

Stephanie: So how do librarians purchase books? Because I think a lot of people assume or what I’ve noticed is that authors will be like, “My book is not on Overdrive’s catalog.” But they’re not there because they haven’t been purchased yet. So can you kind of like explain the process and like how the Overdrive catalog works compared to librarians and what they see?

Lateefah: Yeah. Yeah, you’re right, because we do get questions a lot from authors that are like, “My library doesn’t have my book, it must not be on Overdrive, but there is that extra stuff there.”So what happens, let’s say that you are a Kobo Writing Life author, and you have your title available for purchase on Overdrive. So what happens is that title goes on to the Overdrive platform. And let’s say this is the public library purchaser, for instance, the purchaser for that library has to go in, physically choose your title, add it to a cart, purchase it, and then it gets added to that library’s digital collection.

So for instance, some people are like, “My local library is Toronto Public Library, I want them to have my book.” Well, sometimes, you know, the librarian at the counter might not be the person with the credit card purchasing on Overdrive. So that might be something you want to be conscious of, if you’re trying to like get your books into libraries, is that, there is that extra step of purchasing that needs to happen before your title can appear on our Libby app, for instance.

Joni: And is there a particular time of year that libraries do most of their purchasing or is there a busy time?

Lateefah: So we do see an uptick and heavier and busier times, obviously, when library doors were closing, we saw an upgrade, like there could be environmental factors that are totally outside of our control. A library could get a grant to run a program on diversity initiatives and all of a sudden you see your book, you know, explode with one library. So there are things that are definitely out of our control that happen that, yeah, someone’s like, “Hey, I just got a huge order from Los Angeles Public Library. What’s that about?” So then we are like, “Okay, let’s see what happened there.” But in general, usually we’ll tell publishers, “Expect an increase in sale towards the end of the year and the middle of the year.” And this is because we see a lot of library budgets that expire at those times. And so they’re budgeting for a new fiscal year and want to spend the rest of their money. So we run a huge end of year sale in December, and then we run a few different sales in June to be able to accommodate for that.

Stephanie: And what purchasing models are available? I guess, is it available to librarians, or is it available to authors, so they can read their sales appointments?

Lateefah: Sure. So if you’re a Kobo Writing Life author, you have the option to enter into a one copy, one user model and a cost per circulation model. The one copy, one user model, if you think about a physical book, that’s how it operates. So the library purchases the digital book, it sits in their digital collection, and one person can check it out at a time. And as long as the library has an account with Overdrive, that book remains in their digital collection, just like a physical book would. The cost per circulation model is a little different, it doesn’t cost anything for the library to add that title into their collection. But then the library is charged a small fee every time someone checks it out.

So we see a lot of times, let’s say if there’s a long holds list for the one- copy-one-user model, they might choose to purchase that cost for checkout and clear some of those holds out so more people can get access to the book. Also, if they’re doing some book club event, they might choose to purchase the cost per circulation model, because they don’t need 50 copies sitting in their digital collection, you know, they just are running the program for the month, they need to get it out to 50 people. And so that’s going to serve their needs the best. So we always tell people, the more options you give libraries, the better. So even if people are like, “Well, I haven’t really had any cost per circulation sales,” it doesn’t really matter. Like there’s no downside to adding on more sales models, really. And then we have other models available.

So if there’s any librarians that, you know, are on listening to the podcast, they may be like, “Hey, what are some other options for us?” We also offer some publishers like to offer a simultaneous use model where you can pick 25 titles and have them for a year. And that’s, you know, obviously a larger cost. And again, that might be used to serve some sort of larger community reading program for a public library. And we also just rolled out this past year, a limited concurrent use model. So that would be…again, if you’re running a program, and your budget allows for it, let’s say you’re like, “I want to purchase 100 circulations upfront,” that’s it.

And then once those are gone, and like, “Or maybe not. I just want to have 100 circulations.” And when they’re gone, they’re gone and that’s it, you know. So it gives the library, you know, just more flexibility with their budgets, basically. And whether a book is available in a certain model, is dependent on the publisher. So the publisher gets to decide, “I want to sell my books, one copy, one user on cost per circulation, or one copy, one user and simultaneous use. So those are set by the publisher. We highly encourage, again, all of our publishers to check mark all sales models just to allow for that flexibility, because the more options you give people to spend, we find the more they will spend.

Joni: Yeah, and just for any authors listening, Kobo Writing Life, we have the cost per checkout and the one copy, one user model. And you don’t get to opt in or out of those, they’re available to all librarians.

Stephanie: We have done simultaneous use in the past for special requests. So we can make it happen, if you’re wondering.

Joni: We’re definitely of the opinion that the more options to give librarians the better. We love libraries here at Kobo.

Lateefah: Yeah, and those are our two most popular models, by the way. So if people are like, “Oh, no, don’t you.” Those are our most popular. So if you are one copy, one user and cost per…you’re involved in Kobo Writing Life, you are already set. And you have the best options available to you, so, no worries there.

Joni: And in terms of earnings, so for the one-cost-one-user or one- copy forever, you get paid your library price, which you choose to set. And then I believe it’s 10% of your library price for the cost per checkout. This is the ultimate question, but authors ask it a lot. Do you have any tips on pricing for libraries?

Lateefah: Yes, for one copy, one user, I know audio books are tough because we understand there, you know, maybe you hired a narrator and, you know, there’s the extra production costs, there’s extra things you got to do. So that’s a little bit tougher to price but in general, for an EPUB copy, I would say whatever you’re selling it at retail is appropriate for the library rate because it operates the same as a physical copy would, but you don’t have the printing costs associated.

So because the lending model is the same as a physical book, we just say, you know, as close to the retail price as you want to get is ideal for a library. Because think again too, libraries, there’s just one pie, there’s one budget. And from year to year, it doesn’t typically go up, it typically will go down if it changes, right? Unfortunately, that’s the world we live in. So if you want to get a piece of the library budget pie, you want to be priced competitively, and so I always recommend just pricing close to the retail amount.

Joni: So you talked a little bit about how the pandemic affected sales in 2020. The library spent a lot, Overdrive did super well, do you have any predictions for 2021? Do you think that it will follow the same kind of trends?

Lateefah: I wish that I did because if I knew, I would not be sitting on this call right now. We would not need this job. But in general, unfortunately, like I said, the world we live in is just not ideal, right? And local governments, state governments here in the U.S, especially are under a lot of constraints because of the pandemic, and budgets are being slashed. And it’s not something that we like to hear. We’re happy that new people have entered into the digital world. You know, we saw an uptick in users that typically would not be comfortable with audio books or digital e-books, you know, using our service. So that’s great. We got some new end users. But library budgets are struggling all over the country and, and all over the world. And it’s sad to see. But we’re hoping that community see the value of what we’re providing and see the value of what libraries are providing.

So the goal is always to help libraries, top libraries spend their budgets wisely, and to help them, you know, if there’s a lot…like, for instance, in my community, there was a tax levy. And so Overdrive like helped hand out yard signs for people to vote yes, for this issue, vote yes, for your library. So if we could help, you know, some of those issues get passed, we absolutely will do what we can. I know the American Library Association and other associations like it also help. But, yeah, the goal is always to like get communities and local governments to see the value that the library has, and to not flash those budgets. But unfortunately, we are seeing those budget cuts into 2021.

Joni: And what can authors do from there and to help promote library sales? Or, not sales, I guess, sales of their books, but library engagement?

Lateefah: Yeah, I mean, I think there’s a lot that you can do, right? And, you know, don’t get discouraged if you’ve reached out to your local library and haven’t had the most positive response. You know, librarians they have a lot on their plate, they’re doing 10 to 20 different jobs at once, just like all of us are. So I would say, reach out to them and ask them what the…say, “Hey, I’m a local author, what can I do for you?” Especially since, you know, there a lot of places you can’t go into a physical library building and hold a program anymore, right? And definitely, if you see those issues come up on your local ballot, call and ask your library, “Hey, do you need help handing out signs? Do you need help phone banking?” Whatever it is, and they would greatly…I don’t know any library staff I’ve ever come into contact with that would be like, “No, don’t help us [inaudible 00:18:52].” So if you see those issues come up, definitely call them and see what you can do.

Stephanie: And you also do library promotions, which I think not many authors know about or maybe they haven’t thought of before. Can you talk a little bit about how library promotions work, and then what type of promotions are the most successful, particularly for libraries?

Lateefah: Sure. So we talked earlier about how there’s kind of a process of purchasing on our site. And we, on that purchasing platform, do not use any sort of like algorithms or anything like that to suggest titles to purchase. Everything’s done by hand by our staff librarians and by our merchandising team. So we run sales every month. We have an editorial calendar that I give to Joni every year that outlines all of our sales for the year.

So, participating and sales and promotions off of that editorial calendar are key because that’s what gets you discoverability on the site. So sometimes people will say, “Are there keywords we can use? Are there, you know, certain tags we can use?” Not really. Just participate in those sales and promotions when they come up. And, you know, upload new content regularly is what we tell publishers. But I know for authors like, you got to do… you know, I don’t want to be like, “When’s your new book coming out? Can we have a new book every month?”

Joni: But indie authors do that already. Like…

Lateefah: They do. Yeah. Make sure that if you’re coming out with new titles, they’re on there regularly, and that’s the best practice.

Stephanie: Joni, this is your plug. Reach out to Joni if you’re interested.

Joni: Yes. Email me, and we can get you on the library promotions list. Definitely.

Stephanie: So this my favorite question that I have is, have you ever seen a book that you would have considered unlikely, or like it was a surprise success for like library patrons?

Lateefah: This is like top of mind to me, just because I think I was listening to a podcast or read an article about it. But for us, this was like, maybe a few years ago when I had just first started at Overdrive. And “The New Jim Crow” had just come out. And it was like, for those of you that don’t know, “The New Jim Crow” it’s kind of like a small academic book almost. And it’s about diversity and how, you know, the institutional racism mainly in the U.S, and the police state and the school to prison pipeline and things like that, and overcrowding of prisons, and how it affects minorities in general. And so it’s kind of like academic and focus. And it really exploded on Overdrive. And we saw a huge uptick in programming and educational content around it. And usually, our number one genre is romance.

So for something like that to get noticed…and that wasn’t just in the library world that was in the retail world, too. And it was kind of like a huge surprise that that book took off the way it did. And it paved the way for books like it that we see now about diversity and inclusion. So that’s just the top of my mind. That was kind of like a surprise, but you guys have actually brought…like sometimes when we get a…so for those of you that don’t know, I meet with Joni and Stephanie on a regular basis. And sometimes they’re like, “Hey, this book is doing really good, what’s going on?” And I’m like, “Oh.” So you guys surprise me too, when you bring up certain titles that, like Joni mentioned earlier, might not be doing as well in retail, but are kind of doing really well on Overdrive. So that’s always fun to see.

Joni: Yeah. And I’m interested in like how agile I guess, or responsive are libraries, when..like you said that “The New Jim Crow” kind of woke the buyers, I guess up to like, “Oh, maybe we need more of this kind of content, because obviously people want it.” Like how quickly can a library respond to demands from patrons?

Lateefah: They respond immediately. And they notice, you know, if there’s a book coming out in the next three to six months, and we don’t have it up yet, or it’s a big author, or there’s a lot of buzz around it, or, you know, whatever, they’re emailing their account manager, like, “When can I purchase this book? Why isn’t it up yet?” So they’re agile, they notice, they’re very good at their jobs. And they know what titles they want and they want it available on preorder. So, yeah, they’re very agile.

Joni: This is something that I really love about libraries, is that, I think it doesn’t…and correct me if I’m wrong, but I think that merchandising and like you said, you don’t use algorithms like it really is organic. And it really is like what people are genuinely responding to and engaging with rather than like, which book has the biggest marketing campaign behind it. I’m sure there’s some of that too.

Lateefah: Yeah, there’s definitely some of that, too. I mean, “The New York Times” bestsellers, like, they’re going to be Overdrive bestsellers, too, because, you know, that’s what end users want. But like I said, every book is a new book to the person who hasn’t read it yet. And so, yeah, it is organic. And it is really what people are finding too. And the library is so underutilized for books like that. And I think people really tend to forget that, you know, some of those…I had a call with a publisher a couple of weeks ago, and they showed me like this chart of where this book was sitting on like their retail list, where it was ranked, and where it was ranked on Overdrive. And it was like in our top five, and it wasn’t even in their top 50 in retail. Yeah, it is pretty cool to see that, you know, it’s not necessarily, which is great news for indie authors, right? Like, it’s not necessarily the most money that you spend on marketing, it’s who actually is interested in reading your book and interested in your content. So content is truly king on Overdrive.

Joni: Definitely. And a question that we get from a lot of authors are, first of all, is Overdrive worldwide? Like where do you do most of your work? And can people publish in non-English books?

Lateefah: Yes and yes. So we are worldwide and wherever you have rights to, please give us those rights, because we’re entering new countries every day. Even in some places, you wouldn’t really think like the Middle East. So, yes, we are worldwide. And we fall into a variety of markets, too. So the public library market is our big one. But we also sell to K12 schools, we sell to corporations. So maybe your employer wants to have a digital library available for employees, that’s professional development titles, or just general reading, so that’s available. We sell in the colleges and universities, it’s endless.

So a lot of people just think public library, but really, we sell into a variety of markets. And we get requests a lot for non-English content. In the U.S, languages other than English that we get requests for a lot are Spanish, Chinese, French, and I’m sure in Canada too, that, you know, a lot of our Canadian schools, they want French-Canadian content. So that is huge, and especially if it’s original content in that language. Translated content is great too but also original content in the language of origin we get a lot of requests for.

Joni: That’s great to know. Thank you. And then, also you talked a little bit about sales trends. But I’m interested if there are any, like book type, or like reading trends that you’ve noticed, or if you have any predictions for what’s the next big thing. I’ve noticed with Overdrive, this is something that you can tell me again, if this is something that you see, but I really noticed that the books that have those like illustrated rom com, pastel type covers, like do crazy well in libraries.

Lateefah: Yeah, those are really hot right now. I am a romance reader, so I am partial. But the numbers back me up. Romance is always our number one. It’s number one favorite. And just any sort of genre fiction, I think, you know, the highbrow literary fiction is great and people love reading that too. But I think especially now, people just want to get lost in another world. And they want sci-fi, they want fantasy and romance and just something a little different than what’s going on now. And like, strangely enough true crime these days.

Stephanie: Why is it always true crime? I am like, I’m a fan of true crime, but it’s always the most popular everywhere, podcasts, books, TV shows. I don’t know why.

Joni: I don’t get it. Actually, like, it affects me. I can’t walk alone or like go to bed or…like, I just can’t listen to too much of that. I don’t understand what everyone does.

Stephanie: At the end of the day, a crime story is an excellent story.

Lateefah: That’s such a good point. Yeah, I think that’s what it is. It’s just I’m into it and I don’t know why, even through the pandemic, I was shocked by my own self. Like, why am I consuming this content? Why do I still love it?

Stephanie: It was like, “Oh, a new Netflix crime documentary?” Sure. I’m ready.

Lateefah: Right. Right. Like, maybe it’s because it’s like…okay, my worst reality at the moment is that I’m just stuck in my house. So maybe it’s like, there’s some ways it could be worse, especially in the dark. But…

Joni: Were there any big like pandemic themed books that did well this year? I feel like the plague had a big bump on Kobo.

Stephanie: “Contagion” that movie I saw. That started trending.

Joni: Yeah.

Lateefah: Yeah. Stuff like that. Sourcebooks came out with a really cute Elmo kids book about wearing your mask. So stuff like that for kids about washing your hands and wearing your mask and stuff like that. So, yeah, things you would expect, I would say. I wasn’t really surprised. What was surprising was over the summer, which is good and bad. Like, it’s sad that it happened, but I’m glad, again, going back to the anti-racist titles. I’m really glad to see a lot of public libraries and schools, pick up some of those books and use it as an educational moment.

So that was something in the COVID era that is kind of COVID related. But, yeah, I was really glad to see people focused in on diversity and inclusion and not just for people of color, but also for indigenous people and transgender people and non-binary people and, you know, I just…seeing our communities becoming more inclusive through education is just inspiring in a way. It was like the good out of the bad. So that was surprising. I think, you know, we expected people to read more romance, we expected people to pick up more true crime, as weird as it sounds. But there wasn’t anything that I was like…other than that, there wasn’t anything that I was like, “Oh, that is odd. Why are people [inaudible 00:30:07]”

Joni: Yeah, I think that those are going to continue to grow as more people…like, I guess publishing is becoming more accessible, and publishers are looking to publish different voices and different stories. So I think we’re only going to see growth there, which is fantastic.

Lateefah: Yeah. And it proves that there is an audience. So before if there was one…you know, we have a black woman writer, why do we need another one now? Well, there’s an audience and there’s room for everybody in this space. So, you know, I think that the market has really responded to that in a positive way and proven that there is room for everyone here.

Joni: And our final and favorite question is, what have you been loving lately? It can be anything at all. Could be a romance or a true crime.

Lateefah: True crime? Oh, yeah. We were talking before about…I just downloaded the Peloton app. And I’ve been doing some cycling classes on that. But I don’t want people to think that I’m like a workout person because I’m not…

Joni: God forbid that you’re a workout person.

Lateefah: Like, listen, I’m not getting up at 6:00 a.m. and going to my basement to work out. That’s not what’s happening. I have really been loving the Peloton classes. They’re really inspiring, and if you have the means I highly encouraged it. And another thing that I thought about during the podcast is, my husband turned me on to “Ted Lasso”. And if you need some just general positivity in your life, that show, it’s awesome. It’s about an American football coach that gets hired to coach soccer or what we would call soccer in the U.S in the UK. And he knows nothing about soccer, and he’s just the most positive person you would ever meet. And people are so mean to him, and they call him a wanker. It’s just a great, great…Jason Sudeikis is the main character so I highly recommend it.

Stephanie: I’ve only heard good things about that show.

Joni: I’ve never heard of anything that people recommend like most of the times. It’s terrible. I learned so much from this podcast.

Lateefah: I think sometimes two people are like, “Oh, you gotta watch this show or that movie.” And I’m like, “Yeah, okay, I’m just gonna watch ‘Bob’s Burgers’ again tonight.” But…

Joni: It’s true. It’s true. It takes a lot of commitment. It’s like when everyone was telling me to watch “Game of Thrones” and I’m like, “I’m not watching it now. Like, it’ll take me seven years to catch up. Like, I can’t do it.”

Stephanie: And like it didn’t turn out well. So you saved yourself hours and hours of your time.

Joni: Can you tell us where people can find information on Overdrive online?

Lateefah: Yes, you can find information on Twitter and Instagram. We are @overdrivelibs. And you can also email my department if you are an interested publisher at pubinfo@overdrive.com. We’re also you know, @overdrivelibs, Instagram, Twitter, and we love to hear from you on social medias.

Joni: Awesome. Well, this has been great. Thank you so much. I learned a lot.

Lateefah: Yeah, I learned a lot too from you. I always learn a lot from you two. And this is kind of fun to like, do something other than like our normal meetings, which are kind of data heavy. And that’s my fault.

Stephanie: But we want those numbers though.

Lateefah: Yeah, a fun interlude, so I appreciate it.

Stephanie:Thank you for listening to the “Kobo Writing Life Podcast.” If you are interested in having your books on Overdrive, you can opt in your titles to the Kobo Writing Life dashboard on the rights and distribution page. Or if you have any questions about Overdrive that you want some clarification on, email us at writinglife@kobo.com.

Joni: This episode was produced by Joni Di Placido and Stephanie McGrath with production assistance from Rachel Wharton. Music was provided by Tear Jerker, editing is done by Kelly Rowbotham and big thanks to Lateefah for being our guest today.

Stephanie: If you’re ready to start your self-publishing journey today, sign up for free@kobo.com/writinglife. Until next time, happy writing.

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