OverDrive Developers

Metadata API

The Metadata API delivers detailed metadata for a specific product, including author, title, genre, synopses, reviews, and more. Remember that not all titles will have data associated with every possible metadata field.

Note: The examples below show our production API URL. If you're using our integration environment, use https://integration.api.overdrive.com or https://integration-patron.api.overdrive.com. For more information on the integration environment, please see Getting Started.

Data returned with the Metadata API can be used to display specific information on a title or to generate custom collection lists based on specific factors, such as notable reviewers (e.g., The New York Times).

Using the Metadata API

The Metadata API returns detailed information for a specific title. You can navigate to a title's metadata by following the hypermedia links from the Search API results.

The Metadata API accepts either a reserveId or crossRefId. The reserveId value is not case-sensitive.

Example request:

GET https://api.overdrive.com/v1/collections/v1L1BYwAAAA2Q/products/e3d00783-30d7-4bad-a74f-f761c2f69cc0/metadata
User-Agent: {Your application}
Authorization: Bearer {OAuth access token}
Host: api.overdrive.com

Example Response:

200 OK
Cache-Control: no-cache
Pragma: no-cache
X-Frame-Options: DENY
Date: Wed, 10 May 2023 13:26:07 GMT
Content-Type: application/json; charset=utf-8
Expires: -1
Content-Length: 8268

{
    "isOwnedByCollections": true,
    "id": "e3d00783-30d7-4bad-a74f-f761c2f69cc0",
    "crossRefId": 161881,
    "mediaType": "eBook",
    "title": "Queste",
    "subtitle": "Septimus Heap Series, Book 4",
    "sortTitle": "Queste Septimus Heap Series Book 04",
    "series": "Septimus Heap",
    "seriesId": 584183,
    "readingOrder": "4",
    "publisher": "HarperCollins",
    "imprint": "Katherine Tegen Books",
    "publishDate": "2009-10-13T00:00:00-04:00",
    "publishDateText": "10/13/2009",
    "creators": [
        {
            "role": "Author",
            "name": "Angie Sage",
            "fileAs": "Sage, Angie",
            "bioText": "ANGIE SAGE was born in London and grew up in the Thames Valley, London, and Kent. She loves the sea, spooky old houses, and time traveling (the easy way, by reading history books). Angie has created many books for children, including the New York Times bestselling series Septimus Heap and Araminta Spookie. She lives in England. Visit her online at www.angiesage.com and on Twitter @AngieSageAuthor.<"
        },
        {
            "role": "Illustrator",
            "name": "Mark Zug",
            "fileAs": "Zug, Mark"
        }
    ],
    "links": {
        "self": {
            "href": "https://api.overdrive.com/v1/collections/v1L1BYwAAAA2Q/products/e3d00783-30d7-4bad-a74f-f761c2f69cc0/metadata",
            "type": "application/vnd.overdrive.api+json"
        }
    },
    "images": {
        "thumbnail": {
            "href": "https://img1.od-cdn.com/ImageType-200/0293-1/{E3D00783-30D7-4BAD-A74F-F761C2F69CC0}IMG200.JPG",
            "type": "image/jpeg"
        },
        "cover150Wide": {
            "href": "https://img1.od-cdn.com/ImageType-150/0293-1/{E3D00783-30D7-4BAD-A74F-F761C2F69CC0}IMG150.JPG",
            "type": "image/jpeg"
        },
        "cover": {
            "href": "https://img1.od-cdn.com/ImageType-100/0293-1/{E3D00783-30D7-4BAD-A74F-F761C2F69CC0}IMG100.JPG",
            "type": "image/jpeg"
        },
        "cover300Wide": {
            "href": "https://img1.od-cdn.com/ImageType-400/0293-1/{E3D00783-30D7-4BAD-A74F-F761C2F69CC0}IMG400.JPG",
            "type": "image/jpeg"
        }
    },
    "languages": [
        {
            "code": "en",
            "name": "English"
        }
    ],
    "isPublicDomain": false,
    "isPublicPerformanceAllowed": false,
    "gradeLevels": [
        {
            "value": "Grade 4"
        }
    ],
    "ATOS": 5.8,
    "interestLevel": "MG",
    "lexileScore": 940,
    "shortDescription": "The fourth book in the internationally bestselling Septimus Heap series by Angie Sage, featuring the funny and fantastic adventures of a wizard apprentice and his quest to become an ExtraOrdinary Wizard. New York Times Bestselling Series \"Breezy charm, gusts of spectacular Magyk and a buoyant plot combining drama and comedy in just the right proportions.\"  — Kirkus Reviews (starred review)\"The Septimus Heap series remains one of the best outcomes of the young-wizard furor catalyzed by Harry Potter.\" — ALA Booklist There's trouble at the Castle, and it's all because Merrin Meredith has returned with Darke plans for Septimus. More trouble awaits Septimus and Jenna in the form of Tertius Fume, the ghost of the very first Chief Hermetic Scribe, who is determined to send Septimus on a deadly Queste. But Septimus and Jenna have other plans — they...",
    "fullDescription": "The fourth book in the internationally bestselling Septimus Heap series by Angie Sage, featuring the funny and fantastic adventures of a wizard apprentice and his quest to become an ExtraOrdinary Wizard. New York Times Bestselling Series \"Breezy charm, gusts of spectacular Magyk and a buoyant plot combining drama and comedy in just the right proportions.\" —Kirkus Reviews (starred review) \"The Septimus Heap series remains one of the best outcomes of the young-wizard furor catalyzed by Harry Potter.\" — ALA Booklist There's trouble at the Castle, and it's all because Merrin Meredith has returned with Darke plans for Septimus. More trouble awaits Septimus and Jenna in the form of Tertius Fume, the ghost of the very first Chief Hermetic Scribe, who is determined to send Septimus on a deadly Queste. But Septimus and Jenna have other plans — they are headed for the mysterious House of Foryx, a place where all Time meets and the place where they fervently hope they will be able to find Nicko and Snorri, who were trapped back in time in Physik. But how will Septimus escape the Queste?",
    "starRating": 4.5,
    "popularity": 1201,
    "subjects": [
        {
            "value": "Fantasy"
        },
        {
            "value": "Juvenile Fiction"
        },
        {
            "value": "Humor (Fiction)"
        }
    ],
    "bisacCodes": [
        {
            "code": "JUV019000",
            "description": "Juvenile Fiction / Humorous Stories"
        },
        {
            "code": "JUV037000",
            "description": "Juvenile Fiction / Fantasy and Magic"
        }
    ],
    "keywords": [
        {
            "value": "Magic"
        }
    ],
    "reviews": [
        {
            "source": "Kirkus Reviews (starred review)",
            "content": "\"Breezy charm, gusts of spectacular Magyk and a buoyant plot combining drama and comedy in just the right proportions.\" — Kirkus Reviews (starred review)\"The Septimus Heap series remains one of the best outcomes of the young-wizard furor catalyzed by Harry Potter.\" — ALA Booklist",
            "premium": false
        },
        {
            "source": "\"School",
            "content": "June 1, 2008 Gr 4-9- Fans of Septimus's previous adventures will welcome Sage's latest installment with an eagerness the book deserves. There are fearsome dealings afoot for 12-year-old Septimus Heap, and this time they begin with the foolish Darke Magyk of Merrin Meredith. When Merrin summons Things to do his bidding and aids a malevolent ghost of the first Chief Hermetic Scribe, the result sends Septimus on a Queste. No apprentice has ever survived such an ordeal, but the boy is determined to use this chance to find his brother Nicko, now trapped in time in a mysterious place called the House of Foryx. With his sister Jenna and friend Beetle by his side, he will either succeed in rescuing Nicko and his girlfriend or fall victim to a curse that has claimed too many others. Newcomers to Sage's world would do very well to read earlier books in this series before embarking on this latest title. Characters are almost overly abundant and many crop up in a chapter called \"Endings and Beginnings\" without making an appearance in the rest of the book. But fans looking for enjoyable characters, a well-paced plot, and the author's customary use of humor and verve will not be disappointed in this newest chapter in Septimus's life.\"Elizabeth Bird, New York Public Library\" Copyright 2008 School Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.",
            "premium": true
        }
    ],
    "formats": [
        {
            "id": "ebook-epub-adobe",
            "name": "Adobe EPUB eBook",
            "fileName": "Queste_9780061757051_161881",
            "identifiers": [
                {
                    "type": "ISBN",
                    "value": "9780061757051"
                }
            ],
            "fileSize": 2275483,
            "partCount": 0,
            "onSaleDate": "10/13/2009",
            "rights": [
                {
                    "type": "Copying",
                    "value": 63
                },
                {
                    "type": "Printing",
                    "value": 63
                },
                {
                    "type": "Lending",
                    "value": 0
                },
                {
                    "type": "ReadAloud",
                    "value": 1
                },
                {
                    "type": "ExpirationRights",
                    "value": 0
                }
            ],
            "samples": [
                {
                    "source": "From the book",
                    "formatType": "ebook-epub-adobe",
                    "url": "https://excerpts.cdn.overdrive.com/FormatType-410/0293-1/E3D/007/83/Queste9780061672088.epub"
                },
                {
                    "source": "From the book",
                    "formatType": "ebook-overdrive",
                    "url": "https://samples.overdrive.com/?crid=E3D00783-30D7-4BAD-A74F-F761C2F69CC0&.epub-sample.overdrive.com"
                }
            ]
        },
        {
            "id": "ebook-kindle",
            "name": "Kindle Book",
            "fileName": "Queste_161881",
            "identifiers": [
                {
                    "type": "ASIN",
                    "value": "B0010SEMO6"
                }
            ],
            "fileSize": 0,
            "partCount": 0,
            "onSaleDate": "10/13/2009",
            "samples": [
                {
                    "source": "From the book",
                    "formatType": "ebook-epub-adobe",
                    "url": "https://excerpts.cdn.overdrive.com/FormatType-410/0293-1/E3D/007/83/Queste9780061672088.epub"
                },
                {
                    "source": "From the book",
                    "formatType": "ebook-overdrive",
                    "url": "https://samples.overdrive.com/?crid=E3D00783-30D7-4BAD-A74F-F761C2F69CC0&.epub-sample.overdrive.com"
                }
            ]
        },
        {
            "id": "ebook-overdrive",
            "name": "OverDrive Read",
            "fileName": "Queste_9780061757051_161881",
            "identifiers": [
                {
                    "type": "ISBN",
                    "value": "9780061757051"
                }
            ],
            "fileSize": 0,
            "partCount": 0,
            "onSaleDate": "10/13/2009",
            "samples": [
                {
                    "source": "From the book",
                    "formatType": "ebook-epub-adobe",
                    "url": "https://excerpts.cdn.overdrive.com/FormatType-410/0293-1/E3D/007/83/Queste9780061672088.epub"
                },
                {
                    "source": "From the book",
                    "formatType": "ebook-overdrive",
                    "url": "https://samples.overdrive.com/?crid=E3D00783-30D7-4BAD-A74F-F761C2F69CC0&.epub-sample.overdrive.com"
                }
            ],
            "isReadAlong": false
        }
    ],
    "otherFormatIdentifiers": [
        {
            "type": "ISBN",
            "value": "9780060882099"
        }
    ]
}

You may have noticed that each sample format is listed several times—once for each full format in which a given title is available. For example, the Adobe EPUB ebook format in the response above lists two sample formats: ebook-epub-adobe and ebook-overdrive.

That means that, although a user may be borrowing an Adobe EPUB, the samples can be presented in either the Adobe EPUB or OverDrive Read format. We list out every available sample format each time so you can always see what sample formats are available, regardless of what formats are available for the full title.

Note: Sometimes the full title format will not match the available sample formats. For example, some MP3 audiobooks only come with WAV samples.

Beneath the formats, you'll see isReadAlong, which tells you whether the title is a read-along. A read-along is a type of ebook with professional narration that plays while you read. You'll see isReadAlong: true if a title is a read-along.

Preorder titles

The only difference between ready-to-circulate titles and preorder titles is the onSaleDate in the Metadata response. In the case of a preorder title, the onSaleDate will show a future date (and thus the title will be unable to circulate even though it's part of the library's collection). Users will still be able to search for and place holds on preorder titles.

Note: Publishers control the onSaleDate, so it may change without warning.

Using the crossRefId

The crossRefId field allows you to create permanent links to titles on overdrive.com and new OverDrive library websites. This means that you can structure a URL to link directly to these two resources from your own application.

https://overdrive.com/media/{crossRefId}

Using the title in the above example, Queste, you can create a simple URL to overdrive.com:

https://overdrive.com/media/161881

Similarly, to create a permanent link to the title on the library's OverDrive website, add the crossRefId to the library's URL:

https://{library}.overdrive.com/media/{crossRefId}

You can also use the crossRefId to create and embed a Readbox, which allows users to interact directly with a title and read a sample without leaving your application. To construct a Readbox, add /sample-embed to an overdrive.com link:

<script type="text/javascript" src="https://www.overdrive.com/media/{crossRefId}/sample-embed"></script>

Making a metadata call on a title that isn't in the collection

It's possible to make a Metadata call for a title that is no longer a part of the collection. When this happens, you'll see an isOwnedByCollections: false line at the very top of the response.

You'll still be able to see the metadata for these titles, but they aren't actually available to borrow through the particular collection (or collections) to which you are making the call.

Making a bulk metadata call

This endpoint works best if you'd like to get metadata for several titles at once. You can ask for the metadata for up to 50 titles at a time by supplying the reserveId or crossRefId for each one. These values can be passed using the parameter name "reserveIds" or "products." The reserveId value is not case-sensitive.

For this to work, all of the titles you're trying to get metadata for will need to be in the collection(s) supplied by the collection token. Everything from the regular Metadata API endpoint applies here too.

Note: The bulk Metadata API will return as many titles as possible, but the totalItems returned may be different than the number you requested.

Example request:

GET https://api.overdrive.com/v1/collections/v1L1BYwAAAA2Q/bulkmetadata?reserveIds=8e4f3eb6-1dae-4aad-b3e8-1efd12d061dd,3de559c1-4c24-4115-ab0d-0e75bec0d719,43f7c0c8-b10f-4546-81e1-221084059cd6
User-Agent: {Your application}
Authorization: Bearer {OAuth access token}
Host: api.overdrive.com

Example Response:

200 OK
Cache-Control: no-cache
Pragma: no-cache
X-Frame-Options: DENY
Date: Wed, 10 May 2023 18:44:47 GMT
Content-Type: application/json; charset=utf-8
Expires: -1
Content-Length: 14644

{
    "metadata": [
        {
            "isOwnedByCollections": true,
            "id": "8e4f3eb6-1dae-4aad-b3e8-1efd12d061dd",
            "crossRefId": 219,
            "mediaType": "eBook",
            "title": "Counting Coup: a True Story of Basketball and Honor on the Little Big Horn",
            "sortTitle": "Counting Coup a True Story of Basketball and Honor on the Little Big Horn",
            "publisher": "Grand Central Publishing",
            "publishDate": "2000-09-21T00:00:00-04:00",
            "publishDateText": "9/21/2000",
            "creators": [
                {
                    "role": "Author",
                    "name": "Larry Colton",
                    "fileAs": "Colton, Larry",
                    "bioText": "Larry Colton is the author of several notable works, including Counting Coup, Goat Brothers, and No Ordinary Joes. He has written for Esquire, Sports Illustrated, and the New York Times Magazine. A former pitcher for the Philadelphia Phillies, Colton himself played in the Southern League in 1966 for a farm team in Macon, GA."
                }
            ],
            "links": {
                "self": {
                    "href": "https://api.overdrive.com/v1/collections/v1L1BYwAAAA2Q/products/8e4f3eb6-1dae-4aad-b3e8-1efd12d061dd/metadata",
                    "type": "application/vnd.overdrive.api+json"
                }
            },
            "images": {
                "thumbnail": {
                    "href": "https://img1.od-cdn.com/ImageType-200/0017-1/{8E4F3EB6-1DAE-4AAD-B3E8-1EFD12D061DD}Img200.jpg",
                    "type": "image/jpeg"
                },
                "cover150Wide": {
                    "href": "https://img1.od-cdn.com/ImageType-150/0017-1/8E4/F3E/B6/{8E4F3EB6-1DAE-4AAD-B3E8-1EFD12D061DD}Img150.jpg",
                    "type": "image/jpeg"
                },
                "cover": {
                    "href": "https://img1.od-cdn.com/ImageType-100/0017-1/{8E4F3EB6-1DAE-4AAD-B3E8-1EFD12D061DD}Img100.jpg",
                    "type": "image/jpeg"
                },
                "cover300Wide": {
                    "href": "https://img1.od-cdn.com/ImageType-400/0017-1/8E4/F3E/B6/{8E4F3EB6-1DAE-4AAD-B3E8-1EFD12D061DD}Img400.jpg",
                    "type": "image/jpeg"
                }
            },
            "languages": [
                {
                    "code": "en",
                    "name": "English"
                }
            ],
            "isPublicDomain": false,
            "isPublicPerformanceAllowed": false,
            "gradeLevels": [
                {
                    "value": "Grade 5"
                },
                {
                    "value": "Grade 6"
                }
            ],
            "ATOS": 7.0,
            "interestLevel": "UG",
            "lexileScore": 960,
            "shortDescription": "In this extraordinary work of journalism, bestselling and award-winning author Larry Colton journeys into the world of Montana's Crow Indians and follows the struggles of a talented, moody, charismatic young woman named Sharon LaForge, a gifted basketball player and a descendant of one of George Armstrong Custer's Indian scouts. In Native American tradition, a warrior gained honor and glory by 'counting coup' — touching his enemy in battle and living to tell the tale. Counting Coup tells the story of a modern hero from within this tradition, but it is far more than just a sports story or a portrait of youth. It is a sobering expose of a part of our society long since cut out of the American dream. Along the banks of the Little Big Horn, Indians and whites live in age-old conflict and young Indians grow up without role models or dreams. Here Sharon carries the hopes and frustrations of her people on her shoulders as she battles...",
            "fullDescription": "In this extraordinary work of journalism, bestselling and award-winning author Larry Colton journeys into the world of Montana's Crow Indians and follows the struggles of a talented, moody, charismatic young woman named Sharon LaForge, a gifted basketball player and a descendant of one of George Armstrong Custer's Indian scouts. In Native American tradition, a warrior gained honor and glory by 'counting coup' — touching his enemy in battle and living to tell the tale. Counting Coup tells the story of a modern hero from within this tradition, but it is far more than just a sports story or a portrait of youth. It is a sobering expose of a part of our society long since cut out of the American dream. Along the banks of the Little Big Horn, Indians and whites live in age-old conflict and young Indians grow up without role models or dreams. Here Sharon carries the hopes and frustrations of her people on her shoulders as she battles her opponents on and off the court. Colton delves into Sharon's life and shows us the realities of the reservation, the shattered families, the bitter tribal politics, and a people's struggle against a belief that all their children — even the most intelligent and talented — are destined for heartbreak. Against this backdrop stands Sharon, a fiery, undaunted competitor with the skill to dominate a high school game and earn a college scholarship. Yet getting to college seems beyond Sharon's vision, obscured by the daily challenge of getting through the season — physically and psychologically.",
            "starRating": 4.0,
            "popularity": 56,
            "subjects": [
                {
                    "value": "Fiction"
                },
                {
                    "value": "Literature"
                }
            ],
            "bisacCodes": [
                {
                    "code": "FIC000000"
                    "description: "Fiction / General"
                }
            ],
            "awards": [
                {
                    "source": "American Library Association",
                    "value": "Alex Award"
                },
                {
                    "source": "Young Adult Library Services Association",
                    "value": "Best Fiction for Young Adults"
                }
            ],
            "formats": [
                {
                    "id": "ebook-epub-adobe",
                    "name": "Adobe EPUB eBook",
                    "fileName": "CountingCoupaTrueSto_9780446931274_219",
                    "identifiers": [
                        {
                            "type": "ISBN",
                            "value": "9780446588102",
                            "audience": "library"
                        }
                    ],
                    "fileSize": 741567,
                    "partCount": 0,
                    "onSaleDate": "09/21/2000",
                    "rights": [
                        {
                            "type": "Copying",
                            "value": 0
                        },
                        {
                            "type": "Printing",
                            "value": 0
                        },
                        {
                            "type": "Lending",
                            "value": 0
                        },
                        {
                            "type": "ReadAloud",
                            "value": 0
                        },
                        {
                            "type": "ExpirationRights",
                            "value": 0
                        }
                    ],
                    "samples": [
                        {
                            "source": "From the book",
                            "formatType": "ebook-epub-adobe",
                            "url": "https://excerpts.cdn.overdrive.com/FormatType-410/0017-1/8E4/F3E/B6/CountingCoup9780446931274.epub"
                        },
                        {
                            "source": "From the book",
                            "formatType": "ebook-overdrive",
                            "url": "https://samples.overdrive.com/?crid=8E4F3EB6-1DAE-4AAD-B3E8-1EFD12D061DD&.epub-sample.overdrive.com"
                        }
                    ]
                },
                {
                    "id": "ebook-kindle",
                    "name": "Kindle Book",
                    "fileName": "CountingCoupaTrueSto_9780446588102_219",
                    "identifiers": [
                        {
                            "type": "ASIN",
                            "value": "B000QCTN00",
                            "audience": "retailer"
                        },
                        {
                            "type": "ISBN",
                            "value": "9780446588102",
                            "audience": "library"
                        }
                    ],
                    "fileSize": 0,
                    "partCount": 0,
                    "onSaleDate": "09/21/2000",
                    "samples": [
                        {
                            "source": "From the book",
                            "formatType": "ebook-epub-adobe",
                            "url": "https://excerpts.cdn.overdrive.com/FormatType-410/0017-1/8E4/F3E/B6/CountingCoup9780446931274.epub"
                        },
                        {
                            "source": "From the book",
                            "formatType": "ebook-overdrive",
                            "url": "https://samples.overdrive.com/?crid=8E4F3EB6-1DAE-4AAD-B3E8-1EFD12D061DD&.epub-sample.overdrive.com"
                        }
                    ]
                },
                {
                    "id": "ebook-overdrive",
                    "name": "OverDrive Read",
                    "fileName": "CountingCoupaTrueSto_9780446931274_219",
                    "identifiers": [
                        {
                            "type": "ISBN",
                            "value": "9780446588102",
                            "audience": "library"
                        }
                    ],
                    "fileSize": 0,
                    "partCount": 0,
                    "onSaleDate": "09/21/2000",
                    "samples": [
                        {
                            "source": "From the book",
                            "formatType": "ebook-epub-adobe",
                            "url": "https://excerpts.cdn.overdrive.com/FormatType-410/0017-1/8E4/F3E/B6/CountingCoup9780446931274.epub"
                        },
                        {
                            "source": "From the book",
                            "formatType": "ebook-overdrive",
                            "url": "https://samples.overdrive.com/?crid=8E4F3EB6-1DAE-4AAD-B3E8-1EFD12D061DD&.epub-sample.overdrive.com"
                        }
                    ],
                    "isReadAlong": false
                }
            ],
            "otherFormatIdentifiers": [
                {
                    "type": "ISBN",
                    "value": "9780446526838"
                }
            ]
        },
        {
            "isOwnedByCollections": true,
            "id": "3de559c1-4c24-4115-ab0d-0e75bec0d719",
            "crossRefId": 505740,
            "mediaType": "Audiobook",
            "title": "The Adventures of Tom Sawyer",
            "sortTitle": "Adventures of Tom Sawyer",
            "series": "The Adventures of Tom and Huck",
            "seriesId": 603096,
            "readingOrder": "1",
            "edition": "Unabridged",
            "publisher": "Duke Classics",
            "creators": [
                {
                    "role": "Author",
                    "name": "Mark Twain",
                    "fileAs": "Twain, Mark"
                },
                {
                    "role": "Narrator",
                    "name": "William Dufris",
                    "fileAs": "Dufris, William"
                }
            ],
            "links": {
                "self": {
                    "href": "https://integration.api.overdrive.com/v1/collections/v1L1BYwAAAA2Q/products/505740/metadata",
                     "type": "application/vnd.overdrive.api+json"
                 }
            },
            "images": {
                "thumbnail": {
                     "href": "https://img1.od-cdn.com/ImageType-200/2389-1/{3DE559C1-4C24-4115-AB0D-0E75BEC0D719}Img200.jpg",
                     "type": "image/jpeg"
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