Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Returning eBooks Early : Apple & Android Owners

UPDATED May 25, 2011:


It is now possible to return the eBook directly from the App! See the new instructions.

It is still possible to return the eBooks using Adobe Digital Editions, but no longer necessary...

If you use your Apple or Android phone or iPod Touch to read eBooks, there is a good chance that you download the eBooks directly to the device and haven't installed the desktop software, Adobe Digital Editions.

At this time, the mobile version of the OverDrive Media Console does not include an early return feature. To return an eBook before it expires you'll need to install Adobe Digital Editions (ADE) on your Windows or Mac computer. Here's how to install ADE on your PC. The instructions for installing ADE on your Mac are similar and can be found on the Mac slideshow. (Third slideshow from the top.)

Install Adobe Digital Editions:
  • Confirm the installation and work through the wizard, agreeing with the licensing, etc. 
  • Install the software in the default location unless you have a fabulous reason not to. 
  • Once the installation is complete, close the wizard. 

You should be prompted to authorize your computer with an Adobe ID. You must enter the same Adobe ID you used to authorize the OverDrive Media Console app on your Apple or Android device! This is important. Do not authorize your computer with a different Adobe ID. 

If you are not prompted to authorize the computer or if you accidentally close out of that option:
From Adobe Digital Editions >> Library >> Authorize Computer


Excellent! You have successfully installed Adobe Digital Editions and authorized the computer using the same Adobe ID used to authorize the OMC app on your mobile device. By the way, you only need to go through these installation and authorization steps once! The next eBook you return will be much quicker.

In order to return the eBook early, you need a copy of the eBook. 
  • Visit the NHDB site >> Log in >> My Account >> My Currently Checked Out Items >> Download the eBook you'd like to return.
Explanation: When downloading the eBook, you're are really looking to open the file with Adobe Digital Editions. Why? Because ADE is the key to unlock the protected digital file. 

Download and open the eBook with ADE:
  • Click the blue "Download" button. 
  • Using Firefox or Internet Explorer, click "Open" to download and open the file with Adobe Digital Editions. 
  • The eBook file will download and open in Adobe Digital Editions. 

To return the eBook: 
  • From the "Library" view in Adobe Digital Editions...
  • Place the mouse over the book cover.
  • Notice the small arrow to the upper left of the cover...
  • Click on the arrow.
  • Click on "Return borrowed item."


Now revisit your NHDB account and view your currently checked out items. (Refresh the page, if necessary.) The eBook should be removed from your account.


Important: Returning too many eBooks too quickly causes an "Early Return Error" (710) message! Unfortunately I cannot find documentation from Adobe that completely describes the situation that causes this error. This seems to be the standard answer:

When I tried to return an ebook early, I got an error message: "Early Return Error" (error 710)

There is a limit to the number of ebooks that can be returned early within a short period of time. The lock out time depends on how early and how many titles have been returned early in that short period of time. Patrons will have to wait a day or so for the lock out to end. They should still be able to check out Audiobooks.
WebJunction: eBooks Troubleshooting

My Advice: Don't checkout and return more than one eBook immediately. Wait a day or so before returning a second eBook.