Introduction to E-Books:
At the turn of the century, publishing industry flourished like never before. We saw theorists, mathematicians, philosophers, scientists and politicians come out with their views on the world. Who can forget the works of people like Leonardo Da Vinci, Nikola Tesla, Galileo, etc. who compiled their works into books and spread them through world’s future civilizations? These went on to partake in the Renaissance periods in the early 17th century. After that came the books which depicted past victories of the British crown, Roman Catholic teachings, passages of learned men and messages of eccentric political thinkers. All those defined histories of humanity over the years. Thus, publishing became the norm of the day which gave us our present knowledge of everything under the sun. And eventually, you came around for eBooks.
However, our libraries and resources faced a rather complicated question. Since publishers used paper to make books, they were subject to corruption. And later they could be lost to time and progression. Most of the readers felt confused as to how you could preserve the books and libraries of knowledge. In the last few decades, we got a solution which not only came out to protect our education books but also improved them to appeal to our coming generations. This became our answer to every need we wanted for our books. The answer lay in the digitalising our works, and the products came to be known as eBooks.
Who Invented eBook:
The history of making an eBook roots back to the earlier 60’s. However, when you look at the devices and ideas behind the making of an eBook, you can go back to the year 1949. And to a woman by name Angela Ruiz Robles. Angela, hailing from Spain, in the year 1949, had an idea to create a device for her students. Her idea was to have the device carry a whole lot of eBooks, the digital forms of physical books. In Angela’s first design, a smaller amount of text where printed onto spools and were operated by compressed air. She made her first prototype in 1949.
While this book was not electronic, critics term it as the first automated reader. You can see that she paved the way for the future regarding eBooks. Unfortunately, though, her device was never brought to mass production. The main reason behind this was that she could get a patent registration for the invention at that time. Her idea, of course, went through and became prevalent in time to come.
Now as the idea came about for somehow carrying books in the smallest sizes, we had a breakthrough in the year, 1971. In 1971, Michael Hart stumbled upon an idea of putting this idea to good use. While passing the time with a huge Xerox machine in the winter of 1971, Michael Hart, took a great chance with Declaration of Independence Of the US. He typed the full declaration on the computer and made it available for download over the local area. Hence, the first true digital copy of the Declaration of Independence was born. In effect, producing the world’s first eBook. Thus, the concept and the idea of eBooks took a proper shape.
World’s First eBook Gets Released:
The idea of having books in digital format was already making waves. The question as to how you could take thousands of books on a small storage device was getting answered in multiple ways. However, most of these suggestions would fail at a practical level. To implement the concepts thought by data scientists, the biggest problem was the availability of technology. The most major issue faced by programmers and developers was that there were no storage devices which could hold on to the range of books in digital format. And also another problem was the process through which one could turn physical books into eBooks. Typing the whole texts was somehow the greatest viable option at that point. However, this was prone to human errors and also was time taking. Even if you sat down to convert the physical texts to digital forms, the quality could never be ensured.
At this juncture, we will have to focus on the first e-book that came out on floppy disks. The first to do this was computer game creators by name East Gate systems. The company was regularly making a mark within bringing out DOS bases computer games, came up with a technique to convert and create eBooks which users could transport through a floppy disk. The floppy disk which was given to multiple users contained the hypertext fiction work. This fiction work was called Afternoon by Michel Joyce.
This eBook (it was given the name at that time) towards the demonstration of the floppy disk as a storage device for these formats. The eBook played a part in a bigger story tale of Story Space. If we have to explain Story Space, we can say that it is a software program which is useful for creating, editing and reading hypertext fiction. Thus, the first digitally eBook came to the fore and gave out answers were being answered by floppy disk and Story space.
E-Book History And Development:
As soon we saw the first eBook being made and passed on quickly through the diskette, we knew that the idea was very much feasible. You had the answers to almost multiple questions which seemed never ending when it came to developing the concept into a major product. Of course, now that a few issues had the answers, you could go ahead and get the most of the digital format taking shape in the form. However, the developers had to come up with a solution which could ensure that the digital formats which were being made through different means provided quality. The bigger issue was that identifying the format in which the book could be used to the maximum effect. The enhancing nature would come at a later point.
BiblioBytes in the next leg of the 80’s launched a website to sell eBooks over the internet, the first company to create a financial exchange system for the net. Bibliobytes is a corporation founded by Glenn Hauman, to change the scene of digital publishing. And in a matter of fact, he did achieve that. Bibliobytes, therefore, became the first company to introduce eBooks as a viable product market and put them for sale on the emerging network websites. This sale was in effect the first eBook related commerce ever in the world.
The Evolution Of Ebooks:
The next step of making ebooks much more versatile and more in control for the user was changing from plain text to a user-friendly HTML. During the early 80’s HTML became the go-to format for creating computer codes and making programs run within an operating system environment. Of course, this meant you needed to have compulsory training for coding to make any effect. However, the coding would also ensure that you never lose out on the alignments, paragraphs, etc. These factors usually make the book reading experience more engaging. The question was how to transfer that feel to the digital form. The answer lay in making the text content into HTML markup language. This way you could define how each sentence behaved over the page layout.
In addition to this, the first company to take up EBook publishing online through a dedicated website was Fiction works. This site did what Amazon or Banes&Noble are doing presently. They started hosting eBooks which were formatted by their affiliate clients and brought out them to the online availability. Users could browse and select which Ebooks they wanted and take them up. After payment for the same, you would receive your eBook through email. However, where would you read these books. Of course, Fiction Works, in partnership with other clients, developed their own eBook reading devices and desktop programs. The revolution did not take much time to spread like wildfire, as people lapped onto this innovative technology. Within these factors, Roy Hoy of Fiction works became the first entrepreneur to make money out of utilizing eBooks as a marketable commodity.
The Milestone Improvements During 1999:
Although Fiction works had come to publish eBooks online, it had a lot left to be desired. Regarding creating an imprint culture, Fiction works had not tapped into the potential that the market offered. Although ebooks came out regularly, they were seldom in sync with the releases which came about in the print works in real time. There was a sync missing in the timing between the two. This gap was luring many publishers to cash on before it was too late. One of the major players who came about offering a new change in the way the works were reported was American publisher Simon & Schuster.
Companies Making Ebooks:
The company which was making early inroads in publishing looked at this opportunity as a big step in improving the industry to the next level. Simon & Schuster became the first trade publisher to produce both the print books and eBooks at the same time. A trend which bigger publishing and marketing giants like Amazon would adopt in time to come. This was, however, one of the major events taking place in the year 1999. Other noticeable events was a concept called netLibrary. Highly celebrated authors like Arthur C Clarke, Irving Wallace, and Raymond Chandler came about presenting their books for general readers through netLibrary. People could just register themselves on the site, browse through the collection of books and get them delivered to their email along with a physical book to their doorstep.
Changes For Ebooks:
1999 came to be a defining force in the revolution of eBook technology and culture. We are of course talking about the eBook conference held at National Insititute of Standards and Technology in America. This was the time when Microsoft came to the party regarding the eBooks culture at this point. Dick Bras of Microsoft declared that the eBooks were the future of reading. The Microsoft chief went on to say that almost 90% books would be eBooks by the end of 2018.
Of course, the books have not made their mark on the predicted levels but surely have become the way of life as the years passed. Some critics believe that this figure is because most of the people who saw the eBooks to dethrone physical print books overlooked one major factor. The gifting scenario. Most people even to this day fail to gift eBooks to their friends and contacts. Comparatively, people gift print books easily all over. Therefore, the gifting scenario is something that has not made eBooks expand the market as many thought they would.
How The EBooks Have Changed How We Read:
Over the years with eBooks publishing becoming a real business, and many publishers all around the world tapping on to the potential they presented, eBooks surely made a large impact. We can see today that all the main book publishing companies are nodding in agreement to publish eBooks about the physical print books while releasing. Most of the publishing companies claim that the digital versions sell almost at the same level as the physical books. This packaging of physical and eBooks is called Imprint deals. Many authors, research scholars, journals, and publishers are opening their doors to welcome the Imprint deals which ensure that an average user is given as many options to read the book in any way possible.
Though most of the avid readers looked to read the books in print format, the eBooks were not too far either. The advantages of ease of use, adaptability, and availability, were always the selling points of eBooks and they were not going anywhere.
In addition to the benefits as mentioned above the eBooks presented, there exist some more. Most importantly, is the fact that eBook is fully capable of making the reading more involving. Ebooks gave the codes for inserting multimedia content. Audio files, Video strips, Images, and Graphics, 3D layering, etc. Were used cleverly to market the content within the eBooks. The eBooks became more complicated than ever and came out to be as relevant to senior readers and also rookie entrants.
The Way We Read Books:
The eBooks, of course, gave us new options to read books. We were looking at novels, journals or Scripts in a whole new way. You no longer had to go and pick up large collections of books for your research. With a few clicks you could have hundreds of eBooks on your eBook reader bookshelf or SD card. Through them, you could load up books as and when. This means you get what you want as soon as you want it. You no longer have to wait for eternity to receive your book. Sometimes the unavailability of books is also a major issue when it comes to international best sellers or works of celebrated authors. Presently, eBooks have overcome these problems and challenges by a single stroke.
An eBook reading practice has altogether changed the way we read our books. Presently, we can load up books and start reading them anywhere. All you need to have is a smart device with you (even mobile would do). While you are looking at the texts of the material before you, you can change the text fonts and colors as per your wish. In addition to this, you can always pinch in and pinch out, for zooming in and zooming out of the text. Another important thing that has changed perhaps in the way we read our books is the way we can simultaneously read the books across various devices.
The thing which works is Sync, allowing your devices, registered under the same account, to record how you read and until where you’ve read. Once that measurement comes into the servers, you can pick up where you left on any device. Say, you are reading a book in your Kindle app, Aldiko, Blio, etc. which you have to stop midway. You can register and continue read your book, right where you left it. This way you are always with your books and reading them at your ease and situation.
The combination of eBooks on PC:
The ultimate challenge for electronic software over the past decade or so was to have them open on PC. You could play music, video and run complex equations within a PC or a MAC. But could you read a book on it, beyond the usual simple text forms like Doc, PDF, etc.? That was a question that the coders needed to answer over the next few years. Presently, you will see that you can quickly open any coded program on your Windows PC, and in specific you could open ePub files in PC. However, this was not the case say a decade ago. You could probably read single eBook files in your desktop systems with the help of company made PDF or DOC. This is where you could sense a need for a more sophisticated system in place.
Early PC EBooks:
At the beginning of 2000, The free software Glassbook ebook reader for PC came into the market. Although in 1998, The Rocket Book reader came out to be the first commercial eBook reader for the market. The PC scene came much later. The improvement of eBooks by the launch of e-Ink by Sony in 1998, paved the way for the quicker formation of eBooks. This was the roadmap for creating eBooks in a more usual fashion and create a greater market for the eBook commerce.
You could practically then imagine any novel to be made into a reader compatible eBook reader. In this regard, the first eBook to come out exclusively for PC was Stephen King’s novel Bag of Bones. Users lapped it up for its smart use of hyperlinks or multimedia. This paved the way for more books to be released straight as an eBook. Either for reader devices or PC (or Mac occasionally). Also, the better of the book could be read on a personal organizer as well. This was the level of innovation which we could see in the case of eBooks in the early days.
The More Complex Way Of Ebooks:
As you can see presently, you have books which can do almost anything that you wished for. You can read, listen, share and evolve with books all around you. You have your Enhanced eBooks, which offer layer graphics for explaining something, Audiobooks which you can listen to, etc. We are in age, in which eBooks are defining the markets continuously. Publishing never was any more convenient or rewarding.
Of course, if you are a self-publisher or a publishing company looking to jump up the digital bandwagon, you need to have a professional editing and conversion services company with you. Drop us a mail, and we will help you discover the greatest treasure of eBooks ever.