Before even getting into greater depths of how to add text-to-speech to eBooks, it would be kind and prudent for us first to define and get to know a good background of what this is all about. Computers are very popular even with kids in the current age; they can carry out various tasks for us including reading out our different literature’s aloud!
With lots of computers in place, the publishing industry is fast growing digital, replacing print books with electronic books that can be displayed on different computing devices. Text-to-speech is a computing feature that reads out everyday texts found on eBooks and even web pages; it is not a very common feature to many computer users or eBook readers. It is a new technological feature that is fast gaining popularity among different reading platforms.
Text-to-speech was mainly introduced to help people with reading disabilities such as visual impairments and dyslexia (an impaired ability to learn to read that can occur in some human beings), it highlights the text being read in the process of a computer reading it aloud. It has however outgrown its essential functions and serves much more functions than it was invented for such as enabling eBook readers to multitask by listening to their eBooks and engaging in lighter duties.
So, how can a reader or a publisher add text-to-speech to an eBook?
If you are a reader with a good number of eBooks in your e-library, keep the paragraphs unfolding for you will get to learn how to go about text-to-speech plugins for your eBooks. Currently, this is a new technology supported on a few e-reader devices that come with inbuilt text to speech capabilities. There is also readily available text-to-speech software that can access and eBooks on different devices.
If the writers of the eBooks in your e-library have not encrypted their contents with Digital Rights Management (DRM) codes, then you can enable text-to-speech for your eBooks. What you need to do is;
- Download and install a text-to-speech application/plugin: there are some text-to-speech applications available on the next such as NaturalReader and Ivona.
- Make your e-library a public folder since text-to-speech applications do not access private folders.
- Open your document with the text-to-speech application/plugin; at this point, your text to speech software will read your content out loud for you while highlighting at the same time.
If you are among publishing firms and self-publishers who want to enable text to speech for their eBooks, there are a number around two you can utilize to achieve that. The first option to opt for is to create DRM-free eBooks that will allow readers to use third-party software applications such as NaturalReader and Ivona to read out your eBook.
Another option is selling your eBooks on e-readers stores that already have devices which are text-to-speech enabled. An example of a text-to-speech enabled device is the Kindle Fire. It is important to note that although some devices are allowed, they might not be able to read out eBooks encrypted with DRM codes.
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