The History of eBooks Is Longer Than You Think - EditionGuard

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The History of eBooks Is Longer Than You Think

Turgay Birand

January 16, 2015

While eBooks have proliferated in the last several years, digital reading has been around since the 1970s. 1949: First electronic book patent application In 1949 a Spanish teacher named Angela Ruiz Robles invented the first electronic book, which was powered by compressed air. Her goal was to save the backs of her students. 1960: Brown researcher coins the term “eBook” Andries van Dam, working on the FRESS project at Brown University, coined the term “electronic book” in the 1960s with a project that may have also been the first effort at responsive technology. 1971: The first digital publisher is launched. Project Gutenberg was the first digital publisher, beginning in 1971. The Project Gutenberg website says, “Project Gutenberg was the first provider of free electronic books, or eBooks. Michael Hart, founder of Project Gutenberg, invented eBooks in 1971 and his memory continues to inspire the creation of eBooks and related technologies today.” Today they have more than 46,000 free eBooks available to read on their website or to download. 1985: The first encyclopedia is published on CD-ROM Grolier, Inc. took the cumbersome and costly effort of owning an encyclopedia set and released the Academic American Encyclopedia on CD-ROMs, giving instant access to knowledge to thousands of households who had embraced having a home computer. 1993: The world’s first electronic novel published Peter James published his thriller, Host, on two floppy disks in 1993. Not only was it recognized as the "world's first electronic novel, it has now been added to the Science Museum's collection. James was accused of being the harbinger of the downfall of the novel, but even then he realized that eBooks would not overtake print until they became much more convenient. The proliferation of portable, connected devices is definitely creating a market for eBooks. Amazon alone has more than three million titles available. What may have been a slow start is now the future of reading and a huge opportunity for indie authors. If you’re ready to write your first eBook, EditionGuard is an ardent supporter of the indie author. Our blog is filled with resources to help you write, edit, publish, market, and sell your eBooks. Image source: 

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