An electronic book (or e-book ) is a book made available in digital form, consisting of text, images, or both, readable on the flat-panel display of computers or other electronic devices. [1] Even if defined as “an electronic version of a printed book”, [2] some e-books exist without a printed equivalent. Commercially produced and sold e-books are usually dubious – discuss ] intended to be read on dedicated e-reader devices. However, some of the features that can be used to control e-books, includingdesktop computers , laptops , tabletsand smartphones .

In the 2000s, there was a trend of print and e-book sales moving to the Internet citation needed ] , where readers buy traditional paper books and e-books on websites using e-commercesystems. With print books, readers are increasingly browsing through images of the book publisher or bookstore websites and selecting and ordering titles online; the paper books are then delivered to the reader by mail or another delivery service. With e-books, users can browse through titles online, and then when they select and order titles, the e-book can be sent online. [3]At the start of 2012 in the US, more e-books were published online than were distributed in hardcover. [4]

The main reasons for people buying e-books are more easily available, increased comfort and a larger selection of titles. [5] With e-books, “[e] lectronic bookmarks make referencing easier, and e-book readers can allow the user to annotate pages.” [6] “Although fiction and non-fiction books come in e-book formats, technical material is especially adapted for e-book delivery because it can be [electronically] searched” for keywords. In addition, for programming books, examples code can be copied. [6]The amount of e-book is increasing in the US; by 2014, 28% of adults had read an e-book, compared to 23% in 2013. This is increasing, because by 2014 50% of American adults had an e-reader or a tablet, compared to 30% owning such devices 2013. [7]


E-books are also referred to as “ebooks”, “eBooks”, “Ebooks”, “e-Books”, “e-journals”, “e-editions” or as “digital books”. The devices that are designed specifically for reading e-books are called “e-readers”, “ebook device” or “eReaders”.


The Readies (1930)

Some trace the idea of ​​an e-reader that would enable a reader to view books on a screen to a 1930 manifesto by Bob Brown , written after watching his first ” talkie ” (movie with sound). He is titled it The Readies , playing off the idea of ​​the “talkie”. [8] In his book, Brown says movies have become the book by creating the “talkies” and, as a result, reading should find a new medium:

 "A simple reading machine which I can carry or move around, attach to any old electric light plug and read hundred-thousand-word novels in 10 minutes if I want to, and I want to."

Brown’s notion, however, was much more focused on reforming orthography and vocabulary, than on medium (“It’s time to pull out the stopper” and “a bloody revolution of the word.”): Introducing huge numbers of portmanteausymbols to replace normal words, and punctuation to simulate action or movement; so it is not clear in the history of “e-books” or not. Later e-readers never followed a model at all like Brown’s. Nevertheless, Brown predicted the miniturization and portability of e-readers. In an article, Jennifer Schuessler writes, “The machine, Brown argued, would allow readers to adjust to the size, to avoid paper cuts and save trees, while still hastening the day when words could be recorded directly on the palpitating ether.” [9]He felt the e-reader (and his notions for changing text itself) should bring a new life to reading. Schuessler relates to a DJ spinning bits of old songs to a beat or an entirely new song to a remix of a familiar song. [9]


The inventor of the first e-book is not widely agreed upon. Some notable candidates include the following:

Ángela Ruiz Robles (1949)

In 1949, Ángela Ruiz Robles , a teacher from Galicia , Spain , patented the Enciclopedia Mecánica , or the Mechanical Encyclopedia, a mechanical device which operated on compressed air where text and graphics were contained on spools that would load onto rotating spindles. Her idea was to create a number of things that she would like to see. Unfortunately, this prototype is still in production in the National Museum of Science and Technology in La Coruna, Spain. [10]

Roberto Busa (late 1949-1970)

The first e-book may be the Thomisticus Index , a heavily annotated electronic index to the works of Thomas Aquinas , prepared by Roberto Busa , SJ beginning in 1949 and completed in the 1970s. [11] Distributed CD-ROM version appeared in 1989. However, this work is sometimes omitted; the author of the digitized text is a means for studying written texts and developing linguistic concordances, rather than a published edition in its own right. [12] In 2005, the Index was published online. [13]

Doug Engelbart and Andries van Dam (1960s)

Alternatively, some historians consider the role of the early 1960s, with the NLS project headed by Doug Engelbart at the Stanford Research Institute (SRI), and the Hypertext Editing System and FRESS projects headed by Andries van Dam at Brown University . [14] [15] [16] FRESS documents ran on IBM mainframes and were structured-oriented rather than line-oriented; they were formatted dynamically for different users, display hardware, window sizes, and so on, as well as having automated tables of contents, indexes, and so on. All these systems also provided extensive hyperlinking, graphics, and other capabilities. Van Dam is an electronic book, [17] [18] and it was established in 1985. [19]

FRESS has been used for reading extensive primary text online, including English Poetry and Biochemistry. Brown’s faculty made extensive use of FRESS; for the philosopher Roderick Chisholm . Thus in the Preface to Person and Object (1979) he writes “The book would not have been completed without the epoch-making File Retrieval and Editing System …” [20] Brown University’s work in electronic book systems continued for many years, including US Navy funded projects for electronic repair-manuals; [21] broad-scale distributed hypermedia system known as InterMedia; [22]a spinoff company Electronic Book Technologies that built DynaText , the first SGML -based e-reader system; and the Scholarly Technology Group’s extensive workflow on the standard Open eBook .

Michael S. Hart (1971)

Despite the extensive earlier history, several publications report Michael S. Hart as the inventor of the e-book. [23] [24] [25] In 1971, the operators of the Xerox Sigma V mainframe at the University of Illinois gave extensive computer-time Hart. Seeking a worthy use of this resource, he created his first electronic document by typing the United States Declaration of Independence . [26] Hart planned to create documents using plain text to make them as easy as possible to download and view on devices.

Early implementations

After Hart first adapté the Declaration of Independence into an electronic paper in 1971, Project Gutenberg Was lancé to create electronic copies of more texts – Especially books. [26] Another early e-book implementation was the desktop prototype for a notebook computer, the Dynabook , in the 1970s at PARC : a general-purpose portable personal computer capable of displaying books for reading. [27]In 1980 the US Department of Defense began the concept of a portable electronic device for technical maintenance called project PEAM, the Portable Electronic Aid for Maintenance. Detailed specifications were completed in FY 82, and prototype development began with Texas Instruments that same year. Four prototypes were produced and delivered for testing in 1986. Tests were completed in 1987. The final summary report was produced by the US Army Research Institute for the Behavioral and Social Sciences in 1989 by Robert Wisher and J. Peter Kincaid. [28] A patent application for the PEAM device [29] was submitted by Texas Instruments, titled “Apparatus for Delivering Procedural Type Instructions” was submitted Dec 4, 1985 listing John K. Harkins and Stephen H. Morriss as inventors.

In 1992, Sony launched the Data Disc , an electronic book reader that could read e-books that were stored on CDs. One of the electronic publications that could be played on the Data Discuss was called The Library of the Future . [30] Early e-books were generally limited to a limited audience. The scope of the subject of these e-books, including technical manuals for hardware, manufacturing techniques, and other subjects. citation needed ] In the 1990s, the general availability of the Internet made easier, including e-books. [quote needed ]

E-book formats

As e-book formats Emerged and proliferated, citation needed ] Some garnered the support from major software companies, Such As Adobe with icts PDF Format That Was Introduced in 1993. [31]Unlike most other formats, PDF documents are generally associated with a particular dimension and layout, rather than adjusting dynamically to the current page, window, or other size. Different e-reader devices followed by different formats, most of them accepting books in only one or a few formats, thus fragmenting the e-book market even more. Due to the exclusiveness and limited readerships of e-books, the fractured market of independent publishers and specialty authors lacked consensus regarding a standard for packaging and selling e-books. quote needed ]

Meanwhile, scholars formed the Text Encoding Initiative , which developed consensus guidelines for the encoding of books and other materials of scholarly interest for a variety of analytic uses, and was developed using the TEI approach. In the late 1990s, a consortium formed to develop the Open Source eBook as a way to publishers and to provide a single source-document which many book-reading software and hardware platforms could handle. Several scholars from the TEI have been involved in the early development of Open eBook [1] . XHTML and CSS Focused on portability; a set of multimedia formats (others could be used, but there must also be a fallback in one of the required formats), and an XML schema for a “manifest”, to list the components of a given e-book, identify a table of contents, cover art, and so on. citation needed ] This format led to the open EPUB format . Google Books has made many public domain works to this open format. [32]

In 2010, e-books continued to gain in their own specialist and underground markets. citation needed ] Many e-book publishers began distributing books that were in the public domain . citation needed ] At the same time, they were not accepted by others. Unofficial (and occasionally unauthorized) catalogs of books became available on the web, and sites were devoted to e-books. [33] Nearly two-thirds of the US Consumer e-book publishing market are controlled by the “Big Five”. The “Big Five” publishers include: Hachette ,HarperCollins , Macmillan , Random House Penguin and Simon & Schuster . [34]


US Libraries Having Provided Free e-Books to the Public in 1998 through their websites and associated services, [35] the e-books were primarily scholarly, technical or professional in nature, and could not be downloaded. In 2003, the author of the book is one of the most popular fiction and non-fiction e-books to the public, launching an E-book lending model that worked much more successfully for public libraries. [36] The number of library e-book distributors and lending models continued to increase over the next few years. From 2005 to 2008 experienced 60% growth in e-book collections. [37] In 2010, a Public Library Funding and Technology Access Study [38]found That 66% of public libraries in the US Were Offering e-books, [39] and a broad movement in the library industry Began gravement Examining the issues related to lending e-books, Acknowledging has tipping points clarification needed ] of broad e -book use. [40]

The US National Library of Medicine has for many years provided PubMed , a nearly-comprehensive bibliography of medical literature. In early 2000, NLM started PubMed Central , which provides full-text e-book versions of many medical journal articles and books, through cooperation with scholars and publishers in the field. Pubmed Central provides more information and access to more than 4.1 million articles, maintained in a standard XML format known as the Journal Article Tag Suite (or “JATS”).

However, some publishers and authors have not endorsed the concept of electronic publishing , citing issues with user demand, copyright piracy and challenges with proprietary devices and systems. [41] In a survey of interlibrary loan librarians it was found that 92% of libraries held e-books in their collections and that 27% of those libraries had negotiated interlibrary loans for some of their e-books. This survey found significant barriers to conducting interlibrary loans for e-books. [42] Demand-driven acquisition (DDA), which allows vendors to streamline the acquisition process by offering to match the library’s selection of the vendor’s e-book titles. [43]The library’s catalog is then populated with records for all the e-books that match the profile. [43] The decision to buy the title is to the bosses, but the library can not be more expensive and more expensive than the budget books. [43] The 2012 meeting of the Association of American University Presses included a panel on boss-drive acquisition (PDA) of books produced by university presses based on a preliminary report by Joseph Esposito, a digital publishing consultant who has studied the implications of PDA with a grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation . [44]


Although the demand for e-book services in the library has grown in the decades of the 2000s and 2010s, the difficulties keep libraries from providing some e-books to customers. [45] Publishers will sell e-books to libraries, but they will only give a limited license to the title in most cases. This means that the library may not be circulated for certain periods of time or for a certain number of check outs, or both. When a library purchases an e-book license, the cost is at least three times what it would be for a personal consumer. [45]E-book licenses are more expensive than paper-format editions because they are concerned that an e-book that is likely to be read and / or checked by a huge number of users, which could adversely affect sales. However, some studies have found the opposite effect (for example, Hilton and Wikey 2010 [46]

Archival storage

The Internet Archive and Open Library offers more than six million fully accessible public domain e-books. Project Gutenberg has over 52,000 free public domain e-books.

Dedicated hardware and mobile software

An e-reader , also called an e-book reader or e-book device , is a mobile electronic device that is designed primarily for the purpose of reading e-books and digital periodicals. An e-reader is similar in form, but more limited in purpose than a tablet . In comparison to tablets, many e-readers are more than tablets for reading because they are more portable, have better readability in sunlight and have longer battery life. [47] In July 2010, online bookseller Amazon.com reported sales of e-books for its proprietary Kindle outnumbered sales of hardcover booksfor the first time ever during the second quarter of 2010, saying it sold 140 e-books for every 100 hardcover books, including hardcovers for which there was no digital edition . [48] By January 2011, e-book sales at Amazon had surpassed its paperback sales. [49] In the overall US market, paperback sales are still much larger than either hardcover or e-book; the American Publishing Association estimated e-books represent 8.5% of sales as of mid-2010, up from 3% a year before. [50] At the end of the first quarter of 2012, e-book sales in the United States surpassed hardcover book sales for the first time. [4]

Until late 2013, use of an e-reader was not allowed on airplanes during takeoff and landing by the FAA . [51] In November 2013, the FAA has been used in airplane mode, which means all radios turned off, and Europe followed this guidance the next month. [52] In 2014, the New York Times predicted that by 2018 e-books will make up over 50% of total consumer publishing revenue in the United States and Great Britain. [53]


Some of the major book retailers and multiple third-party developers offer free (and in some third-party cases, premium paid) e-reader software applications for the Mac and PC computers for Android, Blackberry, iPad, iPhone, Windows Phone and Palm OS devices to allow the reading of e-books and other documents independently of dedicated e-book devices. Examples are Amazon Kindle , Barnes & Noble Nook , iBooks , Kobo eReader and Sony Reader .


Until 1979

~ 1949
  • Ángela Ruiz Robles patented in Galicia, Spain, the idea of ​​the electronic book, called the Mechanical Encyclopedia.
  • Roberto Busa begins planning the Index Thomisticus . [12]
~ 1963
  • Doug Engelbart starts the NLS (and later Augment ) projects. [14]
~ 1965
  • Andries van Dam starts the HES (and later FRESS ) projects, with assistance from Ted Nelson , to develop and use electronic textbooks for humanities and pedagogy. [15] [16]
  • Michael S. Hart types the US Declaration of Independence in a computer to create the first e-book available on the Internet and launches Project Gutenberg in order to create electronic copies of more books. [26]
  • The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy radio series launches (novel published in 1979), featuring an electronic reference book containing all knowledge in the Galaxy. This vast amount of data could be made into the size of a large paperback book, with updates received on the “Sub-Etha”. [54]
~ 1979
  • Roberto Busa finishes the Index Thomisticus , a complete lemmatization of the 56 printed volumes of St. Thomas Aquinas and a few related authors. [55]


  • Judy Malloy wrote and programmed Uncle Roger , the first online hypertext fiction with links that took the narrative in different directions depending on the reader’s choice. [56]
  • Project Gutenberg releases its 10th e-book to its website.
  • Franklin Computer released an electronic edition of the Bible that was read on a stand-alone device. [57]
  • Eastgate Systems publishes the first hypertext fiction released on floppy disk, ” Afternoon, a story “, by Michael Joyce . [58]
  • Electronic Book Technologies releases DynaText , the first SGML-based system for delivering large-scale books such as aircraft technical manuals. It was later tested on a US aircraft carrier as replacement for paper manuals. quote needed ]
  • Voyager Company develops Expanded Books , which are books on CD-ROM in a digital format. [59]
  • F. Crugnola and I. Rigamonti design and create the first e-reader, called Incipit, as a thesis project at the Polytechnic University of Milan . [60] [61]
  • Sony launches the Data Discman e-book player. [62]
  • Peter James published his novel Host on two floppy disks and at the time it was called the “world’s first electronic novel”; a copy of it is stored at the Science Museum . [63]
  • The Hugo Award and the Nebula Award nominee works are included on a CD-ROM by Brad Templeton . [64]
  • Bibliobytes, a website for obtaining e-books, both for free and for sale on the Internet , launches. [65]
  • C & M Online is founded in Raleigh, North Carolina and publishes e-books through its imprint, Boson Books . Authors include Fred Chappell , Kelly Cherry , Leon Katz , Richard Popkin , and Robert Rodman .
  • The popular format for publishing e-books changed from plain text to HTML .
  • Online poet Alexis Kirke discusses the need for wireless internet electronic paper readers in his article “The Emuse”. [66]
  • Project Gutenberg reaches 1,000 titles. [67]
  • Joseph Jacobson works at MIT to create electronic ink , a high-contrast, low-cost, read / write / erase medium to display e-books. [68]
  • E Ink Corporation is co-founded in 1997 by MIT undergraduates JD Albert, Barrett Comiskey, MIT professor Joseph Jacobson, and Jeremy Rubin and Russ Wilcox to create an electronic printing technology. [69] This technology is used to later on the displays of the Sony Reader , Barnes & Noble Nook , and Amazon Kindle .
  • NuvoMedia released the first handheld e-reader , the Rocket eBook . [70]
  • SoftBook launched its SoftBook reader. This e-reader, with expandable storage, could store up to 100,000 pages of content, including text, graphics and pictures. [71]
  • The Cybook was manufactured by Cytale (1998-2003) and later by Bookeen .
  • The NIST released the Open eBook based on XML to the public domain, most future e-book formats derive from Open eBook. [72] and on XML .
  • Publisher Simon & Schuster created a new imprint called ibooks and became the first trade publisher to simultaneously publish some of their titles in e-book and print format.
  • Oxford University Press is offering e-books through netLibrary.
  • Publisher Baen Books opens up the Baen Free Library to make available Baen titles as free e-books. [73]
  • Kim Blagg, via her company Books OnScreen, Amazon , Barnes & Noble and Borders Books . [74]


  • Joseph Jacobson, Barrett O. Comiskey, and Jonathan D. Albert, US patents related to displaying e-readers. [75]
  • Stephen King releases his novella Riding the Bullet online and it became the first mass-market e-book, selling 500,000 copies in 48 hours. [76]
  • Microsoft releases the Microsoft Reader with ClearType for increased readability on PCs and handheld devices. [77]
  • Microsoft and Amazon worked together to sell e-books that could be purchased on Amazon.
  • A digitized version of the Gutenberg Bible was made available online at the British Library . [78]
  • Adobe releases Adobe Acrobat Reader 5.0 with users underline, take notes and bookmark.
  • Palm, Inc and OverDrive, Inc. make Palm Reader e-books available worldwide and offered over 5,000 e-books in several languages; These could be read on Palm PDAs or using a computer application. [79]
  • Random House and HarperCollins start to sell digital versions of their titles in English. quote needed ]
  • Sony Librie, first e-reader using an E Ink display was released; it had a six-inch screen. [80]
  • Google announces plans to digitize the holdings of several major libraries, [81] as part of what would later be called the Google Books Library Project .
  • Amazon buys Mobipocket , the creator of the mobi e-book file format and e-reader software. [82]
  • Google is sued for copyright infringement by the Authors Guild for scanning books still in copyright. [83]
  • Sony PRS-500 Reader with an E Ink screen and two weeks of battery life was released. [84]
  • LibreDigital launched BookBrowse as an online reader for publisher content. quote needed ]
  • The International Digital Publishing Forum releases EPUB to replace Open eBook. [85]
  • Amazon.com releases the Kindle e-reader with 6-inch E Ink in the US and it sells outs in 5.5 hours. [86]
  • Simultaneously with the Kindle in November, the Kindle Store opened with more than 88,000 e-books available. [86]
  • Bookeen launches Cybook Gen3 in Europe, it could display e-books and play audiobooks. [87]
  • Adobe and Sony agree to share their technologies ( Adobe Reader and DRM ) with each other. quote needed ]
  • Sony sells the Sony PRS-505 Reader in UK and France.
  • BooksOnBoard becomes the first retailer to sell e-books for iPhones . quote needed ]
  • Bookeen releases the Cybook Opus in the US and in Europe.
  • Sony releases the Pocket Edition Reader and Reader Touch Edition.
  • Amazon releases the Kindle 2 that included a text-to-speech feature.
  • Amazon releases the Kindle DX that had a 9.7-inch screen in the US.
  • Barnes & Noble releases the Nook e-reader in the US.
  • Amazon released the Kindle for PC application in late 2009, making the Kindle Store for Kindle Hardware. [88]


  • In January 2010, Amazon releases the Kindle DX International Edition worldwide. [89]
  • Bookeen reveals the Cybook Orizon at CES . [90]
  • Apple releases the bundled iPad with an e-book app called iBooks . [91]
  • Kobo Inc. releases its Kobo eReader to be sold at Indigo / Chapters in Canada and Borders in the US
  • Amazon reports that its e-book sales outnumbered hardcover books for the first time ever during the second quarter of 2010. [48]
  • Amazon releases the third generation Kindle, available in Wi-Fi and 3G & Wi-Fi versions.
  • Kobo Inc. releases an updated Kobo eReader , which included Wi-Fi.
  • Barnes & Noble releases the Color Nook , a color LCD tablet.
  • Google launches Google eBooks offering over 3 million titles, becoming the world’s largest e-book store at that time. [92]
  • PocketBook expands its line with an Android e-reader. [93]
  • In Canada, The Sentimentalists won the prestigious National Giller Prize in 2010. Owing to the small scale of the novel’s independent publisher, the book was not widely available in the form of the e-book edition became the top-selling title for Kobo devices that year. [94]
  • Amazon.com announces in May that its e-book sales in the US. [95]
  • Barnes & Noble releases the Simple Touch Nook e-reader and Nook Tablet . [96]
  • Bookeen launches its own e-books store, BookeenStore.com, and starts to sell digital versions of titles in French. [97]
  • Nature Publishing publishes Principles of Biology , a customizable, modular textbook, with no corresponding paper edition.
  • The e-reader market grows in Spain, and companies like Telefónica, Fnac, and Casa del Libro launches their e-readers with the Spanish brand “bq readers”.
  • Amazon launches the Kindle Fire and Kindle Touch ; both devices were designed for e-reading.
  • E-books in the US market collects over three billion in revenue. [98]
  • Kbuuk released the cloud -based self-publishing e-book SaaS platform [99] on the Pubsoft digital publishing engine.
  • Apple releases iBooks Author , software for creating iPad e-books to be published in its iBooks bookstore or as PDF file . [100]
  • Apple opens a textbook in its iBooks bookstore. [101]
  • Library.nu – formerly called ebooksclub.org and gigapedia.com, a popular linking website for downloading e-books – was accused of infringement infringement and shut down by order on February 15. [102]
  • The publishing companies Random House , Holtzbrinck , and arvato get an e-book library called Expired Skoobe on the market. [103]
  • US Department of Justice prepares anti-trust lawsuit against Apple, Simon & Schuster , Hachette Book Group , Penguin Group , Macmillan , and HarperCollins , alleging collusion to increase the price of books sold on Amazon. [104] [105]
  • PocketBook releases the PocketBook Touch, an E Ink Pearl e-reader, winning awards from German Tablet PC magazines and Computer Bild . [106] [107]
  • In September, Amazon releases the Kindle Paperwhite , its first e-reader with built-in front LED lights.
  • In April 2013, Barnes & Noble posts losses of $ 475 million on its Nooks business, and it’s plans to continue making and designing black-and-white e-readers such as the Nook Simple Touch, which “are more geared to serious readers, who are its customers, than to tablets”. [108]
  • The Association of American Publishers announces that e-books now account for about 20% of book sales. Barnes & Noble estimates it has a 27% share of the US e-book market. [108]
  • In June, Apple Executive Keith Moerer testifies in the e-book price fixing trial that the iBookstore held approximately 20% of the e-book market share in the United States within the after launch – a figure that Publishers Weeklyreports is roughly double many of the previous estimates made by third parties. Moerer further testified that iBookstore an additional 20% by adding Random House in 2011. [109]
  • Five major US e-book publishers, as part of their settlement of a price-fixing suit, were ordered to the top of the New York Times best-seller that they sold from April 2010 to May 2012. [98] ] This Could equal $ 160 million in settlement costs.
  • Barnes & Noble releases the Nook Glowlight , which has a 6-inch touchscreen using E Ink Pearl and Regal, with built-in front LED lights.
  • In April, Kobo released the Kobo Aura HD with a 6.8-inch screen, which is larger than the current models produced by its US competitors. [110]
  • In May, Mofibo launched the first Scandinavian Unlimited Access e-book subscription service. [111]
  • In July, Judge Denise Cote District, US District Court Finds guilty parties in the United States. [112]
  • In August, Kobo released the Kobo Aura , a baseline touchscreen six-inch e-reader.
  • In September, Oyster launches its unlimited access e-book subscription service. [113]
  • In November, US Judge District Chin sides with Google in Authors Guild v. Google , citing fair use. [114] The authors said they would appeal. [115]
  • In December, Scribd launched the first public subscription service for e-books. [116]
  • In early 2014, Amazon launches Kindle Unlimited as an unlimited-access e-book and audiobook subscription service. [117]
  • In April, Kobo released the Aura H₂0 , the world’s first waterproof commercially produced e-reader. [118]
  • In June, US District Court Judge Cote grants class action certification to complainants in a lawsuit over Apple’s alleged e-book price conspiracy; the plaintiffs are seeking $ 840 million in damages. [119] Apple appeals the decision.
  • In June, Apple settles the antitrust e-book box that alleged Apple’s conspired to e-book price fixing out of court with the States; however if Judge Cote’s ruling is overturned in appeal the settlement would be reversed. [120]
  • In June 2015, the US Circuit Court of Appeals with a 2-1 vote with Judge Cote that Apple conspired to e-book fixing price and violated federal antitrust law. [121] Apple appealed the decision.
  • In June, Amazon released the Kindle Paperwhite (3rd generation) which is the first e-reader to feature Bookerly , has made it exclusively designed for e-readers. [122]
  • In September, Oyster announced its unlimited access e-book subscription service would be shut down in early 2016 and that it would be acquired by Google. [123]
  • In September, Malaysian e-book company, e-Sentral , introduced for the first time geo-rental technology distribution for e-books via bluetooth beacon. It was first demonstrated in a large scale at Kuala Lumpur International Airport. [124]
  • In October, Amazon releases the Kindle Travel that has a 6-inch, 300-ppi E Ink Carta HD display, which was the highest resolution and contrast available in e-readers as of 2014. [125] It also features LED adaptive lights and page turn on the sides of the device.
  • In October, B & N released the Glowlight Plus , its first waterproof e-reader. [126]
  • In October, the US appeals to Google instead of the Authors’ Guild, declaring that Google did not violate copyright law in its book scanning project. [127]
  • In December, Playster launched an unlimited-access subscription service including e-books and audiobooks. [128]
  • By the end of 2015, Google Books scanned more than 25 million books. [9]
  • By 2015, over 70 million e-readers had been shipped worldwide. [9]
  • In March 2016, the Supreme Court of the United States declined to hear Apple’s appeal that it conspired to e-book prices fixing the previous court decision stands, which means that Apple must pay $ 450 million. [129]
  • In April, the Supreme Court has been reduced to hear the Authors’ Guilds of Appeal. this result means Google is allowed to scan library books and display snippets. [130]
  • In April, Amazon released the Kindle Oasis , its first e-reader in a hands-on product . the Oasis is the lightest e-reader on the market. [131]
  • In August, Kobo released the Aura One , the first commercial e-reader with a 7.8-inch E Ink Carta HD display. [132]
  • In September 2016, Perlego released an online platform that provides e-books to students under a monthly subscription fee in Europe. [133]
  • By the end of 2016, smartphones and tablets both of which are e-readers for e-book, and paper books are more than e-book sales. [134]
  • In February 2017, the Association of American Publishers released data that shows the US adult e-book market declined 16.9% in the first nine months of 2016 over the same time in 2015 and Nielsen Book determined that in 2016 the e-book market had an Overall total decline of 16% in 2016 over 2015, including all age groups. [135] This decline is widespread with major publishers, which brought the average e-book price from $ 6 to nearly $ 10. [136]
  • In March, the Guardian reported that sales of physical books outperformed digital titles in the UK, since it can be cheaper to buy the physical version of a book when compared to the digital version due to Amazon’s deal with publishers that allows agency pricing. [134]
  • In April, it was reported that the sales of hardcover books were higher than e-books for the first time in five years. [136]


Main article: Comparison of e-book formats

Writers and publishers have many formats to choose from when publishing e-books. Each format has advantages and disadvantages. The most popular e-readers [137] and their natively supported formats are shown below:

Reader Native e-book formats
Amazon Kindle and Fire tablets [138] AZW, AZW3, KF8, non-DRM MOBI, PDF, PRC, TXT
Barnes & Noble Nook and Nook Tablet [139] EPUB, PDF
Apple iPad [140] EPUB, IBA (Multitouch Books made via iBooks Author), PDF
Sony Reader [138] EPUB, PDF, TXT, RTF, DOC, BBeB
Kobo eReader and Kobo Arc [141] [142] EPUB, PDF, TXT, RTF, HTML, CBR (comic), CBZ (comic)
PocketBook Reader and PocketBook Touch[143] [144] EPUB DRM, EPUB, PDF DRM, PDF, FB2, FB2.ZIP, TXT, DJVU, HTM, HTML, DOC, DOCX, RTF, CHM, TCR, PRC (MOBI)

Digital rights management

See also: Digital rights management § DRM and e-books

Most e-book publishers do not warn their customers about the possible implications of digital rights management . Generally, they claim that digital rights management is meant to prevent illegal copying of the e-book. However, in many cases, it is also possible that the digital rights management will result in the purchase of the e-book. [145] The e-books sold by most major publishers and electronic retailers, which are Amazon.com , Google , Barnes & Noble, Kobo Inc. and Apple Inc. , are DRM-protected and linked to the publisher’s e-readersoftware or hardware. The first major publisher to omit DRM was Tor Books , one of the largest publishers of science fiction and fantasy, in 2012. Smaller e-book publishers such as O’Reilly Media , Carina Press and Baen Books had already forged DRM previously. [146]


See also: Book scanning

Some e-books are produced along with the production of a printed format, as described in electronic publishing , though in many instances. Often, e-books are produced from pre-existing hard-copy books, generally by document scanning , sometimes with the use of robotic book scanners , having the technology to quickly scan books without damaging the original print edition. Scanning a book produces a set of image files, which can be converted into text format by an OCR program. [147]Occasionally, in some projects, an e-book can be produced by re-entering the text from a keyboard. Sometimes only the electronic version of a book is produced by the publisher. examples needed ] It is possible to release an e-book. Examples needed ] This is Useful in fields Such As information technology Where topics can change in the months Quickly That it takes to write a typical book. It is also possible to convert an electronic book to a printed book by print on demand . However, these are exceptions as tradition dictates that an electronic version is produced.The New York Times keeps a list of best-selling e-books, for both fiction[148] and non-fiction. [149]

Reading data

All of the e-readers and reading apps are capable of tracking e-book reading data, and the data could contain which e-books users open, how long the users spend reading each e-book and how much of each e-book is finished. [150] In December 2014, Kobo released e-book reading data collected from over 21 million of its users worldwide. Some of the results were only 44.4% of UK readers finished the bestselling e-book The Goldfinch and the 2014 top selling e-book in the UK, “One Cold Night”, was finished by 69% of readers; This is evidence that while popular e-books are being completely read, some e-books are only sampled. [151]

Comparison to printed books


In the space that a comparably sized physical book takes up, an e-reader can contain thousands of e-books, limited only by its memory capacity. Depending on the device, an e-book may be readable in low light or even total darkness. Many e-readers have a built-in light source, can enlarge or change, use text-to-speech software to read the text for visually impaired, elderly or dyslexic people or just for convenience. [152] Additionally, e-readers can immediately find information on an online dictionary. [153] [154] [155] Amazon reports that 85% of its e-book readers look up to a word while reading. [156]

Printed books use three times more raw materials and 78 times more water to produce when compared to e-books. [157] While an e-reader costs more than most individual books, e-books may have a lower cost than paper books. [158] E-books can be printed for the price of traditional books using on-demand book printers . [159] Moreover, numerous e-books are available free of charge on sites such as Project Gutenberg . [160] For example, all books printed before 1923 are in the public domain in the United States, which allows websites to host such books for free. [161]

Depending on possible digital rights management , e-books can be backed up and recovered in the box of loss or damage to the device. multi-device, distributor, distributor, and editor. [162]


There may be a lack of privacy for the user’s e-book reading activities; for example, Amazon knows the user ‘s identity, what the user has read, the user has finished the book, what is the user? [163] One obstacle to wide adoption of the e-book is that a large portion of people value the printed book as an object itself, including aspects such as the texture, smell, weight and appearance on the shelf. [164] Print books are also considered valuable cultural items, and symbols of liberal education and the humanities . [165]Kobofound that 60% of e-books are more expensive than the most expensive books, they are more likely to open the e-book. [166]

Joe Queenan has written about the pros and cons of e-books:

Electronic books are ideal for people who value the information contained in them, or who have vision problems, or who like to read on the subway, or who do not want other people to see how they are amusing themselves, or who have storage and clutter issues, but they are useless for people who are engaged in an intense, lifelong love affair with books. Books that we can touch; books that we can smell; books that we can depend on. [167]

While a paper book is vulnerable to various threats, including water damage, mold and theft, e-books files may be corrupted, deleted or otherwise lost as well as pirated . Where the ownership of a paper book is fairly straightforward, the purchaser of an e-book has access to the ebook due to digital rights management provisions, copyright issues, the provider’s business or failing Possibly if user’s credit card expired. [168]

Market share

United States

US Adult Fiction & Non fiction book sales in 2014[169]
Sellers Percent
Adult non-fiction print
Adult fiction print
Adult fiction ebook
Adult fiction ebook (no ISBN)
Adult non-fiction ebook
Adult non-fiction ebook (no ISBN)

In 2015, the Author Earnings Report estimated that Amazon held a 74% market share of e-books sold in the US [170] By the end of 2016, that year’s Report estimated that Amazon held 80% of the e-book market share in the US [136]


Market share of e-readers in Canada by Ipsos Reid as of January 2012
Sellers Percent


In 2013, Carrenho estimates that e-books would have a 15% market share in Spain in 2015. [172]


According to Nielsen Book Research, e-book share went from 20% to 33% between 2012 and 2014, but down to 29% in the first quarter of 2015. Amazon-published and self-published titles accounted for 17 million of those books – worth 58m – in 2014, representing 5% of the overall market and 15% of the digital market. The volume and value sales are similar to 2013 but up 70% since 2012. [173]


The Wischenbart Report 2015 estimates the e-book market share to be 4.3%. [174]


The Brazilian e-book market is only emerging. Brazilians are technology savvy, and that attitude is shared by the government. [174] In 2013, around 2.5% of all trades were sold in digital format. This was a 400% growth over 2012 when only 0.5% of trade titles were digital. In 2014, the growth was slower, Brazil had 3.5% of its trade titles being sold as e-books. [174]


The Wischenbart Report 2015 estimates the e-book market share to be around 1%. [174]