The year in e-books (so far)

Think back, way back.

Back before a golfer hit a tree…with a car.

Back before a couple plus eight became eight plus 1, 1.

Back before a singer’s make-up created some controversy, and he came in second.

It’s January 1, 2009.

What is the state of e-bookery?

There is one Kindle.  There have been three Sony Readers, and the PRS-700 has only been out for a couple of months.  It has a touchscreen and a built-in front light.   There are other e-books around, including the Irex ILiad, and LCD models, including the inexpensive EBookwise. 

Amazon, though, has ignited the market like never before.  Major publishers are releasing e-books. 

E-book news is in this style.

Related news is italicized like this.

News related to my own works is bold like this.

February 2, 2009: The Kindle Nation Daily by Stephen Windwalker begins publication as a blog

February 9, 2009: Jeff Bezos holds an event to introduce the Kindle 2.  The flashiest new feature is text-to-speech.  The press conference also reveals that when a book is available in both Kindle and paper, 35% of the sales are in Kindle format

February 12, 2009: The Authors Guild releases a memo claiming that the text-to-speech “…presents a significant challenge to the publishing industry” (statement)

February 12, 2009: The National Federation of the Blind condemns the Authors Guild statement

February 12, 2009: Stephen King’s Kindle exclusive URis released

February 27, 2009: Amazon announces that for the “comfort” of the rightsholders, they will allow them to block the text-to-speech (article)

March 4, 2009: the Kindle apps for the iPhone and the iPod touch are announced

March 19, 2009: A Kindle World blog begins

March 20, 2009: A character makes a Kindle reference on Joss Whedon’s Dollhouse

April 7, 2009: A protest is held outside the Authors Guild headquarters in New York City over the text-to-speech issue (article)

May 6, 2009: Amazon introduces the Kindle DX, with a larger 9.7″ screen.  They also announce a deal with some textbook publishers, and a pilot program at some colleges

May 13, 2009: Amazon introduces Kindle Publishing for Blogs…by the end of the year, there will be more than 7,500 available

June 8, 2009: Amazon announces the Your Amazon Ad contest, having customer submit their own videos of commercials for Amazon

June 20, 2009: Frequently Asked Kindle Questions is published

July 14, 2009: A lawsuit is filed over covers from Amazon cracking the Kindles

July 16, 2009: Amazon removes copies of a George Orwell book from purchasers’ Kindles, creating a major news flap

July 20, 2009: Barnes and Noble begins selling e-books in a new online store for that purpose

July 23, 2009: Jeff Bezos apologizes for the Orwell removal, including directly in the Amazon Kindle community, calling it “stupid, thoughtless, and painfully out of line with our principles.” (Amazon thread)

July 23, 2009:  The USA Today begins including e-books in its bestseller list calculations

August 14, 2009: Red Adept’s Kindle Book Review blog  begins publication

August 28, 2009: The first post in the I Love My Kindle blog appears

August 28, 2009: Bufo appears on Len Edgerly’s podcast, The Kindle Chronicles

September 2009: Amazon implements a change in its quality control for Digital Text Platform books.  Free Books for Your Kindle is temporarily removed, then restored

September 3, 2009: Amazon offers consumers from whom it deleted the Orwell book $30

September 9, 2009: The Ted Kennedy memoir, True Compass, gets a staggered release…seen by some as a setback

September 15, 2009: The biggest book of the year is released, and e-book readers cheer the simultaneous release of e-book and p-book.  Stephen Windwalker of The Kindle Nation discovers that, at least at first, the e-book outsells to p-book.  One negative: text-to-speech is blocked in the edition

September 15, 2009: The APA (American Psychological Association) lists a guideline for citing a Kindle edition…the first of the big authorities to do so

September 18, 2009: The Department of Justice issues a statement expressing concerns about the Google Settlement.  Shortly thereafter, the parties ask for an extension to rewrite it

September 21, 2009: Leonard mentions the Kindle on The Big Bang Theory

September 22, 2009: The winner of the Your Amazon Ad contest is announced…the commercial (featuring stop-motion animation over a song, and focusing on the Kindle) will be seen frequently later in the year

September 25, 2009: Amazon settles a lawsuit over deleting the Orwell book for $150,000

September 29, 2009: It’s announced that Sarah Palin’s book, Going Rogue, will get a staggered release

October  2009: The Stephen King book, Under the Dome gets a staggered release (with the e-book being released after the p-book).  This is seen by some as a setback after the simultaneous release of the biggest book of the year.  King approves of the move

October 7, 2009: Amazon introduces the Kindle 2 international, and drops the price on the Kindle 2 US

October 13 2009: The New York Times writes about Open Road Media, a well-financed company that will seek to obtain e-book rights for older books.  In the article, it’s stated that they have already gotten the rights to Catch-22

October 22, 2009: The Kindle for PC app is announced, allowing users to buy and read Kindle books on a computer (without needing to own a Kindle)

November 2009: the Kindle has its best sales month ever

November 2, 2009: Spring Design announces that it has filed a lawsuit against the nook

November 5, 2009: Borders announces it will close 200 WaldenBooks stores in 2010 (story) 

November 5, 2009: The Kindle store begins exclusively selling the Choose Your Own Adventure books

November 13, 2009: The Authors Guild (sic) reports filing the amended settlement in the Google case

November 17, 2009: The Kindle launches in Canada, with over 300,000 titles available

November 19, 2009: The Collected I Love My Kindle Blog Volume 1 is published

November 25, 2009: Amazon releases software update 2.3 for the Kindle, bringing native pdf support and landscape display to the Kindle 2

November 30, 2009: Barnes and Noble introduces the nook

December 9 (?), 2009:  Amazon enables permanent delete from Kindle archives

December 9, 2009: The Wall Street Journal reports that Simon and Schuster and the Hachette group will release some e-books after their paper counterparts in 2010 by three to four months.

December 11 (?), 2009: Amazon puts an “Add to Wishlist” button on Kindle book product pages

December 11, 2009: Random House sends a letter asserting that contracts that don’t specifically mention e-books or electronic books still grant Random House those rights if it says “in book form”

December 14, 2009: The Kindle for iPhone app goes international

December 14, 2009: Amazon announces an exclusive deal for e-book versions of some of Stephen Covey’s books

This post by Bufo Calvin originally appeared in the I Love My Kindle blog.

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3 Responses to “The year in e-books (so far)”

  1. Скоро в продаже новое поколение электронных книг | Sony Reader, устройство электронная книга, ebook Says:

    [...] The year in e-books (so far) « I Love My Kindle [...]

  2. LaDonna Says:

    You twice mention “the biggest book of the year” but don’t give the title. I’m new to the Kindle-sphere and am really curious.

    • bufocalvin Says:

      Thanks for writing, LaDonna!

      The reason I don’t mention the title is that the book is published by a company that is blocking text-to-speech access. I don’t want to promote companies (Random House, Penguin, the Hachette Group) that do that, although I do think buying or not buying in that situation is a personal choice.

      I’m sorry that’s inconvenient…I don’t think I could ignore the significance of what happened with the book, but I’m just not comfortable listing the name.

      I guess for me it’s “He Who Must Not Be Named”. ;)

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