วันอังคารที่ 10 สิงหาคม พ.ศ. 2553
An e-book (short for electronic book and also known as a digital book, ebook, and eBook) is an e-text that forms the digital media equivalent of a conventional printed book, sometimes restricted with a digital rights management system. An e-book, as defined by the Oxford Dictionary of English, is "an electronic version of a printed book which can be read on a personal computer or hand-held device designed specifically for this purpose". E-books are usually read on dedicated hardware devices known as e-Readers or e-book devices. Personal computers and some cell phones can also be used to read e-books.
Among the earliest general e-books were those in the Gutenberg Project, started by Michael S. Hart in 1971. An early e-book implementation were the desktop prototypes for a proposed notebook computer, the Dynabook, in the 1970s at PARC, which would be a general-purpose portable personal computer, including reading books. Similar ideas were expressed at the same time by Paul Drucker.
Early e-books were generally written for specialty areas and a limited audience, meant to be read only by small and devoted interest groups. The scope of the subject matter of these e-books included technical manuals for hardware, manufacturing techniques, and other subjects. In the 1990s, the general availability of the Internet made transferring electronic files much easier, including e-books.
Numerous e-book formats emerged and proliferated, some supported by major software companies such as Adobe with its PDF format, and others supported by independent and open-source programmers. Multiple readers followed multiple formats, most of them specializing in only one format, and thereby fragmenting the e-book market even more. Due to exclusiveness and limited readerships of e-books, the fractured market of independents and specialty authors lacked consensus regarding a standard for packaging and selling e-books. E-books continued to gain in their own underground markets. Many e-book publishers began distributing books that were in the public domain. At the same time, authors with books that were not accepted by publishers offered their works online so they could be seen by others. Unofficial (and occasionally unauthorized) catalogs of books became available over the web, and sites devoted to e-books began disseminating information about e-books to the public.
As of 2009[update], new marketing models for e-books were being developed and dedicated reading hardware was produced. E-books (as opposed to ebook readers) have yet to achieve global distribution. In the United States, as of September 2009, the Amazon Kindle model and Sony's PRS-500 were the dominant ereading devices . By March 2010, some reported that the Barnes & Noble nook may be selling more units than the Kindle. On January 27, 2010 Apple, Inc. launched a multi-function device called the iPad and announced agreements with five of the six largest publishers that would allow Apple to distribute e-books. However, not all authors have endorsed the concept of electronic publishing. J.K Rowling, author of the Harry Potter series, has stated that there will be no e-versions of her books.
In July 2010, online bookseller Amazon.com reported sales of ebooks for its proprietary Kindle outnumbered sales of hardcover books for 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. In July this number had increased to 180 Kindle ebooks per 100 hardcovers . Paperback book sales are still much larger than either hardcover or e-book; the American Publishing Association estimated e-books represented 8.5% of sales as of mid-2010.