As promised, Amazon has begun to implement the text to speech (TTS) flag that lets authors and their publishers turn off the “read it to me” feature of books on the Kindle. MobileRead members note that Toni Morrison’s A Mercy and Stephen King’s The Stand both have TTS disabled, and it seems to be on an author-by-author basis instead of by publisher or imprint.
When the Authors Guild successfully agitated for the right to selectively remove the text-to-speech feature from books read on Amazon’s Kindle 2, they alienated an entire group of potential consumers: people who have trouble reading normal printed works. Now a group called the Reading Rights Coalition is going to storm the Authors Guild’s NYC office tomorrow at noon to protest.
The 8,000 member Authors Guild—the RIAA of the publishing world—has complained about the text to speech feature on the Amazon Kindle 2, which can read aloud your ebook in a computerized voice (something text to speech programs have been doing for years). The Guild says that’s equivalent to an audio book, and that Amazon can’t just allow it without paying extra, so last Friday Amazon caved in and announced they’ll let writers and publishers disable the feature on a title by title basis moving forward.