images.jpgFrom The Bookseller:

The Publishers Association, The Society of Authors, The Association of Authors Agents and The Right to Read Alliance have released a joint ‘recommendation to publishers’ to encourage the use of the text-to-speak function on digital devices. The option is sometimes disabled in order to protect the rights of the audio-book publisher.

The PA said the recommendation would go some way to offering people with print disabilities the same rights to access e-readers as those without disabilities, and should provide a more equal footing as sales of these devices take off in the UK. The joint statement “recommends that text to speech is routinely enabled on all e-books across all platforms, at least where there is no audiobook edition commercially available”.

Hooray for them! It’s a simple thing that can make the lives of many people better.

PS:  English is such a weird language.  Why is it “speech” when the verb is “speak”.  Always confuses me.


  1. I’ll give half a hooray. Why should print disabled people be forced to buy audio books (which are usually more expensive)? That’s like saying you shouldn’t be able to read paperbacks when there’s a hardcover version available. I suspect that for most books, the restriction simply means the loss of a sale.

  2. It really is outrageous. My sister in law uses text to speech all the time on her computer. She doesn’t have to pay someone every time she does it !

    This is exploitation and price gauging at it’s worst and yet another example of the crazy short term profiteering by Publishers.