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E-books find its origins back in 1971. Michael Hart was the creator of this innovation and the founder of the Project Gutenberg of Illinois University, a public library of digital books, which enjoys a collection of more than 2 thousand books, among which we find a great number of classic works.

In 1981 the first electronic book with commercial aims was launched on the market: a dictionary by Random House. However, the striking development of digital books would take place only 20 years later.

In 1998 the first e-Book Fair took place in Gaithersburg, Maryland in the US. At this event, the Norm Open e-Book, a series of regulations to standardize the format of electronic publications, was presented. A year later the specification Open e-Book Publication Structure was established, which set HTML and XML as the standard platforms for this type of books.

The e-books boom started when Riding the Bullet, a Stephen King’s well-known novel, was launched exclusively on the Internet in 2001. This digital work was a resounding success, with a great amount of copies sold in only 2 days at a very affordable cost-$2.50. Later, the president of Russia, Vladimir Putin, had his memories published in the same format.

From this moment on, many electronic publishers and virtual book shops with digital texts catalogues have appeared. Today, the Internet provides not only a great variety of books on sale, but also free ones, which allows great advancement of cultural dissemination. Because of the advantages that this type of publication provides, e-books business is expected to continue to grow in the foreseeable future.


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