Author Statements

Submissions can be made using the Contact Us form. Please include a link for 'more about this author'.

  • Cory Doctorow

    I'm specifically interested because Amazon has announced a "DRM-free" version of the Kindle format and I'd love to sell my books on the platform if it's really DRM-free.

    (Excerpt from article: Kindle owners start to lose text-to-speech on purchased books -- how do DRM-free Kindle books work?)

  • Deborah Kent

    As both a blind person and a writer, I understand the importance of access to books for people of all ages and using all kinds of reading methods. The inclusion of text-to-speech in e-books for the Kindle 2 will help many young people with print disabilities to gain access to books, thereby ensuring that they will receive an equal education.

  • Randy Shaw

    As a writer, I see e-books not as a potential threat to my rights but as a way for my work to reach a broader market. Readers who have never purchased books before because they were inaccessible will now join the book-buying public, increasing the revenue and reach of writers on every subject and in every literary genre.

  • Kinky Friedman

    At least 15 million Americans cannot read print books. Some cannot because they are blind, dyslexic or have processing or intellectual disabilities. Others, like persons with cerebral palsy or high spinal cord injuries, have neurological or macular problems that make holding a book for periods of time difficult. Still others who are recovering from stroke or undergoing chemotherapy, are temporarily disabled from reading books. The introduction of text-of-speech on a mainstream e-book reader means that for the very first time our neighbors and friends with these disabilities will have the same access to these books at the same price, the same terms and at the same price as everyone else. For the 215,000 children with learning disabilities like dyslexics in Texas, text-to-speech on an e-book reader means the chance to see and hear the words at the same time, a gigantic step in helping them to become much better readers. I have told my publisher not to turn off text-to-speech on my e-books and I urge my fellow authors to do the same.

  • Zachary Shore

    As the author of 3 books, including my latest work, Blunder; Why Smart People Make Bad Decisions (, and as a blind person, I can understand the views of those on both sides of the Kindle debate.
    But even if the Kindle 2 should decrease revenues for my own or other authors' books, I must stand on the side of equal access to information for the disabled. The right of millions to read must rank higher than the right of authors to maximize their profits.

  • Jim Antonacci

    How can any group discriminate against society and believe it's legal? The Authors' Guild put out a statement saying it felt that allowing the book to be read aloud should be negotiated and licensed separately than one read with the eyes. They're looking at this as a monetary thing. Amazon just got caught in the middle.

  • George Pelecanos

    I want the 15 million Americans who cannot read print books to have mainstream access to books. Those who are blind, dyslexic or have processing or intellectual disabilities cannot successfully use print. Others, like persons with cerebral palsy or high spinal cord injuries, or those recovering for stroke or undergoing chemotherapy have neurological or muscular problems that make holding a book for periods of time difficult. The introduction of text-to-speech on a mainstream e-book reader, the Kindle, means that for the very first time our neighbors and friends with these disabilities will have the same access to these books at the same price, the same terms and at the same time as everyone else. I have told my publisher not to turn off text-to-speech on my e-books and I urge my fellow authors to do the same.

  • April Hamilton

    As an author whose titles are not released in audio format, I'm glad TTS is there to make my books available to the text-disabled community. Author and publisher claims that TTS cannibalizes book sales or otherwise deprives authors of royalties is ridiculous, since no one can use TTS unless they've already bought a copy of an ebook. Given that only the most popular books are typically released in audiobook format or made available through special programs like Books For The Blind, non-bestselling authors who fight TTS are essentially choosing to exclude the text-disabled from their readership. The Authors Guild's proposed compromise, that the text-disabled register to have their disability validated as a condition of TTS access, is not only unnecessary, but offensive.

  • Bufo Calvin

    Dan Brown, author of the Da Vinci Code, has a new book coming out later this year.  It is being published by Doubleday, which is part of the Random House publishing group. It has been stated by at least one Random House author that the publisher has told them they could go separately to Amazon to keep the text-to-speech enabled. Here is the site: Customer-discussions on Amazon-functionality. Encouraging Reading Rights Coalition members to post there would raise the profile of the issue.

    Author: The Disabled Deserve to Read: The Controversy Over the Amazon Kindle's Voice

  • Brian Monaghan, California

    I had been a trial lawyer in California for more than thirty years when I received information that I had melanoma in both my brain (tumors) and lymph nodes. After a number of procedures, I was able to function normally, except for the fact that I have aphasia which limits my ability to read. It is for that specific reason that I have acquired a Kindle 2 with the text-to-speech feature. This is an extremely significant factor, and I fully intend to follow up on this situation.

  • Nancy S. Lovejoy, Massachusetts

    I am now 81 years old and still able to read with my eyes, but I do know a number of people who are less and less able to do so and the idea of making it impossible to hear a book read aloud is simply outrageous––and, like so much else in our country, all about money and profit––especially for those who already have plenty of both.

  • Mike Gregg, Missouri

    As the parent of a visually-impaired teenager that loves and devours books on tape, access to Authors Guild members’ books on Kindle 2 would allow her to broaden her horizons even farther.

  • Ann Wright, Michigan

    My sixteen-year-old daughter is dyslexic, and we were planning to buy her a Kindle 2 so that she could listen to the vast number of books that Amazon makes available in this format. She loves fiction and always has at least one book going. The number of available works in an easily accessible form is limited. This would have opened a world for her using "normal" technology. Please reconsider your decision.

  • Anonymous, Texas

    In the last years of my mother's life, she was unable to read due to complications from diabetes. This was the woman who read to me every night when I was little, and taught me to love books and read by the time I was three. She would often tell me how much she missed being able to read the new books out there, and that she hated not being able to see the print. She often couldn't sleep at night due to pain, so she would sit and watch the wall rather than waking my father up to read to her. The Kindle 2 would have been a gift beyond words. And it seems that the Authors Guild misses the point––she could have bought the book and had it read to her with a bit more work than it would take for the Kindle 2 to read it instead.

  • Debbie Sturt, California
    As a teacher, ESL & Speech, I know the hardships of those who have difficulty reading, whether because of eyesight problems or due to learning the language. Having the ability to listen to works, fiction & non-fiction, not only opens up learning to those with eye conditions, but also increases listening comprehension for language learners as well––and that is the core of learning any language: listening comprehension. The text-to-speech function will benefit thousands and potentially millions.

  • Cary Hocker, Texas

    I have low vision due to diabetes. I will eventually be completely unable to read. Features like text-to-speech on the Kindle (I own a Kindle 2) are very important to me. It is obvious to anyone that has listened to a Kindle 2 read text-to-speech that it in no way replaces the quality of a professionally produced audiobook. Please give us a break––we desperately need it.

  • Anonymous, Illinois

    I am a third grade teacher and a reading specialist. I have several students who are struggling to learn to read. One of them is very learning disabled. I use my personal Kindle 2 to give her the freedom to enjoy reading books that are at her normal developmental level but too difficult to tackle on her own. Her reading has improved and she is beginning to make some wonderful gains in word recognition and decoding. The text-to-speech feature is what enables her to do this work. It is imperative that it continue to be offered on the Kindle and other digital readers.

  • Anonymous, Georgia

    My husband does not read much, does not enjoy reading, WILL NOT read. Once I bought my Kindle, he will read anything in it as long as the text-to-speech is turned on. I truly believe it is helping him learn to read better than he ever has, and without this feature he never would have learned that he doesn't hate reading.

  • Anonymous, California

    I haven't bought a Kindle 2 yet but was very excited when I read about the text-to-speech functionality. I wanted Kindle for my grandmother who suffered a major stroke two years ago. She was very active and now is bedridden. Since her right arm is paralyzed she cannot hold a book or turn pages so reading is almost impossible for her. She has to depend upon someone to read to her. I thought that this device would be so wonderful for her. Please don't limit this technology to the people who really need it. Some day it might be you.

  • Michelle Massie, California

    My eleven-year-old son, Cole, is severely dyslexic and has lots of visual processing disorders. He is just now starting to experience the joy of reading fluently because he uses text-to-speech. He's asked for a Kindle for his 12th birthday. What do I tell him?

  • Anissa Stancato, Indiana

    I don't have sight issues, but Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome, a connective tissue deformity that makes it very hard to hold items like the Kindle for long periods of time, or to manipulate page turning. All of my joints, from my shoulders and hips all the way down to knuckles and wrists are affected. Therefore the text-to-speech function is vital to my Kindle 2 purchase. If the Guild is allowed to disable this function on their books, my access to the very reading material I purchased the Kindle for in the first place will be completely diminished. Please keep this function on all materials to allow the same access to all individuals, regardless of physical or mental ability.

  • Tracy Culbert, Alaska

    My grandmother instilled a love of reading in my family. She took time to read every single day and always made time to take us to the library. As she aged her cataracts prevented her from reading. Her final days were spent listening to game shows rather than good literature. A text-to-speech function on the Kindle would have brought her a lot of joy. There are many others who, through an injury, medical treatments (chemotherapy), or a disability, do not have the ability to read. The Kindle 2 would enrich their lives and expand the market for publishing companies and authors. Please reconsider your decision.

  • Anonymous

    My eyes are good, but no-one offers me any guarantee that they will stay that way. The right to read concerns us all. Please make sure to avoid any needless restrictions on how information can be accessed.

  • Arthur Strauss, California
    My son is one of thousands of people in this country that has a learning disability that requires him to listen to a book being read in order to have retention of the material. To eliminate text-to-speech options for the reader/purchaser is a unsound business practice for the publisher and Amazon alike.

  • Carol Preston, Kentucky
    My dad never learned to read because he was injured by a bike rider when he was seven years of age and was laid up in a body cast for three years and leg braces for four years. That was in 1918 and when he was finally able to go back to school he was fourteen years of age. Too old for first grade, he went to work at a woodworking factory and became a great woodworker at his job and made wood furniture when he was not at work, but what if he had the e-books to assist him to learn to read in his off time

  • Richard Rosen, Washington
    I am legally blind. Having easy access to text-to-speech reading material is critical to my functioning as a productive member of society. Don't restrict or cut off any avenue to my continuing education, involvement in life, and personal growth. You who are sighted have no idea of the impact that a visual disability can have on your daily life. The technology is here. Let it be used.

  • Susan Robinson, Pennsylvania
    I am a speech/language therapist and communication is one of the most important features that makes us human and defines who we are. Please provide this feature for those who are unable to read for whatever the reason may be. Why make it harder for those who already have a hard enough time and want to read the same books that others can read?

  • Brian Grant, Pennsylvania
    As a legally blind individual, there is nothing better after a long day at work than giving my eyes a rest at night. If I have already purchased a Kindle book, what possible difference does it make how I choose to enjoy it? By disabling this wonderful feature, whom does that benefit (as if I didn't know)?

  • Richard Scarisbrick, Canada
    I have been visually impaired since I was diagnosed with M.S. at age fifteen, over twenty-eight years ago. I have struggled to access print media while at university and at law school, as well as in my professional career. I looked forward to the read-aloud features of the Kindle and was quite dismayed by Amazon's decision to misinterpret copyright law in order to avoid litigation. It is difficult enough to access print media without artificial obstacles placed in our way.

  • Sherri Brun, Florida
    I am a person who has been totally blind all my life. With the advent of computer technology, the ability to listen to and read books has become more available for blind people. The Kindle will give added access to blind people who want to purchase and download books to read. I urge you as a reader and a person who is blind to please allow us equal access to the books available through this service by keeping the text-to-speech option completely enabled. Please do not deprive blind people of the gift of books. Thank you.

  • David Stenberg, Washington
    My mother suffers from ARMD. I was hoping that the new Kindle 2 would make it possible for her to enjoy books again. But this won't happen if authors and publishers make that impossible for her. Let the words be heard!

  • Katherine Albright, Minnesota
    My husband is losing his vision and would like to have the same access to books that fully sighted people do.

  • Michelle Friesner, Ohio
    I read my books using books on tape, which are from the Library of Congress. I often have to wait for them to be recorded and then once recorded I have to wait for my turn to check them out. My family was just talking about getting me a Kindle 2 a few days ago. I think it is very unfair that some authors want to disable the text-to-speech function. I still will have to buy the book but because I cannot read like most people I am kept from using this function.

  • Nancy Kurtz, Michigan
    Finally, a way to make it easier for all to read for all! In having learning-disabled kids and being exposed to kids with all kinds of differences it is easy to see that having an audio choice for books is a good thing. In fact, a great thing. Don't undo the great thing that is possible.

  • Anonymous , Colombia
    My father is blind, and it is because of the amazing technology of text-to-speech that he has been able to read throughout his life. However, every time he buys a book he has to go through the painstaking and time-consuming process of scanning it and recognizing its text. Devices like the Kindle 2 do away with all this and make it so much easier for people like my father to access information that is readily available for sighted people.

  • Dylan Horrocks, New Zealand
    Due to age and medications, my eyesight is not good. This service is important to people like me to keep us educated and learned.

  • Jennifer Oertwig, Nevada
    I am a patient advocate for the national Multiple Sclerosis Society. This disease often affects the vision of its sufferers. My best friend of forty years has MS and needs the text-to- speech function since she is legally blind from her MS. MS affects a half of a million people in the USA alone! Only greed would prevent use of such a useful tool for the disabled!

  • Rhonda Johnston, Michigan
    Due to age and medications, my eyesight is not good. This service is important to people like me to keep us educated and learned.

  • Ethan Archer, Iowa
    I'm dyslexic. The ability of the Kindle to read things to me is a wonderful invention. I would still buy audiobooks too, they would be easier to listen to, but so many are recorded in abridged form. Let this technology live, and without the need for me to be constantly reminded that I have a difference by registering or requiring me to pay more.

  • Scott Carlisle, Florida
    I am a totally blind reader, and yes, I understand that I can access a great many books from other sources. But, having access to e-books using the Kindle 2 reader opens up the e-book area in a way not seen up to this point. I read over two hundred books a year and I want others to have this same right to do so if they so desire!

  • Anna Mary McHugh, Pennsylvania
    I have a visual disability and welcome the fact that Kindle 2 can provide speech without my having to jump through hoops to get permission from the publisher for a text file.

  • Edith Cain, Alabama
    I am 72 years old and my eyes are not as good as they were. Yet I love to read the old classics and the latest by John Grisham and other authors. Also my best friend has a condition which is slowly taking his eyesight. He enjoys very much hearing books on tape, but they are so limited.

  • Holly Anderson, Michigan
    I work with individuals with brain and spinal cord injuries. It is very difficult for them to be set up to see the written word. Being able to hear it will allow them the unlimited access that the rest of us currently have.

  • Marie De Jong, North Carolina
    I work as an Audio Describer for Arts Access and see blind and low vision patrons on a regular basis struggling to participate fully in society. In addition, I'm a tutor. There is a large spectrum of reading disabilities suffered by children and adults whose adaptation and learning can be accelerated by using e-books as a supplementary tool in conquering their reading difficulties, including new students of the English language. In this regard, for many, e-books can turn a temporary reading difficulty into a book-buying customer of the future.

  • Harrie Watson, Louisiana
    I read a great deal, both hard-copy books and e-books on the Kindle 2. Because of Optic Nerve Head Drusen, my eyes will tire. Text-to-speech allows me to continue at those times. I also tutor children for whom this feature would help improve their reading skills.

  • Julie Hertzberg, Colorado
    I was thrilled to have a Kindle 2 because I have recently been diagnosed with sjogrens syndrome and I spend hours with my eyes shut. I cannot read for any length of time and it is high stress on my eyes when I try to do so. The Kindle 2 has provided me with therapy as well as access to books and other printed material! This is such an incredible blessing and I can't figure why anyone would remove access to such a gift. Please don't take away this gift from God.

  • Elizabeth Mueller, Florida
    My son has many disabilities and this would be very helpful to him since he learns by both seeing the words and hearing the words spoken to him at the same time. This is how we got through all of the Harry Potter books.

  • Mary Paradis, North Carolina
    As a child I was given a medication that caused my brain to reverse in development. As a result I suffered severe learning disabilities which make reading a real challenge. If it were not for the technologies in the office for the learning disabled at NC State University, I would not be able to say I am a college graduate today. I was lucky to go to a school that had access to such technologies, but there are hundreds of thousands of children and young adults that are not so lucky. It is a horrifying thought to think of how many potential talented young writers, doctors, and lawyers are being held back in school and in life because they do not have access to the text-to-speech technology.

  • Diane Kendal, Texas
    I have a dyslexic son who loves audiobooks, but so many things are not available to him and I see the Kindle's abilities as something vital to him as he goes off to college next year. We will continue to buy audiobooks when they are available but don't cut him off from the words that are so vital to his success. Nobody picks to listen to a computer voice, but if the technology works, let it work and help improve his life and that of others with similar disabilities.

  • James Spires, Alabama
    My son is autistic with other disabilities. He loves to have books read to him. I was very excited to hear of the Kindle 2 text-to-speech feature. It will open whole new worlds for my son and others. Leave it active!

  • Stephen Roy, Maryland
    I am a traumatic head injury survivor who struggles with reading at times (right field vision neglect, other visual-perceptual difficulties). Text-to-speech serves as a means to make sure I am completely comprehending printed text that otherwise proves difficult. As a vocational rehabilitation counselor, I deal with individuals who struggle with learning and reading disorders, and the proposed limitations will effectively exclude them from use of this device. If anything, they are overlooking the market potential of our community.

  • Cindy Gladden, Colorado
    My son has dyslexia, and reading is always hard for him. Having technology like the Kindle 2 would allow my son to be able to listen to books for enjoyment as well as required reading. Please allow those with learning disabilities to have the same advantage as those who can read.

  • Corinne Kendall, New Jersey
    My brother was diagnosed with dyslexia when he was eight. Since then the use of audiobooks has been an important step in my brother's education. While I imagine audiobooks read by an actual person will always be preferred over computer readings, I think the opportunity to have thousands more books read aloud would have a significant effect on my brother's education. I hope that you will consider people like him when you make the decision about this product.

  • Martha Atkinson, Washington
    It is not just people who have visual disabilities who need access to this technology. Those of us who cannot physically hold a book up need it too!

  • Jennifer Frazier, California
    My mother-in-law bought the Kindle 2 for my birthday about a month ago and I've purchased three books and several issues of magazines. I have read them and enjoy having the ability to purchase and read as easily as anyone else! Using the Kindle to read as a blind person gives me equal access and gives the publishers and authors more income as previously I borrowed from the library services for the blind heavily and now I can purchase current books immediately and read them! Keep the text-to-speech option! It's not at all like audible actor-read books.

  • Jason Waldo, Tennessee
    My wife has had a stroke in the past, and for a time was unable to read for herself. She also is in the early stages of Alzheimer's and will one day again in the future benefit only from having books read to her. She is a reader now, constantly reading one book or another. This move will eliminate one of the greatest joys in her life when so many others will be taken from her by the advance of this disease.

  • John Mudge, Washington
    My father is physically incapable of holding up a book, thanks to MS. He's able to operate a device such as the Kindle enough to open a book and start it playing, but certainly not enough to hold the Kindle in front of his eyes for hours on end. It's just a physical reality that, to read, he must have books either read to him, or on a computer screen. Neither seems particularly available, thanks to the Authors Guild.

  • James Catton, Michigan
    During a recent time when I was recovering from cancer treatment and double amputation of my legs, I developed severe cataracts and was unable to read for a couple of years. It was a horrible and lonely time to lose contact with the world around me. Amazon's policy is closing the world to many people with sight problems.