digital publishing 1991-1995

1991 box ad in the NYT Book Review

On June 9 1991 the little box ad shown here appeared in The New York Times Book Review.

Well, the We in the ad was, in fact, Me. and so began a five year pioneering adventure in what was then called “electronic publishing.”

Highlights included a catalog of about thirty electronic books in 1993 (including six books from the backlist of a university press). Nothing like ebooks now. Very exciting though.

A good snapshot of the period can be found in Paperless Publishing by Colin Haynes, published by McGraw-Hill in 1994. Find me in the index.

I have been keeping an eye on the category ever since and it is one of the themes here.

But that’s history and the space has become “digital publishing,” so there we are and on we go. Wikipedia doesn’t have an article on digital publishing at the moment but there is one on the E-book.

Something called “Knowledge Central,” came out of that adventure (in 1993), which is much more interesting and I’ll chat about that too.

latest version april 10 2009.

update november 4 2009 with related posts:

from 1993 to 2009: from Knowledge Central to Project SQUAWK

my 1993 version of: Will print publishing inherit digital publishing?

a possible future for digital publishing: 3D Web-based knowledge networks

update february 17 2010

Oops. I forgot HobokenX. HobokenX was a city guide to Hoboken, NJ. It started out as a Windows 3.1 Help file, complete with hypertext, and was transfered to the web by nice students at Stevens Tech in ’94. I’m proud to have been in good company.

update may 23 2010

found article in The Independent (UK) Dec, 1992 mentioning the company.

update april 15 2013

In 1995 my ebooks were part of The Internet Bookstore, an online bookstore that delivered ebooks over the Internet.