The Kindle 2 was introduced a few months back and with it came a new text-to-speech feature, not new in general, but new to the Kindle. Sadly, with that feature, the Author’s Guild quickly raised some concern, even going as far as saying they wanted it removed. Based on those complaints, Amazon made some changes and began allowing the publisher or author to decide if text-to-speech would be enabled.
Fast forward to now and it seems Random House has begun taking Amazon up on their offer. So far, they have disabled text-to-speech on about 40 titles which include books from Toni Morrison and Stephen King.
This feature seems to have been turned off quietly for these titles. In other words, nothing official has come from Random House. Of course, now that the disabling door has been opened, I wonder which other authors and publishers will be following suit.