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Saturday, 21 October, 2000, 21:01 GMT 22:01 UK
Ebook awards herald new age
Frankfurt ebook awards
Future bookworms could be curling up with a computer
Two US authors have jointly won the first ever prize for the best electronic book (ebook), awarded at the Frankfurt Book Fair.

David Maraniss won in the best non-fiction category for When Pride Still Mattered, while Edwin Schorb's mystery Paradise Square took the best fiction work, from more than 100 submissions from across the globe.

Edwin Schorb
Edwin Schorb won best original fiction
They will share the 70,000 prize money, announced at a lavish gala dinner and ceremony on Friday evening in Frankfurt's Old Opera House.

Ebooks can be read on computer screens and hand-held computers and are downloaded from the internet.

Young British writer Zadie Smith, who was nominated for the Orange Prize, took the 7,000 prize for the print fiction converted to ebook category with her debut novel White Teeth.

Technology 'needs improvement'

The awards recognise the categories of fiction, non-fiction and books published originally in electronic form and those converted from print.

The stated aim of the awards is to "recognise the importance and the great potential of this new media for authors, publishers and the reading public throughout the world".

Stephen King
Stephen King's latest novel is only available online
Director of judging Peter Mollman said the technology and format of ebooks still needed to be improved.

"It should be no surprise that the technology needs to smooth some edges and improve its performance in order to be as simple and intuitive as possible," he said.

Mr Mollman also acknowledged that the quality of ebooks available still had to improve.

"The judges, collectively, would have liked to have seen more original ebooks published with a higher standard of literary merit."

Horror writer Stephen King has published his latest book on the net while suspense novelists Patricia Cornwell, Robert Ludlum and Ken Follett are the latest authors to announce that their books will be available in electronic form.

The Frankfurt ebook winners are

Original fiction

Paradise Square - E.M. Schorb

Original non-fiction

When Pride Still Mattered - David Maraniss

Converted fiction

White Teeth - Zadie Smith

Converted non-fiction

Radical Brand - Vilim Vasata

See also:

10 Aug 00 | Sci/Tech
From deep space to cyberspace
14 Mar 00 | Entertainment
King's e-book goes online
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