Hot Products - eBooks
After Stephen King released "Riding the Bullet" exclusively as an electronic book, publishers scrambled to come up with an eBook business plan, and skeptics questioned if the public wanted to read from a computer screen.
Then in 1999 entered the Rocket eBook from NuvoMedia and the Softbook Reader from SoftBook Press. Despite mild success, both companies were purchased by Gemstar, and the devices were reintroduced in a joint venture between Gemstar and RCA. At press time, both devices were to be ready by Thanksgiving at prices of $299 for a monochrome version and $699 for color and additional features.
With pundits criticizing the high prices, Franklin Electronics is attempting to introduce a cheaper, albeit smaller device, the eBookman, priced at $129. Originally scheduled for early November delivery, its release has been delayed to an unannounced date. Other competition: pocket PCs on the market from Compaq, Casio and Hewlett-Packard, using the Microsoft Reader format.