International eBook Award Foundation Announces 2001 Frankfurt eBook Awards Winners

Grand Prizes Go to Steven Levy and Amitav Ghosh
The International eBook Award Foundation (IeBAF) has announced the names of the winners for the 2001 Frankfurt eBook Awards, the first award designed to recognize achievements in the emerging eBook industry. Selected from a field that included entries from e-publishers, independents, large and small publishers alike, the winners were named on October 10 during an evening ceremony at the Old Opera House in Frankfurt, Germany.

The Grand Prize of $50,000 each was awarded in Non-Fiction to Steven Levy for his detailing of the revolution in cryptography and its implications for privacy and safety in Crypto (Penguin Putnam), and in Fiction to Amitav Ghosh for The Glass Palace (Random House), a masterful novel of love and war. The two $10,000 Distinguished eBook Awards went to, in Non-Fiction, Eric Nisenson for The Making of Kind of Blue: Miles Davis and His Masterpiece, an astute and entertaining chronology of the making of a jazz classic, and in Fiction to Joyce Carol Oates for her collection of short stories, Faithless: Tales of Transgression. The Judges also bestowed a $10,000 Technology Award to Thierry Brethes, CEO of Mobipocket, for the company's cross-platform eBook Reading System. Special Citations were given to François Taillandier and Salvo Press.

To honor her achievements and in memory of Roxanna Frost, past Executive Director of the IeBAF, a special award was presented to a "publisher who has shown excellence in e-publishing." The Roxanna Frost Award was presented to Fodor's for its Fodor's eBook New York City travel guide, a forward-looking use of enhancements, taking eBooks to new and richer levels of experience.

The judges awarded a Special Citation to an eBook publisher whose submissions, although not selected as one of the finalists or for a monetary award, created a remarkably strong E-book publishing program and a list of consistently fine quality books. This special award was presented to Salvo Press of Bend, Oregon, for the development and publishing of new authors in the eBook format.

A second Special Citation was presented to the author of Intrigues, François Taillandier, for his unusual, creative job in developing a work that is unique to the eBook format. The Judges felt that Taillandier's excellent use of eBook technology and his creation of an eBook title that was truly a work of interactive fiction, merited distinction, although it was not selected as one of the monetary award winners. Intrigues was published by Editions 00h00 in France.

"The judges found that the reading experience -- the reading of text on a screen -- was overall a very good one," said Judging Director for the IeBAF foundation Peter Mollman, a former publishing and software executive with World Book Encyclopedia and Random House. "Primarily in non-fiction titles, they found that reading eBooks actually allowed them to better understand and comprehend difficult texts, as they used the enhancements available in this medium such as: noting, book-marking, and searching, for example, to better follow and understand the author's thoughts and ideas."

James Burke, Master of Ceremonies for the Awards, said, "Over the coming years the accessibility, convenience, and sheer excitement of using multimedia e-Books will bring many new readers to the world of literature and information." For more than thirty years, James Burke has produced, directed, written and presented award-winning television series on the BBC, PBS and The Learning Channel, including the Connections series. A best-selling author, his next book 1+1=3 will be published by Simon & Schuster in Fall 2002. He is also working on a large interactive e-text.

The winners of the 2001 Frankfurt eBook Awards are:

Grand Prize - Non-Fiction
Steven Levy, Crypto: How the Code Rebels Beat the Government (Penguin Putnam Publishing)

Grand Prize - Fiction
Amitav Ghosh, The Glass Palace (Random House Publishing)

Distinguished eBook Award for Non-Fiction
Eric Nisenson, The Making of Kind of Blue: Miles Davis and His Masterpiece, (St. Martin's Press)

Distinguished eBook Award for Fiction
Joyce Carol Oates, Faithless: Tales of Transgression (PerfectBound Publishing/HarperCollins)

eBook Technology Award
Thierry Brethes (Mobipocket)

The Roxanna Frost Award
Fodor's (a division of Random House, Inc.)

Special Citation
Salvo Press

Special Citation
François Taillandier, Intrigues (Editions 00h00)

Final judging decisions on the winners were made in a confidential closed session prior to the ceremony. The judges picked the Grand Prize winners from the fiction and non-fiction category finalists. Grand Prize winners met the award criteria. All winners were kept secret until they were announced at the Award Ceremony.

The prestigious international panel of Frankfurt eBook Award judges included Sarah Crichton, Author, Former VP & Publisher, Little, Brown & Company (US), Digby Diehl, National Book Reviewer and Author (US), Dorothee Grisebach, International Literary Agent (Germany), Alain Pierrot, Senior Consultant and General Manager, APSED (France), Hermann Rotermund, Multimedia Project Director, ARD (Germany), Robbie Stamp, Former Chief Executive and Chairman H2G2, formerly The Digital Village (UK), Walter Walker, Former VP Director of Strategic Marketing, Reciprocal, Inc. (US), Nick Webb, Former Managing Director, Simon & Schuster (UK), and Honor Wilson-Fletcher, Marketing and Publicity Director, Hodder Children's Books (UK).

Alberto Vitale, Chairman of the International eBook Award Foundation, said, "The new technologies are here to stay, continuously evolving and becoming more compelling. Publishers for the first time have dynamic alternatives to the printed book. While many challenges remain across the board, it is interesting to see how much attention is given to these new technologies by all parties involved: software and hardware developers, authors, publishers, distributors and consumers. This evening's award ceremony celebrated the eBook as it exists today, as well as the enormous potential it represents for publishing."

Judge Honor Wilson-Fletcher noted: ''One day soon we will have a distinct body of artists able to exploit the textual and audio-visual opportunities of eBooks to create completely new art forms. The creative production of words at that point will become incredibly exciting. What we have already, and see clearly represented in this year's award winners, is an accessible medium, enabling publishers with dynamic editors and authors to make available an ever-increasing diversity of text, and to enliven that text with tools unique to electronic delivery. This is such good news, and should be vigorously encouraged. Those who have already seen the huge potential of the eBook will of course be the first to benefit when the art form truly catches up with the technology.''

Judge Nick Webb said, "The broad range of e-publishing compels admiration. An emerging generation of exclusively electronic publishers are adding spice to users' choices by making work available that is exciting, diverse, and fully enhanced, as only an eBook can be."

At the Bologna Children's Book Fair in April 2002, the 2001 IeBAF Children's eBook Award will be presented, highlighting outstanding accomplishments in eBooks for younger readers. The IeBAF, in partnership with the Bologna Children's Book Fair, will bring attention to authors and publishers who are willing to explore the rich potential of eBooks as educational tools, with music and images used to enhance the digital text. The inaugural Children's eBook Award will be overseen by the IeBAF and the jurors of the Bologna New Media Prize, an international group of experts specializing in children's literature and interactive media. The submission deadline for the Children's eBook Award is December 15, 2001. Submission criteria is available by visiting the IeBAF website.

The International eBook Award Foundation sponsors the Frankfurt eBook Awards. Further information is available on the IeBAF website, which includes complete finalist listings, submission criteria, profiles of the judges, and other background material regarding the Foundation.

IeBAF is sponsored by Microsoft Corporation, Gemstar eBook Group , Adobe Systems, OverDrive and other organizations dedicated to promoting excellence in, and advancement of, this exciting and challenging breakthrough in the international world of publishing, with support from Open eBook Forum, Reciprocal, Thomson RCA, the Frankfurt Book Fair and the Bologna Children's Book Fair.


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