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eBooks Going Main Stream?

Techstination feature for Tuesday, October 17, 2000

eBooks... from a best selling author's point of view. I'm Fred Fishkin with Bloomberg Bootcamp. eBook devices are going main stream. RCA will have two eBook products on the market this holiday season... with built in dictionaries and modems ... and the ability to store twenty books or more. There is also built in security... and that has eased the nervousness of best selling authors like Patricia Cornwell...

"When the whole notion of electronic books first began to creep into the author's workplace about a year or so ago, my reaction was one of great fear and anxiety, cause primarily we were thinking in terms of the Internet of which I am a very big fan, but I would never want my books published on the Internet for the very obvious reasons of the potential piracy, casual or otherwise, or who knows what else. If somebody's a really smart hacker, you know, maybe they would decide to play with search and replace and inserts and maybe Scarpetta didn't want to have sex on page ten... maybe she'd end up having it after all."

But with the security... and convince... and the ability with backlighting to read books like Cornwell's latest... The Last Precinct... in a dimly lit room... .the author is now a fan of the technology...

"The potential for this is fabulous. I think it's an author's friend."

But for consumers... it still carries a pretty steep price. Two hundred ninety nine dollars for a monochrome model... .then you pay for the books you download. But prices will come down... to perhaps... a hundred dollars ..within two years.