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Day-long e-Book Seminars & Awards Presentation

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The Virginia Festival of the Book will host the first Independent e-Book Awards during its seventh annual festival on Saturday, March 24, 2001. The awards will be presented during a luncheon sponsored by BN.com and Xlibris at the Omni Charlottesville Hotel in Charlottesville, Virginia. This awards presentation is designed to recognize and reward talent in electronic books, hypertext, and digital storytelling from authors and independent publishers. It’s especially fitting that the awards be held in Charlottesville, home to the world’s largest public e-book library located at the University of Virginia.


The Indie e-Book Awards will be part of a “Publisher’s Day” which is held annually during the festival. This one-day event of seminars and panel discussions showcases book publishing. The 2001 event, The e-Book: Publishing and Promoting Books Online, is aimed at writers and small publishers who want to learn about the current world of e-publishing. The four featured seminars will give attendees a strong understanding of e-publishing options, formats, and trends, helping attendees to jump-start their e-publishing efforts with practical and innovative ideas. In addition, e-publishing success stories will be presented. Speakers include Diane Zoi from Amazon.com, Greg Voynow from iPublish, John Feldcamp from Xlibris, and Michael Fragnito from BN.com, among others. The whole-day event, including a buffet luncheon, is only $35. An attendee form is available at http://www.vabook.org/pubday.html. (Scroll to the bottom of the Web page to download the form.) You’ll also find the specific seminar information on the Web site.


In addition, there will be a Vendor’s Fair held at the Omni Atrium, including booths with ePublishers, printers, POD printers, software vendors, P-book Publishers, and allied industry vendors.


A wide variety of Festival programs are scheduled for Saturday and Saturday night (the entire Virginia book event runs from Thursday through Sunday). If you wish to bring your children and/or spouse, there will be plenty for them to do while you attend a seminar.


Background on
the e-Book Awards


The Indie e-Book Awards are sponsored by Mystic-Ink (http://www.mystic-ink.com), a global community devoted to the future of the written word. The awards (http://www.e-book-awards.com) will be presented in eight categories and are open to authors and artists published by independent e-publishing houses or self-published authors. Juror Jamie Engle, publisher of the e-Book Connections.com Web site (http://ebookconnections.com/), is enthusiastic about the contest because “E-publishers have carved out a niche full of original books that step outside the mold.” Another juror, M. J. Rose, says, “From the beginning, I’ve envisioned e-books as the great, new hope for both publishers and authors. There are vast opportunities… to debut and grow new authors, to bring back the mid list, to give real opportunity to authors who write between genres or for niche audiences, and for innovators who envision books becoming multimedia experiments.” Some of the other judges include Jason Epstein, former Editorial Director at Random House and co-founder of The New York Times Review of Books; Charlotte Abbott, Editor at Publishers Weekly; and David Seaman, Director, UVA’s Etext Center (the largest e-book library in the world).


University of Virginia’s
Electronic Text Center


Open since 1992, the Electronic Text Center at the University of Virginia now has tens of thousands of users a day from all over the world. As of December 31, 2000, the center had made more than 1,200 of their 50,000 online texts available as free e-books. The Etext Center is the world’s largest public e-library with more than one million downloads since the project was launched August 2000. “The use of our e-books is truly global, with users coming not only from North America, but also from Europe, New Zealand, Australia, and even a good many from Asia, Africa, and the Russian Federation,” said Founding Director David Seaman. Seaman will lead a panel discussion at Publisher’s Day 2001 on the lessons they have learned at the center.


VABook! 2001


The seventh annual Virginia Festival of the Book will take place March 21-25. This five-day free literary event offers author readings, panel discussions, workshops, informal conversations among writers and readers, and book-signings—in all, more than 200 free events at venues around Charlottesville. For more information about the festival, visit www.vabook.org or call 804/924-6890.

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