Interest in electronic books is soaring in the wake of best-selling novelist Stephen King's decision to publish his own e-book via the Internet earlier this year.
Representatives of all segments of the emerging e-book industry will gather in the nation's capital next week to attend a comprehensive conference and trade show.
Electronic Book 2000 will include an overview of new e-book technologies and a forum for authors. Experts will assess the impact e-books are having on everyone from publishers to librarians.
The conference is hosted by the National Institute of Standards and Technology and the National Information Standards Organization. NIST held the world's first e-book conference in 1998.
This third annual conference will include a large exhibit of e-book products. The exhibit is free, open to the public and will give many people their first opportunity to see what e-books look like.
"E-books were almost unheard of just a few years ago. While many people have heard of them now, we want to give the public a chance to look at e-books and evaluate them," said Victor McCrary, acting chief of NIST's High Performance Systems and Services Division. NIST also will be exhibiting the latest version of its Braille reader, which transforms the text of e-books into Braille for the blind and visually impaired.
The conference will be held Sept. 25-27 at the Ronald Reagan Building and International Trade Center in downtown Washington.
As a non-regulatory agency of the U.S. Department of Commerce's Technology Administration, NIST strengthens the U.S. economy and improves the quality of life by working with industry to develop and apply technology, measurements and standards through four partnerships: the Measurement and Standards Laboratories, the Advanced Technology Program, the Manufacturing Extension Partnership and the Baldrige National Quality Program.