E-book Firm Reviews

Gemstar International Group has launched a $100 million review for an agency to handle its growing electronic book business, according to sources.
Roughly eight small-to-midsized shops, primarily from the Bay Area, were scheduled to compete in a review last Friday, sources said. The company is expected to make a decision within two weeks.
Sources said Gemstar is especially interested in promoting its Rocket e-Book and SoftBook products with an upcoming campaign. Consumers can download numerous books at a time from the Internet onto the portable devices.
“It’s the perfect new-economy client,” a source close to the review said. “One day it will be a paperless society, and this format has so much promise. The e-book is the future.”
Sources said the review process has been quick, and that Gemstar began looking just a few weeks ago. Many agencies were said to be eager to pitch because the company offers a brick-and-mortar product with a high-tech feel.
Several agencies that are reportedly pitching the business would neither confirm nor deny their involvement.
Gemstar got into the business at the beginning of this year when it acquired SoftBook Press and NuvoMedia, maker of the Rocket e-Book.
The search comes after the company announced plans to develop and introduce new versions of the Rocket e-Book and SoftBook Reader later this year.
A source also said the $100 million budget might be a rough figure that includes bartered media as well as direct spending.