Guest Author - Siobhain M Cullen
Both Amazon and Lulu already offer an ebook service and now short stories fans have even more options when it comes to reading them online. eBook Mall now adds yet another choice to a medium seemingly growing in popularity. The system requires the installation of Microsoft Reader and is compatible with correctly activated PC systems from Windows 98 and up.
For a basic download price of around eleven dollars it is possible to download a short story to a PC in about three minutes. From there, it is possible to transfer stories onto a similarly-activated pocket PC to read at leisure – ideal for making more productive use of so-called ‘dead’ time such as lost travelling time. In the UK, commuters are reading flash fiction on the London Underground Tube system, for example. Better use can also be made of time previously wasted in waiting rooms or queues.
One potential group of grateful users that springs instantly to mind is the student contingent. As most genres of books are on offer, the service could turn book reports and revision into much lighter tasks! Everyone who has ever experienced a nightmare house or room move knows how heavy books can be! Now, however, students ‘have laptop – can study’ any time, any place, almost anywhere. ebooks must surely be a boon to those whose studies take them across many texts and locations.
Unfortunately students and other readers will still need a notebook, either real or virtual, as the eBooks are not printable. Care and vigilance will also be required in order to avoid accidental deletion. Another option that is not available at present is cut and paste.
However the good news is that as of March 2008 there is an offer of forty dollars worth of free eBooks available with each book download order. All genres and formats are available and in addition it would seem that thousands of samples are also offered – many from new authors.
Short Stories are a great way to sample the work of a new or untried author, and for those who don’t like the trek to the mall, heavy books in shopping bags or the clutter of already-read books lying about the house, short story e-books might be the answer.
Indeed it might even be possible to purchase a particularly funny, uplifting or self-helping title as a gift for a friend who needs cheering – just remember to activate their computer first with the password. If any of these new possibilities intrigue short stories fans, they can find out more by visiting the eBook Mall home page. Here they can download, install and activate Microsoft Reader free. On the Invoice page, it is possible to check out and download the selected stories They can be re-downloaded free from the View Orders section.
Other features include some cool Smart Nav bookmarks so readers don’t lose their place and there are many page navigation and book search options. Some titles have a text-to-speech option. Compatible with PC systems from Windows 98 and up, the system seems easy to use and likely to catch on. The next challenge is to find out how we writers get our own titles on there!