Today I am pleased to announce that I now have the ability to construct both ePub and mobi formatted ebooks, and as a result I have started to add free downloadable versions of my short stories to the Short Fiction page. As of writing this post I’ve uploaded three stories in both formats, and hope to have the rest done over the next day or two. Once I’ve finished making the files for each of the individual stories I’m also considering doing a single anthology containing all of the stories I’ve posted so far, and may even throw in a few that haven’t been seen outside my social circle.
So why have I uploaded two versions of each story? Well, for those who aren’t aware ePub files are used by the majority of eReaders, including the Kobo, Sony Reader, Nook, iBooks, Adobe Digital Editions and most of the Android and iOS based reader apps. This means that if you have any of those devices or apps then you should be able to read the ePub files available on here without an problems.
However, if you have a Kindle you won’t be able to read the ePub files (unless it’s a Kindle Fire with a third-party app installed). For Kindles you need to have your ebook in an entirely different format known as mobi (or occasionally prc). This is because Amazon have tied the Kindle into their own proprietary version of the ePub format so that Kindle owners can’t go off and buy their ebooks from other retailers (such as Barnes & Noble, and so on). Some online booksellers such as Baen) do allow you to download their books in mobi/prc format, but generally speaking if you have a Kindle device, you’ll probably only ever get your ebooks from Amazon.
Now don’t get me wrong, I love Amazon. I love the way they generally put the customer first; the way they offer low and stupidly competitive prices; the way they’ve opened up the self-publishing market and given so many indie authors the opportunity and ability to quit their day jobs. But for all that I really do wish they’d make Kindles ePub compatible like all the other eReaders out there, and let us customers buy our ebooks from other retailers as well, even if it’s only to buy those few books that aren’t available on the Kindle in the first place. (As an aside, it is possible to convert an ePub file to a mobi file using something like Calibre, and it’s not as complicated as you might think.)
If you don’t currently have an eReader then I’d heartily recommend Adobe Digital Editions (for Mac or PC), iBooks (for iOS and MacOSX) or Kindle Reader (for pretty much everything). The first two will handle ePub files without any problems, while the last one will read both ePub and mobi files (unlike the Kindle device, which won’t read ePub files).
Anyway, I’m going to stop rabbiting on about eReaders now.
In other news I’ve also added another story to the Short Fiction section. This is another old flash piece, and while it may not be the best I’ve written it’s one of my personal favourites. Enjoy. 🙂
[Update: 06 July 2014]
All of the stories currently on the site are now available for download in both ePub and mobi format.