Since I created Minigrooves, my first volume of short stories, on iBooks Author, when it launched at the end of July it could only be read on iPads. While I’m busy working on a Kindle version, I wanted to let you know that now that OS X Mavericks is available for a wide range of Macs and comes with the new iBooks app, you can enjoy my book on your Mac as well.
This is the single-page view when you open the ebook in iBooks:
This is the Table of Contents popover:
which makes navigating the ebook even more practical than on the iPad. (And by the way, look at all that Bonus stuff at the end!)
The full-screen view, instead, shows two facing pages. You can flip them using swipe gestures on the Magic Mouse or Trackpad, or you can point and click on the left/right margin to turn the page:
Reading books on the computer, really?
Yes, why not? Of course my view on the matter is biased. But I’m the first to admit I couldn’t stand reading a whole novel on my Mac. However, with short stories I believe it’s a whole other matter. Most of the stories in Minigrooves are short enough as to require just a few minutes for you to read them. That’s not much different from reading an average-length article on the Web. Here’s where the whole concept behind the Minigrooves project comes into play — the idea that you can pick up and read any of these stories when you have a bit of free time and want to take a break by reading something different, a bit of fiction, instead of that boring essay you have to read for study or work. Just saying.
Minigrooves: a refresher
As I wrote previously:
The project started back in March 2012, the originating idea being very simple: to offer short stories that can be enjoyed in a relatively short amount of time, like during a break from work, while commuting, while sitting in a waiting room, and so on. The idea came to me while admiring the work of some illustrators I discovered by complete chance while browsing the Web. I noticed how powerful was the immediacy of ‘getting’ their style, their taste and inspiration simply by examining a few samples of their work. It happens with musicians as well. I thought I could try to do something similar with what I do best — writing. Hence, the short story format, the watercolour-with-words, the ‘minigroove’.
At first the idea was to simply publish a couple of stories per week and see where the project would go. […] When I realised the project was really taking off, I thought about some way of organising it, and again the eureka moment came quickly. I would deliver the stories like the episodes of a TV series, i.e. ‘airing’ the stories in cycles (‘seasons’), then gathering all the stories of a cycle and publishing them as an ebook. Each ebook would have some ‘extras’ (just like when you purchase a DVD/Blu Ray edition of a movie or TV series) — bonus stories, author’s commentary and notes, alternate takes, etc. This way, even those people who followed the stories during their ‘airing’ period would find something of value by purchasing the ebook.
A final thought
I often get a certain kind of feedback via email that leaves me a bit baffled. Readers of this website/weblog urging me to write about this or that topic, or to write more often and update the site more frequently, and so on and so forth. I’ve always tried to provide interesting articles and good quality contents here. I run this site without ads (the ‘ad space’ at the center of the footer is for sites, projects or initiatives I endorse — I don’t get a cent out of it), there is no paywall, no memberships or subscriptions, nothing of the sort. If running this website were my full-time activity, if I were living off of it, if those demands came from members, subscribers, paying supporters, I’d certainly take them in more serious consideration.
The only thing I dared suggest as a way of supporting me — as you can see in the Donate section on the home page — is that you send me a donation if you like what I write or if you’ve found something useful during your visit. Since July 2011 (when I launched this site under a personal domain after maintaining a free WordPress blog since 2006), I’ve received about 45 euros’ worth of donations. Maybe there are more people among you, dear readers, who would like to support me but feel that a donation via PayPal is a bit awkward. One never knows what’s the ‘right’ amount for a donation. Maybe I’m doing it wrong and I should propose ‘memberships’ like other bloggers do, which to me is just a more formal-sounding way of asking for donations.
Meanwhile, buying my ebook is a great way to support what I do. If you have an iPad, if you’re a Mac user with a Mac capable of running the latest OS X Mavericks, if you like fiction and short stories, if you like my writing and the things I publish here, please consider purchasing a copy of Minigrooves, please help me spread the word about it. I really don’t think it’s too much asking.