Authors of all genres and walks of life now have the option of harnessing the power of the electronic age — publishing their own books to computers and iPods and selling the works for free.

Using software developed by Florida-based MediaClick Inc., anyone can create a “PocketBook.” This zero-cost self-publishing format groups all kinds of multimedia into an interactive package.

There are a ton of possibilities with these visual podcast-slash-multimedia learning guides, ranging from the simple one-chapter quickies to complex volumes. The textual content has the ability to link to both graphic and media files.

Each chapter of a PocketBook ends with a short quiz. All of this is done with the help of a simple interface that compiles the data and generates the PocketBook.

The concept of a PocketBook is to “provide instructional content in an interactive format that facilitates comprehension of the material and provides the patron with validation that the information is understood correctly,” says MediaClick. With the inclusion of interactive features such as video lectures and quizzes, the company hopes to parallel the learning experience of a physically attended lecture.

In addition to instructional e-books, PocketBook Maker also allows authors to publish their own books without the hassle of traditional publishing methods and costs.

“PocketBook authors can bypass (these) costs,” said Steve Cox, president of MediaClick. “This is a publishing model that will allow a new breed of authors to showcase their work without risking or paying anything.”

Butch Hamilton, author and search engine optimization specialist, concurs with Cox’s outlook. “Self publishing services usually cost a few thousand dollars, however, PocketBook publishing is basically free and my books will be exposed to millions of potential eBay buyers. This is too good of an offer to pass up,” he said.

Authors can publish their work via the eBay PocketBook download store, which charges a 30 percent selling commission but lists the items for free. After purchasing a PocketBook from the eBay store, the package is digitally transferred to the buyer’s computer, along with the PocketBook Library management system to allow playback of any of the multimedia books.

The upgradeable Library also has the option of formatting the PocketBooks into file types playable on iPods. MediaClick is also looking to expand its outreach in the future to other successful media playback devices.

Authors will still be subject to market demands and reviews of their material. Cox said that the key to an author’s success will depends on buyer feedback. “We intend to drive huge numbers of potential buyers to our eBay store and buyer satisfaction is guaranteed so it is very important that the author publishes quality material.”

About The Author

Vivian Lee is a Blast Magazine staff writer

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