SINGAPORE - Hark, fans of Catherine Lim. Her new novella - 'A Leap of Love' - is now exclusively available for download on the Internet.
The renowned Singaporean writer has signed a year-long contract with Lycos Asia, a US$50 million joint venture between Terra Lycos and SingTel, to electronically publish her works at Lycos Asia Shop.
Two chapters of the novella will be available online for downloading every two days. Following the 22-chapter novella, Catherine Lim's new short story collection, entitled 'Bedtime Stories for God - Short tall tales about our Times', will also be made available online story by story.
Unlike Simon & Schuster's arrangement with Stephen King, in which you get to read the chapter first before paying, readers here have to pay US$0.38 for every two chapters of the novella or for every two short stories before they can even download them. The plus point? You get the option of printing out the chapters.
Two of Lim's past published works will also be available for download at Lycos Asia Shop - 'Little Ironies - Stories of Singapore' and 'Or Else, the Lightning God & other Stories'.
In addition, Lycos Asia is giving users a free trial on four other e-stories including Lim's 'Color of Solace'.
A viable option for "arrogant" writers? Lim, who holds an honorary doctorate in Literature, said that she enjoys the flexibility of writing e-books as she does not have to operate within the strict time structure dictated by print publishing. The electronic format also allows Lim to experiment with other literary forms, such as the novella, besides the conventional full-length novel.
Lim joked that "sometimes, writers can be very arrogant" and they dislike having to accomodate editorial input. With e-books, she feels that she gets "absolute control" over her materials.
Lim added that her foray into e-books will not replace her involvement with 'traditional' books as she still loves the feel of a 'physical book'.
Lynn Chow, director of Lycos Asia Shop, commented that e-books give instant gratification as "the final product is delivered immediately upon payment via electronic download instead of a lapse of a few days before the postman arrives at your door with the physical goods".