Tuesday 8 September 2015

Are you on QuarterReads? Do you know what a Quarter is?

Do you know what the coins on the right are? I didn't.

It turns out that those are called "quarters", a denomination of American currency denoting twenty-five US cents. I've heard of quarters before, obviously, from American movies, television, and books, but I'd never actually seen one, except in pictures - and in fact, today's the first day I've ever even seen that. If, like me, you were born and raise outside of the United States, chances are you can say the same.

According to Wikipedia, the coin was first struck in 1796, and continues to be in common circulation today.

I find that extremely interesting, because I'm not sure how many other currencies have a denomination equating to a quarter of their base unit. In South Africa, at least, our coin deonimations are 5c, 10c, 20c, 50c, R1, R2, and R5. We used to have 1c and 2c pieces as well, and they're still legal tender, but no more have been struck for at least five years.

All About QuarterReads

So why is the existence of the US quarter important? Well, because there is a new readers' site out there, devoted to short stories and flash fiction. It's called QuarterReads, and although the name may only really be significant to people living in the United States, I think the concept is really cool.

Here's how it works: When you first visit the site, you are greeted with a homepage listing the top stories there, which you can filter by category. You can also search for authors, story titles, or tags (extra words that the authors chose to further categorise their stories), or you can browse their growing list of authors and tags.

When you've found a story that you think is interesting, you click on the title, and the site gives you the first couple of lines to whet your appetite. If you decide that you'd like to read the story, you need to spend something called a "Read", which is worth one US quarter.

To get started, you need to spend a minimum of $5, which gives you twenty "Reads". You can purchase these using either PayPal, or a debit or credit card. After which, you'll be given the opportunity after reading the free sample of any story, to spend a Read and read the rest of it.

See? I told you it was a really cool concept!

I have a profile there, and for now, I've split up the individual stories in my latest release, Heaven and Earth: Paranormal Flash Fiction, and put them up on QuarterReads. There's also one other story at the moment, but I plan to add others soon.

Sound like a good deal? Well, click here to visit my QuarterReads writer profile, sign up, charge up, and start reading!

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