By Rachel M. Anderson, Freelance Writer

(Twin Cities) - It wasn't so long ago that the best way to tag along on the adventure of a lifetime, or to spend time with the fantasy man or woman of your dreams, was to visit the bookstore or library, pick up good mystery or romance, then bring it home and start reading; but my how times have changed.

Today, a growing number of avid readers are forgoing the printed book altogether. They instead buy ebooks, electronically formatted books designed to be read on a computer screen, tablet (such as an iPad or Kindle), or a PDA (personal digital assistant) such as a Blackberry.

Not only are titles in an ebook library easier to organize and manage than printed books for the reader, according to the article, "30 Benefits of Ebooks," by Publishers Weekly, they offer numerous benefits for the publishers and authors as well. They are cheaper and faster to produce, as they can be delivered instantly without material or shipping costs; and they empower individuals who otherwise may have never become published authors to join the fraternity.

"There are so many wonderful writers out there who have given up on their dream of one day becoming a published author because they couldn't get past the gatekeeper at the literary agent or publisher, and couldn't afford to self-publish their novel. That's just wrong," said Chris Fayers, founder of www.ebooksforpleasure.com, a company he started last summer in an effort to level the playing field.

Fayers knows a thing or two about discovering talented authors. He has spent his entire career in the publishing business, working as a both a book editor and designer for the past 35 years. After moving from England to Minnesota five years ago, he discovered a hotbed of great American authors in The Twin Cities who wanted to get into print, but weren't able to, and decided to jump in and help.

"The availability of ebooks for download is a real game changer in the publishing industry, firstly because they offer a new platform for reading. Secondly, because writers and authors have more opportunities to get their work published," said Fayers.

Based on his extensive experience in the industry, Fayers decided to operate his company under a traditional publishing model, with contracted authors getting a 50 percent royalty from ebook sales. The only difference is that he expects authors to have had their works properly edited and proofed before submission.

First a free assessment of the novel is done, and if the manuscript is accepted for publication, the processing, formatting, cover design, upload and all sales services are provided. There are no charges. "We presently have about 70 titles and I'm happy to say the numbers are growing fast," said Fayers. "This is an exciting time for prospective authors and ebook publishers."

Fayers says there is an enormous demand right now for both romance and scifi ebooks, but these are just two of a number of genres available on the site. Others include Horror, Humour and Thrillers.

Ebooksforpleasure.com offers two main ebook download formats: ePUB, which has been established as an international standard by the International Digital Publishing Forum (IDPF) in an effort to standardize ebook formats; and Mobi, the format used by Amazon's Kindle. PDFs of some books are also available.

To browse the site or learn more about becoming a published author, log on to www.ebooksforpleasure.com.