Travel guide now an e-book

Wednesday April 03, 2013 Written by Published in Technology

A popular Cook Islands travel guide is now available in electronic format.

The book, ‘Papa Mike’s Cook Islands Handbook’, is in its third edition, with the first two editions available in print.

California-born author Mike Hollywood said the electronic format is in line with the modern publishing industry.

“As a writer, I fear that traditional books are on the way out. Part of this has to do with saving the world’s forests. But a lot of it has to do with technology. I have over 100 books currently on my e-reader – when I travel I can take my library with me.”

The e-book allows readers to click on links to access websites for companies mentioned in the book.

“You do need a Wi-Fi connection for this feature, and they may be slow and expensive in the Cook Islands,” said Hollywood. “But in the future, prices will go down and speeds will increase as they have in the rest of the world. So we all are going to have to get used to reading e-books.”

Hollywood, whose interest in the Cooks was piqued when he visited as a tourist in 1994, said he hopes more travellers will make their way to Cook Islands shores.

“The reason I wrote this book, and the other books, is to try and expose people to a place and people I have fallen in love with.”

He said he hopes more American travellers will make their way to the Cook Islands, rather than the much closer islands of Hawaii.

“Realistically, it is a long trip and the vast majority of my countrymen will opt for Hawaii. I certainly won’t give up recruiting them and as the world continues to shrink, more and more will venture to the Cook Islands.

“(With) the internet, Facebook, Twitter, travel blogs, more and more places are being exposed to your islands. People are looking for new places, and safe English speaking island locations will be more and more popular.

“The exposure of Hillary Clinton’s visit in conjunction with the new much improved Cook Islands Tourism Web site can only help bring more Americans to the Cook Islands.”

The original book, which was the result of a three-month trip to the Cook Islands in 2003, took nine months to assemble, proof, and publish. But the author said the hard work has paid off.

“It is truly a never ending process, but once the first book is done it is quite easy to update. The second and third editions were much easier, requiring about a month in the Cooks and a couple of months to put together.

The e-book had to be especially formatted and that took an extra couple of months.”

He said the Cook Islands is special due to its culture and people.

“I have traveled the world for over 50 years and have never met a more sincere people. They go out of their way to ask you where you are from and are you enjoying your trip,” he said.

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