In a move that could benefit researchers and instructors, Sony has opened its electronic bookstore to would-be authors in a partnership with two self-publishing companies, AFP reports. "New authors can select a self-publishing path and get their work published and for sale on Sony’s eBook store in as little as 10 days," the Japanese electronics giant said in a statement. Sony has teamed up with Author Solutions and Smashwords to give independent authors and small publishers the possibility of making their works available for the Sony Reader. Smashwords founder and chief executive Mark Coker said all an author or publisher has to do is "simply upload their manuscript to Smashwords as a Microsoft Word document [and] select the price; we manage the conversion and distribution." Amazon already offers a similar self-publishing feature for the Kindle.