Iconic mechanics' guides to launch online

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The Independent Online

Do-it-yourself motoring handbook publisher Haynes is to publish its manuals online for the first time.

The announcement means that motoring enthusiasts will be able to turn to their computers when they need to do some repairs, instead of to the traditional hard-cover books, which are available around the world and have been used by motoring enthusiasts for generations.

The publisher announced June 22 that it is demonstrating an electronic version of the Haynes Manual to certain customers in the US, ahead of a full launch in fall 2011.

The brand's 50 most popular guidebooks will be available in the first instance, said Haynes, and will be sold on a subscription basis in the US with further titles being added and an international rollout in the future.

Extra content, such as audio and video clips which demonstrate common DIY procedures, have also been included with the electronic "Haynes Manuals Online" to make performing auto maintanence easier for consumers, said the firm's Eric Oakley.

According to technology website Mashable, the guides will also be suitable for use on tablet and mobile devices.

Haynes, which has sold over 150 million of its do-it-yourself guides, is coming fairly late to the online party, although its well-established position as a prolific publisher of manuals means that it has retained a strong customer base.

Chilton, another major publisher of DIY manuals for cars, put its catalogue online in 1997, and now charges $24.95 for a one-year subscription to a guide.