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S&S.Com: Stephen King, Hunter Thompson, Kids
Calvin Reid -- 9/14/98
The fall book season will be busy in cyberspace as Simon &Schuster Online announced plans for a special Stephen King website, web promotions for Hunter Thompson's upcoming novel, a relaunch of its children's website and plans for a major redesign of Simonsays, the S&S trade book website.
Ina Gottinger, director of business development and marketing for S&S Online, announced the launch of a site dedicated to Stephen King's new novel, Bag of Bones (due in stores September 22 with a first printing of more than a million copies). The site will provide the first two chapters of the novel, an audio excerpt, an interview with the author, video clips, quizzes, animated virtual refrigerator magnets and much more. In addition, S&S has also produced a smaller, bookstore-only version of the site that allows independent stores to use S&S's content or download the entire site to their own servers. Beginning September 8, all of S&S's exclusive King content will be made available for the online retail sites.

Gottinger also noted that several West Coast stores will sponsor a web ring (several independent online retailers linked together to provide information and online buying opportunities) for Hunter Thompson's first novel, The Rum Diary (due in November), 30 years in the works. The web ring will feature exclusive photos, manuscript pages, message boards and extensive author information.

S&S online has also relaunched Simonsayskids.com, with more emphasis on S&S brands, graphics and promotions. The promotions include several contests, among them ones for David Carter's How Many Bugs in a Box? (draw the best bug and win a $10,000 scholarship) and Julie Garwood's A Girl Named Summer (mother and daughter can win a resort vacation).

And in November Simonsays.com will unveil a new magazine-style design that is expected to make the site easier to navigate, as well as a new relational database that will make updating the site easier and faster. "We think these changes will make us a priority book destination on the web," said Gottinger.
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