To generate early word-of-mouth for Stephen King's November novel, 11/22/63, Scribner is releasing an e-short by the author called Mile 81, working with social media company Klout. Klout is among a crop of new companies that measures a person's social media "influence"--done by tracking the level of engagement someone draws with online connections on sites like Facebook, Twitter and Linkedin--and will be offering Mile 81, along with an excerpt from 11/22/63, as a free download for a week before it goes on sale on September 1.

Before Mile 81 becomes available at e-tailers across the country, for $2.99, Klout members who are deemed by the site to be effective influencers will be given the chance to download the e-short for free and, it is hoped, will then generate buzz by engaging their online audience in discussions about the work. A rep at S&S, who said there is not a connection between the story in Mile 81 and King's forthcoming novel, said this is the first time the publisher has worked with Klout.