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King Title G s E-Book Exclusive
Jim Milliot -- 3/13/00

Hoping to break new ground in electronic publishing, Stephen King has teamed up with Simon & Schuster to publish his newest work, Riding the Bullet, in e-book format only. Kate Tentler, v-p and publisher of S&S Online, told PW it was King who approached S&S about the possibility of doing the 16,000-word short story as an e-book. "He's always interested in exploring new formats, as are we," Tentler said.

Riding the Bullet, which is being copublished by S&S's Scribner imprint and King's Philtrum Press, will be made available March 14 in a variety of electronic formats, and will only be able to be read on screen; the material has been encrypted to prevent it from being printed once it is downloaded in a bid to stop widespread copying. Among the participating vendors are Glassbook, netLibrary, Nuvomedia's Rocket eBook, Peanutpress.com, SoftBook Press and Softlock.com. The participation of Softlock is particularly important to S&S because the company's technology will permit any retailer with a Web site to have access to the story. "We want to reach as broad an audience as possible," Tentler said, although she declined to estimate how many copies of the story may be sold. Cost to download the title will be $2.50; the deal between King and S&S is modeled after the profit-sharing agreement the author reached with S&S for his other works.

Tentler said S&S is talking with other authors about writing directly for digital delivery, but noted that the publisher has not established a formal e-publishing program. "With the King deal, we're saying we're in the electronic publishing business, and we'll look at projects that seem appropriate" to be released in this format, Tentler told PW.

Excerpts can be read at www.simonsays.com.

New CIO Named

In another technology-related matter, Anne Mander has been appointed to the newly created post of senior v-p and chief information officer. Mander, who will join S&S March 20, has most recently served as v-p, CIO, North America, for HarperCollins.
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