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Staff -- 8/7/00

Full e-Book Meeting Schedule Set for Fall
Stephen King Happy About 'The Plant' | Knovel.com Inks STM Pact

Full e-Book Meeting Schedule Set for Fall
This coming fall is full of conferences dedicated to exploring the e-book business. In addition to ePub Expo, set for October 31-November 1 in New York City, the National Institute of Standards and Technology, an agency of the Commerce Department, is holding Electronic Book 2000: Changing the Fundamentals of Reading, September 25-27 in Washington, D.C. A third conference, e-Book World, has been set for November 6-7 in New York City and is being produced by Penton Media. All three shows will feature exhibitors' sections.

At least 30 speakers are expected to address Electronic Book 2000, which will be held at the Ronald Reagan Building & International Trade Center. Among them will be Dick Brass of Microsoft; Dr. Calvin Lowe, president of Bowie State University; Matt Moynahan, Reciprocal; Ken Brooks, Barnes & Noble; Sol Rosenberg, Versaware; Steve Potash, Overdrive; Markku Hakkinen, isSound; Mike Miron, Content Guard; and Carol Risher, Savantech.com. Topics to be covered include e-book applications, international electronic book activities and digital rights management. For more information, go to www.nist.gov/ebook2000.

Penton's e-Book World, to be held at the Marriott Marquis and is being "chaired" by author Michael Wolff. Confirmed speakers include David Granger, Esquire magazine; Chip McGrath, the New York Times Book Review; Jason Epstein, formerly of Random House; Steve Riggio, B&N.com; Ken Kawell, Glassbook; agent Ralph Vicinanza; and Larry Kirschbaum, Time Warner Trade Group. Panels will include "How the Traditional Book Business Meets the New e-Book Business"; "Front Lines: The Electronic World in Major Publishing Houses"; "Deconstructing the Book Business"; and "Building an Industry." More info is available at www.e-book-world.com.

ePub Expo's roster of speakers includes John Kilcullen of IDG Books; John Schwarz, Reciprocal; Jim Griffin, Cherry Lane Digital, Linda Cunningham, Questia; Neil Budde; Wall Street Journal Interactive; and William Burger, iCopyright. Sessions include "Toward a Consumer-Driven ePublishing Model"; "The Economics of Pricing Disaggregated Content,"; "The Rules and Rulers of Rights"; and "ePublishing's New Emphasis:The Value Added Equation." Registration and further information can be obtained by calling (877) 232-8845.

Stephen King Happy About 'The Plant'

King speaks at StephenKing.com
Dismissing publishing pundits who were "disappointed" with the one-day total of downloads for The Plant, Stephen King happily reported that, as of July 31--one week on sale--there had been 152,132 downloads of the unencrypted e-serial; more than 116,000 of these readers, or 76.38%, voluntarily paid the $1 fee.
Using his Web site (www.stephenking.com) to report on his progress as an e-publisher, King boasted that at the current download rate, The Plant could easily register well over a 1.6 million mostly-paid-for downloads after the 10 or 11 chapters he has planned. While some observers have pointed out that his previous e-story, Riding the Bullet, registered over 400,000 downloads, King noted that it was a "magnificent one-shot... and in many cases given away for free."

For The Plant, King said, the honor system seems to be working. More than 75%--King's own line drawn in cyberspace for continuing the project--of his fans have ponied up the $1 fee. "The pay-through rate has been higher than I dared hope," he wrote. Some 93,200 fans paid using credit cards through Amazon.com and another 23,000 have promised to pay later. Those payments (including a silver dollar from one fan) are already arriving. "We've proved that the guy who shops for entertainment on the Net can be as honest as the one in a retail bricks-and-mortar store," said King.

King reported costs of $124,150 for ads in PW and USA Today, plus technical and Web server fees. Those costs, he said, do not include his own services as writer or those of his staff.
--Calvin Reid

Knovel.com Inks STM PactKnovel.com, a Web-based publishing venture offering interactive versions of reference, professional and academic texts (E-Publishing, July 24), has announced agreements with seven reference, scientific and technical publishers to offer online access to more than 400 scientific texts and reference works.

Knovel.com has been online nearly a year in soft launch and expects to officially launch the site this summer. The publishers participating in the new content agreement are McGraw-Hill, Butterworth-Heinemann, Semiconductor Research Corporation, Purdue University, Society of Plastics Engineers, CRC Press and Noyes Data Corporation.

Christopher Forbes, president and CEO of Knovel.com, said the agreement is the first step toward "providing the applied science community with a broad range of online technical works, research materials and business services."
--Calvin Reid
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