Stephen King to Release Online-Only Book

LONDON (03/09/2000) - U.S. book publisher Simon and Schuster Inc. yesterday announced that it will release a new story by horror author Stephen King on Monday -- but only online.

The 16,000 word ghost story, entitled "Riding the Bullet," will be available from the company's Web site for US$2.50, the publishing house said in a statement.

The story, King's first to be available exclusively online, can be downloaded in formats for the PC, personal digital assistant (PDA), or eBook device, Simon and Schuster said.

EBooks allow users to purchase, download and read books through a specialized eBook device or from a desktop, laptop or handheld PDA. In the eBook, users can also take notes, underline, bookmark pages, search and more.

One example of eBook software is Microsoft Corp.'s Reader, expected to ship this year, that uses the company's ClearType font technology to improve the quality of the text. [See "Microsoft, R.R. Donnelley Plan eBook Title Effort," Nov. 4, 1999.]King has used alternative publishing methods in the past, such as with his story, The Green Mile, that was serialized in six installments and Blood and Smoke, which was released only as an audio book.

Hardback and eBook editions of his novel The Girl Who Loved Tom Gordon were also released concurrently last April.

Simon and Schuster also said that all marketing activities, such as press releases, promotional materials and review copies will be produced and transmitted electronically.

More information about Riding the Bullet can be found on the Web at

Simon and Schuster, in New York, can be found on the Web at

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