Arts Journal Home Page
PublishingTheatreVisual ArtsArts IssuesPeople

common threadsarts watchletters

Arts BeatSearchContact Us

News Service Home`Services
Digest Samples
Headline Samples







Stephen King's online novel


  • GETTING PAID: This week, the U.S. Supreme Court will hear a case that could have huge implications for publications that reproduce their print editions online. The plaintiffs contend that newspapers and magazines have no right to reproduce the work of freelancers online without compensating the authors. The defendants include The New York Times, Lexis/Nexis, and a host of other publishing giants. Wired 03/22/01
  • NOTHING FICTITIOUS ABOUT RANDOM HOUSE E-BOOKS: Random House believes in e-books; it just doesn't believe in e-novels. The publisher has ten new e-books due out this Fall, all non-fiction. "All the hype is for trade books because people are fascinated by the idea of the paper novel going out of existence. But nobody thinks that way about a textbook. The e-book is going to be big in education." Meanwhile, Simon & Schuster and HarperCollins are going ahead with e-novels. Salon (AP) 03/08/01
  • THE SLO-MOTION REVOLUTION: For some time now e-publishing has been the hype and hope of the publishing industry. But lately the revolution has seemed to sputter. Is it because the technology isn't there yet or is it the way publishing's power structure is set up? ArtsJournal.com 03/09/01

  • BATTLE OVER E-PUBLISHING RIGHTS: Some e-publishers (and authors) say publishing books in e-form is a new enterprise. Publishers object, claiming they hold rights to the books. Now Random House has sued e-publisher Rosetta over the matter. "The basic premise of Random's suit is that its contracts with authors gives it the exclusive right to publish the works in book form, which Random says includes e-book formats. Random House contends that e-books are just another way to deliver an author's words in a different format." Publishers Weekly 03/05/01

  • REPLACING PAPER: Paper has been the medium of communication for centuries. But now scientists are trying to improve the readability of computers so they'll replace paper. "There is more at stake, however, than just the physical substitution of one medium for another; it will require a huge cultural shift as society struggles to give up its addiction to paper and embrace the ethereal nature of electronics. It also has far-reaching implications for books, magazines and newspapers, not to mention libraries and museums. Ours, after all, is a well paper-trained world." Globe & Mail (Canada) 03/05/01
  • A LAWSUIT OVER E-BOOKS - IT WON'T BE THE LAST: Did you think the Napster legal fracas was nasty and confusing? Wait until the book publishers get into it. And they're about to. RosettaBooks is publishing e-versions of novels by Kurt Vonnegut and William Styron. Random House says it didn't give permission. RosettaBooks says Vonnegut and Styron gave permission. Random House is suing. CBC 03/01/01
  • THE INDIES ARE BACK: Independent bookstores have been in crisis since the advent of megastores like Borders, and online warehouse services like Amazon.com. But now, many independents are reporting a resurgence, as measured in both walk-in and online clientele. Wired Radio 02/27/01 (streaming audio file)
  • E-BOOKS GO OLD-SCHOOL: An online book publisher is running an experiment with four independent booksellers to see if old-fashioned, print-based readers will purchase an electronic version of their favorite new title. In addition to promoting the new technology, the publisher hopes the partnership will bring to light new methods of cross-promotion. Wired 02/27/01
  • GAO AND OATES IN THE E-WORLD: Harper Collins wades forcefully in to e-waters, starting an electronic book imprint that will publish works by literary stars Nobel-winner Gao Xingjian and Joyce Carol Oates." allNetDevices 02/21/01
  • E-BOOK EVOLUTION: Last week, Random House launched its e-book imprint, with several high-profile authors contributing new electronic-only titles. Now, several veteran publishing figures have announced the impending arrival of Rosetta Books, an online e-publisher of backlisted literature. Publishers' Weekly 02/05/01

  • RANDOM HOUSE TAKES THE E-PLUNGE: Random House has become the first publisher to officially launch an E-books-only imprint. "At Random" will publish 20 original titles to start with, ranging from writing collections to celebrity biographies to serious fiction. The titles will also be available as "print-on-demand" paperbacks, but will not be sold in traditional bookstores. CBC 02/02/01

  • E-PUBLISHING LIVES: Is e-publishing dead? "Despite recent reports that there has been little change in readers' reluctance to accept e-books, Fictionwise seems to be proving - at least with short fiction in the horror/sci-fi/mystery genres - that there is indeed a viable market." Wired 01/23/01

  • EVERYONE'S AN AUTHOR: As publishing electronically becomes more popular, more "authors" go online. One consequence: book reviewers are being inundated by those wanting their book reviewed. One guy wrote ''a thinly-disguised revenge book directed at his former boss who fired him. He told me in a follow-up telephone call that he had a terminal illness and wanted to see the book reviewed before he died. I didn't review it, so he took an ad out in the paper saying 'Read the book that the Democrat-Gazette refuses to review'.'' Athens Daily News (Georgia) 01/15/01

  • PRINT THIS: Everyone talks about the changing role of publishers in an e-book world. But what about printers? "E-books will become an increasing threat to traditional books as e-book devices improve and decline in price. Digitization will free book content for other uses. Successful printers will look for opportunities to be a part of this process, becoming "publishing partners, not just printers." Publishers Weekly 01/02/01

  • CHANGING ECONOMICS? "Everyone concerned with literature wants to know what is going to happen to the homely old trade of book publishing in the Era of the Net." For one thing, maybe "brand name authors no longer need publishers; and more controversially maybe some publishing houses might have better balance sheets if they didn't have to pony up the immense sums paid to these brand names - $64 million, was it, to Mary Higgins Clark?" The New Republic 12/28/00

  • YOUR STANDARD E-BOOK: A proposal by the Association of American Publishers to standardize e-books was released this week. The plan is intended to avoid the mess in the digital music industry. "Today, ebooks are considered to represent less than 1% of business. If the standards are accepted, the group predicts the ebook market will grow to $2.3 billion by 2005. Variety 11/28/00
  • IS PRINT REALLY DEAD? Last week's E-book publishing conference in New York had everyone pondering the future of printed books. "Microsoft's vice president in charge of electronic books and 'tablet' computing devices, reiterated the company's prediction that the last print edition of The New York Times would appear in 2018, and you could feel the thought-wave slither through the room like an eel. 2018? Hey, I was planning to be around in 2018 - and with some time to look at the paper finally, too." The Atlantic 11/00

  • E-BOOKS: MORE QUESTIONS THAN ANSWERS: Is the electronic book really going to democratize publishing, as its proponents hope? Or simply flood the market with content, without a filter for quality or a universal format for downloading and reading? "Last week's e-Book World Conference showed an industry riven by as much schizophrenia as the presidential elections. For now, anyway, the e-book industry is more rumpus than reality." Village Voice 11/21/00

  • BUT E-PUBLISHING WAS SUPPOSED TO CHANGE ALL THIS: E-publisher MightyWords sent notices to the 5000 authors whose work it carries. Half of them are to be kicked off the site and the other half will have their royalties reduced. "MightyWords' decision fits neatly in the trend of downsizing dot-coms. In other words, e-business stinks as usual. But it's significant in the world of bookselling, where self-published authors are getting a wake-up call. If they didn't realize it already, they're largely out there on their own." Wired 11/10/00

  • E-BOOK AWARDS: "E.M. Schorb and David Maraniss shared the grand prize for best original e-book at Friday's inaugural Frankfurt eBook Awards, the first designed to recognize achievements in the emerging e-book industry." Wired 10/21/00

  • A LONG WAY TO MAINSTREAM: The e-book publishing community thought it was finally going to receive some overdue recognition at the first annual International eBooks Awards ceremony last week in Frankfurt. That is, until the list of finalists was announced. "Almost all of the books on the shortlist were by acclaimed print authors from big publishing houses The controversy highlights some pressing issues for e-publishing - Will e-books offer a way for writers who've been snubbed by the big houses to find success marketing their books directly to readers? Or will e-publishing simply present the same books and authors currently found in bookstores, only in a different, less tangible form?" Salon 10/19/00

  • NEW INDIE E-BOOK AWARDS ANNOUNCED AT FRANKFURT FAIR: "When the majority of Frankfurt finalists were traditional publishers and best-selling authors, we saw it as missed opportunity. At that point we decided to step in and do something for the independents who do offer quality work but don't have the finances to promote them." Wired 10/20/00

  • THE MORE THINGS CHANGE… E-books are poised to transform the infrastructures and revenue structures of the publishing industry, but can the developments really be called a "revolution?" "These new technologies will alter the way books are transmitted, but the author's task will remain essentially the same as when Homer sang the Odyssey and Dickens presented his novels, chapter by chapter, before enchanted listeners." New York Review of Books 11/02/00

  • TRADEMARK TREPIDATION: Independent electronic publishers are watching with concern the fate of a recently filed application by Gemstar-TV Guide International to trademark the word "EBOOK." "I think we independents are not nearly cut-throat enough. We should have copyrighted every doggone e-book term we came up with back in the mid '90s." Wired 10/04/00

  • E-BOOK 'EM: Publishers anxiously at an e-book conference watch Napster case for clues to how publishers can protect themselves. "Keynote speaker Dick Brass, vice president of technology development at Microsoft, predicted that although 50 percent of all new books will be electronic in form within 10 years, widespread piracy could cripple the market." Wired 10/02/00

  • HOW ARE WE GOING TO MAKE MONEY? Electronic book conference begins in Washington. "Publishers at the show were looking for ways to make e-books simple to download but difficult to copy. Librarians, hoping to stretch their small budgets and offer a greater variety of e-books to their patrons, expressed alarm that the e-book technology of today may be obsolete tomorrow." Washington Post 09/27/00

  • VIRTUAL FAIR: For decades the Frankfurt Book Fair has been the place where anything of import in the book publishing business gets discussed and largely decided. But this year the fair (and publishers) are setting up e-alternatives. "This 52nd Frankfurt will be confronting a virtual fair that (or so the ads tell us) is replacing face-to-face, buttonholing meetings by clicks. It shouldn't be necessary for publishers and agents to sit in bars and hotel lobbies till the wee hours, to carry manuscripts back to hotel rooms, to field midnight messages and 6 a.m. wake-up calls. Or will it? Publishers Weekly 09/04/00
  • E-CONSOLIDATION: Big players in the e-publishing business are beginning to align to compete with one another and pirates. "The publishing industry must establish an honest market for electronic content before pirates find alternative markets." Wired 08/29/00

  • ABOARD THE E-BOOK TRAIN: A few years ago most publishers were skeptical about e-publishing. Now? "Give the industry five or 10 years and you'll see all bestsellers published simultaneously in electronic and traditional form. And in 25 years? Who knows . . . but the electronic format will probably be well ahead." The Age 08/23/00

  • VIRTUAL LENDING: If digital e-books do one day move from the curious to the commonplace, what will become of libraries? “For instance, is it possible to "lend" a digital book? Will Internet piracy and digital libraries prompt publishing houses to move to radical new business models such as subscription-based online reading rooms or advertising-sponsored e-books?” A new Australian Copyright Amendment currently before the Senate would allow libraries to distribute copyrighted books without paying royalties to authors. Authors, of course, are opposed. Sydney Morning Herald 06/30/00
  • PRINT MATTERS: The publishing industry is rife with questions about the future of the printed word: Is the book as we know it nearing extinction? Or will downloadable e-books and print-on-demand machines actually reinvigorate the world of reading? Seven industry insiders discuss the future of the printed (or printless) word. Newsweek 06/12/00
  • DEATH STAR: Amazon's Jeff Bezos predicts that "the advent of computer e-books would likely spell doom for independent booksellers since customers would not be coming to their stores to download reading material." But Bezos' dire prediction was made at a news conference and was different from the speech he had given earlier to the BookExpo convention reassuring booksellers that their business was safe from the likes of him. Seattle Post-Intelligencer 06/06/00

  • INDIES TAKE IT TO THE NET: Independent booksellers can't agree on mush beyond who their common enemies are. But they have agreed on a website to help market their books - two websites, actually. But some worry that the indies have entered the fray too late. New York Times 06/05/00 (one-time registration required for entry)
  • E-FOCUSING ON BOOKS: This year's Book Expo America is beginning, and prominent among the 10,000 registered to attend is a legion of Dotcoms -  Amazon founder Jeff Bezos is the keynote speaker at a gathering fixed on the future. Wired 06/01/00
  • I-PUBLISHING: Some day in the not too distant future, books will be published electronically first, then if they're good enough - make that popular enough - they'll see the traditional printed page. "The best of the best will be published as e-books first and then possibly make it into print." Wired 05/25/00
  • TWO E-BOOK INITIATIVES: Publishers announce new initiatives to exploit new e-book technologies. "An explosion of content is about to occur." Variety 05/24/00
  • FIGHTING THROUGH THE CLUTTER: The early promise of e-publishing on the web was that anybody could get their work out there and find an audience. "In fact, the online publishing industry may be creating more obstacles than opportunities for aspiring writers. Within the next 18 months, the Web will add approximately 500,000 more titles. How can any author hope to break through those numbers?" Wired 05/07/00
  • E-LENDING: A Canadian library adds four electronic books to its circulating collection. CBC 05/02/00
  • READING REVOLUTION: New electronic publishing technologies change not only the way we'll be able to access words in the future, but also the way stories are written. The simple linear reading experience may be coming to an end. "This is either the dawn of a new age of writing or the end of Western civilization." Washington Post 04/26/00
  • REALLY AT RISK: Conventional wisdom has it that publishers are the ones most at risk in the e-book revolution. After all, why does a successful writer need an expensive publisher taking a cut, when the writer can take it to the net herself? But the Endangered Species List is longer than you think. Salon 03/29/00 
  • E-LIVRE: The e-book is getting a lot of attention (and praise) at this week's Salon du livre in Paris. The prestigious exhibition - the creme de la creme of European publishing events - attracts over 220,000 visitors and 750 exhibitors. Wired 03/21/00
  • LITERARY E-VASION: "Authors and readers in censored countries are discovering ways around the Internet filters installed by their governments. They now can obtain information on topics that would never be available in their local bookstores, including religion, government and sexual topics considered taboo. And they can distribute their information to the masses through electronic publishing." Intellectual Capital 03/17/00
  • FIRST E-BOOK CLUB for electronic books gets underway. Wired 03/14/00
  • THE FIRST E-BOOKS begin showing up in traditional bookstores, available alongside the latest hardback Grisham. Wired 02/09/00
  • ANY DOUBT where publishing is going? None, if you're paying attention to the headlines. A year ago e-publishing was little more than talk. But a glance at the publishing headlines of the past several months shows an industry racing towards its future. *spark-online 02/00 
  • BARNES AND NOBLE AND MICROSOFT in an e-book deal to bring electronic publishing closer. Wired 01/06/00
  • THE BIG STORY IN PUBLISHING IS THE INTERNET: Not so much to sell books, say publishers, but in the way projects are developed and distributed. Still, the traditional book process will pay the bills for the next few years. Publisher's Weekly 01/03/00
  • A UNIVERSAL STANDARD for e-book technology is being hailed as a milestone in electronic publishing. Wired 12/27/99
  • CUTTING THROUGH THE HYPE about electronic publishing. Publisher's Weekly 12/21/99
    • THE UN-E-BOOK: Call them software companies, content-managers or digital distributors, but they all want the same thing: "to fundamentally disrupt the business of book publishing and bookselling -- not the writing or editing of books, but everything that happens afterward, or, in New Media- speak, the way it is distributed to, and consumed by, the end-user." Publisher's Weekly 12/21/99
  • E-BOOK BREAKTHROUGH: Three-quarters of the 3,000 e-books published are romances. Now the most popular has sold 6,000 copies. The Romance Writers of America requires that an electronic book sell more than 5,000 copies before it will recognize the author or publisher. Thus for the first time is legitimacy conferred. Wired 12/8/99
  • E-PROJECT: New Orleans writer e-mails off her e-book to production company, negotiates e-deal for a movie project. Production begins in January. Wired 11/16/99 
  • E-READING just got  a big step closer. Microsoft and Donnelley (the largest printer of US books) team up to make e-publishing easy for publishers. Publishers Weekly 11/9/99

    Stephen King's online novel

  • ONLINE KING: Stephen King stopped writing his on-line novel "The Plant" because not enough people were paying for it. Or because he was too busy with other projects. Or because the six completed parts can stand alone. "In my view, 'The Plant' has been quite successful," he said, revealing it had netted him $463,832.27. The Ottawa Citizen (CP) 02/07/01
  • WHAT I LEARNED FROM THE INTERNET: Stephen King says he learned a lot about the internet with his failed serialized novel. "First, many Internet users have the attention span of a grasshopper. Second, users believe that everything on the Web should be free or almost free of charge. And third, book-readers don't regard electronic books as real books. They're like people saying, 'I love corn on the cob but creamed corn makes me gag'.” Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung 12/15/00

  • REALITY AND E-PUBLISHING: Stephen King's decision to pull the plug on his online serial novel because not enough readers were paying for it, has publishers lowering their expectations for online publishing. The Age (Melbourne) (AP) 12/11/00

  • KING PULLS THE PLUG: Stephen King says he'll discontinue publishing his serialized on-line novel "The Plant." King said when he began the book that he would add additional chapters only if 50 percent of those downloading it paid $1 per chapter. By chapter four, only 46 percent were paying.Wrote one bothered fan: "It bothers me that readers might well think twice about buying installments from any other authors who might go this route because of what King has done. To do this to loyal fans is inexcusable." Wired 11/28/00

  • HORRORS - KING DOUBLES COST: Stephen King said if 75 percent of those downloading chapters of his cyber-novel didn't pay $1 a chapter he would stop offering it. So far fans are paying. But now King has doubled the price of a chapter to $2. Wired 10/17/00 
  • RABBLE-ROUSING: Stephen King portrays himself as a giant-killer fighting the publishing industry. "If King's publishing history were one of enslavement and injustice, you could understand him wanting to disturb the sleep of his persecutors. But Big Publishing just happens to have published, distributed, and marketed 225-million copies of his thirty-eight books, helping to hoist him up the scale of absurdly rich American entertainers." Saturday Night 09/23/00

  • KING OF THE (WRITING) WORLD: Does anyone write more than Stephen King? He cranks out projects like a man possessed. "Writing is just this great big conduit, this outflow pipe that keeps the pressure nice and even. It just pours all this [expletive] out. All the insecurities come out, all the fears - and also, it's a great way to pass the time." New York Times Magazine 08/13/00 (one-time registration required for

  • 41,000 DOWNLOADS LATER, Stephen King has confirmed his faith in the popularity of internet publishing. Fans flocked to his website Monday as soon as the first installment of his new novel “The Plant” was posted. An amazing 78% abided by the honor system and actually paid the $1 download fee. Inside.com 07/24/00 
    • THE HORROR: "King is one of about 25 fiction writers capable of pulling off this sort of thing: He has a substantial, loyal fan base; he has developed a solid relationship with his readers through his Web site and various fan organs; and he writes the kind of fiction that's really, really hard to stop reading once you start." Salon 07/25/00
    • NOT QUITE THE MONSTER: " 'The Plant' is a story recycled, in part, from a manuscript begun in the 1980s. Despite a flurry of interest from the press, it hasn't received much publicity. And at its current rate of sales, it remains to be seen whether the book will prove very profitable for any of the parties involved." Variety 07/25/00
  • IS STEPHEN KING LEADING A REVOLUTION in book publishing, as he’d have us believe, or “just exploring the power of celebrity in the digital age?" After the success of his earlier e-tale, King releases his next e-novel - this time available in installments over the net. "The launch has touched off a debate over whether the Web can liberate authors from their dependence on publishers, or just make it easier for truly famous people to rally their fans.” New York Times 07/24/00 (one-time registration required for entry) 

  • KING OF THE WEB, PART II: Stephen King plans to publish his next novel online in installments, beginning Monday. Readers would pay through the honor system - "to send King a check or money order for $1 per installment in a direct transaction that King describes as a way to thumb your nose at the publishing industry." Seattle Times (AP) 07/20/00

  • KING OF THE WEB: Stephen King is encouraged by the internet success of the novella he released on the web this spring. So he plans to serialize a story on the web. "King proposes fans pay $1 per installment and suggests everyone be on the honor system. He said he'll cease publication if too many people steal the story. 'But I just don't believe that will happen. I mean, we're talking a buck a pop here, right?' " Wired 06/11/00
  • IN "E" VITABLE: E-books are here to stay, no matter how much romantic gush you hear from the lovers of dead trees. Last week's Stephen King success was only the first salvo of the mass-market revolution. MSNBC (Washington Post) 03/21/00
  • KING OF THE NET: Stephen King publishes his latest book exclusively on the internet. CBC 03/09/00






Click Here!