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Thursday, 9 March, 2000, 11:24 GMT
Author King rides the e-tide

Riding the Bullet will be available exclusively online
Horror writer Stephen King is set to become the first best-selling author to release his work exclusively over the internet.

His 66-page story, Riding the Bullet, will be available on Tuesday as an e-book, which buyers can download for $2.50 (1.60) and read on their computers.

The ghostly tale about an unfortunate hitchhiker can also be downloaded onto hand-held devices such as personal organisers or electronic books.

King's 36 novels have sold over 100 million copies
King, who has already written over 30 best-sellers, said "I'm curious to see what sort of response there is and whether or not this is the future".

The author is no stranger to innovation - he recently revived serialisation by publishing his novel The Green Mile in instalments.

He has also made works such as Hearts in Atlantis and A Bag of Bones available online after they were released on paper.

But Riding the Bullet, which King completed while recuperating from near-fatal injuries after he was knocked down by a van last summer, will be the first released exclusively over the internet.

The story will be published through Simon & Schuster Online, which will make it available through online booksellers and e-book manufacturers

Speed publishing

Kate Tentler of Simon & Schuster Online said: "What's exciting is that we are able to go from Stephen King's computer to the reader in a fraction of the print-book publishing arc."

His involvement is expected to boost the growing e-publishing business, which threatens to undermine the traditional publishing industry.

Keith Loris of, which provided some of the technology described the release as the "first effective market test".

Up to now, this has been technology in search of a market," he added.
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01 Oct 99 |  Entertainment
King crash driver faces charges
20 Jun 99 |  Americas
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04 Feb 00 |  Entertainment
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