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Wednesday, 15 March, 2000, 20:32 GMT
King's e-book crashes
stephen king
King wrote the book after an accident
By Jane Hughes in New York

The websites carrying Stephen King's first e-book crashed within hours of it being released on the internet as demand vastly exceeded expectations.

Readers trying to access Riding the Bullet were reporting it was virtually impossible to download.


Riding the Bullet is only available online
Although Stephen King's publishers were expecting big interest when his latest ghost story appeared online, no one anticipated quite the rush they got.

In the first few hours after release, it was estimated two million people tried to download the e-book causing most of the websites involved to crash.

Would-be readers may have been attracted by the fact that it was available free on some sites and for just $2.50 on others, or they may have been drawn by the publicity surrounding the first exclusively online novel by a best selling author.

Traditional publishing

The publishers were hailing this format as the way forward for books.

King, who has already written more than 30 best-sellers, said before the launch: "I'm curious to see what sort of response there is and whether or not this is the future."

The story, which King describes as "a ghost story in the grand manner", is published through Simon & Schuster Online.

King wrote Riding the Bullet while recuperating from near-fatal injuries after he was knocked down by a van last summer.

He has written several other works since then but this was the first to go directly to readers on the internet.

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

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See also:

14 Mar 00 | Entertainment
King's e-book goes online
20 Jun 99 | Americas
Horror writer hurt in accident
01 Oct 99 | Entertainment
King crash driver faces charges
04 Feb 00 | Entertainment
Author King to chill again
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