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King's New E-Book a Bestseller

The king of pop rules online as well.

By Jarrod Sarafin     March 04, 2009
Source: AP


Iconic pop culture author Stephen King
© N/A

Stephen King isn't just a master of selling published works. His imagination sells digital copies too. His agent, Ralph Vicinanza, said Tuesday that downloads of King's e-book novella "UR" have reached "five figures" after barely three weeks on the market. While Amazon would not be providing specific numbers until 60 days after the Feb. 12 release, Ralph added: "We've been told that they're in the five figures already."

This comes a few years after the author released his first e-book novella, "Riding the Bullet", successfully to the online readers. That work was downloaded hundreds of thousands of times, overwhelming Amazon.com and other online publishing websites.

"We're excited, " Vicinanza says. "They're happy, we're happy and from the initial information that we're getting it seems to be a success."

As of Tuesday afternoon, "UR" was No. 18 on Amazon's list of Kindle best-sellers. Vicinanza had approached King with the idea of writing a story for release as an e-book as a way to "create some excitement" in electronic publishing at a time when the book industry is going through tough times.

The New York-based agent recommended the strategy even though the Kindle and competing devices account for no more than 1 percent of overall book sales. "UR" eventually will be made available in print, he said.

The Kindle 2, a slimmed-down model with upgraded components and storage capacity, went on sale Feb. 9 for $359. The gadget downloads books, newspaper stories and blog posts over a wireless network. "UR," available as a download for $2.99, is about a college English instructor whose pink Kindle allows him to access new books by famous dead authors as well as newspapers that tell of a future event that he is compelled to try to forestall.

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LittleNell1824 3/4/2009 10:15:40 AM

Fun. I just read an article in the NYT about the Kindle that said it was basically cheating some people out of their royalties... Oh, I remember, it was the voice work people. You know, the ones who make their living reading books on tape. Some of them do an amazing job. I guess the Kindle 2 does a fairly good job of rendering text into voice. I can't imagine that it could take the place of a really talented reader who can do voices and accents to differentiate characters.

That said, I'm starting to be interested. The Kindle seems a lot easier to bring on an airplane, especially if you're not sure which book you're going to be in the mood for. If you have a few downloaded, then your good to go. I love some of my print books and wouldn't give them up, but for some of my paperback light reads, I don't really feel like it's necessary to own the print copy.

todd890 3/5/2009 8:26:40 AM

Kindle I find only accepts novels from the states of which isn't a good thing. As an e-book, one would think that canadian authors like my self would be accepted.

Amazon is a great place but they need to lift the bar a bit more. They need to accept other authors that are not on the states.

LittleNell1824 3/5/2009 9:20:38 AM

Seriously? That makes no sense at all. Maybe they haven't worked out the international royalties yet?

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