Books, as we know and love them, may be headed the way of vinyl records. Last week Stephen King horrified his publisher Simon & Schuster by posting his newest novel The Plant online.
“My friends,” King writes on his website, “We have a chance to become Big Publishing’s worst nightmare.”
So far about 40,000 fans have pointed, clicked, and downloaded the first chapter of The Plant, and King hopes to collect a dollar from each by threatening to stop posting it if the mass of readers don’t pay up. Simon & Schuster doesn’t get a dime.
Most authors don’t command a King-size audience, but “e-publishing” offers writers new channels of distribution and a potential worldwide audience online. What does it offer readers besides the job of wading through unsorted and unedited e-texts? Could E-books do to the publishing industry what MP3s are doing to the music business? The E-volution of E-publishing.
(Hosted by Christopher Lydon)
M. J. Rose, an e-published author and journalist for Wired.com
Chris McCaskill, CEO of Mightywords.com in Silicon Valley
Carol Fitzgerald, founder/president, Bookreporter.com, a site from The Book Report Network
and Jonathan Karp, publisher of @random, the online magazine of Random House.