The Future of E-Publishing

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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

Chris McCaskill, CEO of in Silicon Valley

Carol Fitzgerald, founder/president,, a site from The Book Report Network

and Jonathan Karp, publisher of @random, the online magazine of Random House.