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LA Times: Thrilling News: King Finds Honesty Pays Off on Internet

Aug 01, 2000, 15:02 (3 Talkback[s])

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"For those weary of tales about deception, hacking and piracy on the Internet, consider this: Almost 100,000 people have paid author Stephen King when they didn't really have to. About 152,000 King fans have downloaded electronic copies of his latest online thriller in its first week on his Web site, and some 93,000 have already paid the $1 fee he asked for."

"...King isn't using an outside publisher. He is publishing the story himself online, so he can earn more money from "The Plant" even if fewer people read it. And because he is trusting his audience, he is allowing the text to be printed, as opposed to "Riding the Bullet" and most other online books, which can be read only on a computer."

"Although the major record labels have had little success thus far competing against free music-sharing programs such as Napster, that's in part because "people are aware their favorite artists see very little of what they spend" on compact discs, said senior analyst Malcolm Maclachlan of International Data Corp. in Mountain View, Calif. "If people felt they were ripping off their favorite artist, it might be different," Maclachlan said. So it is possible that some bands will mimic King's direct approach, using the honor system for, say, a subscription to fan material that includes music not available on CDs. "You're going to see a lot of experimentation," he said."

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