'Plant' Grows to 100,000 Downloads for King

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Stephen King's serial novel "The Plant" has gotten off to a good start, according to Conxion Corporation, the Internet provider contracted to distribute the downloadable book.


"The Plant" was successfully downloaded 100,000 times in the first two days of its release, the company said yesterday.


Part of the reason for the strong numbers is the way the story has been formatted. There is no encryption and the file size is smaller than King's first foray in e-publishing, the novella "Riding the Bullet." The changes allow the book to be downloaded within two minutes through most modems and in less than 15 seconds for broadband users.


"Riding the Bullet," which was released in March, had a high volume of aborted downloads mostly because of its large file size.


The only catch for King is that he must accept payment on the honor system, and there is little he can do about fans swapping the file electronically. The noted horror author has asked customers to send him $1 or prepay before they download. If 75 percent of readers pay, King said he will continue the story, if not he said he will abandon the project.
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