Stephen King’s N – a daily serialized comic starts today! It looks and feels amazing. Every weekday from today until August 25 a new episode is released.
In 2000, Stephen King released The Plant, an eBook for the web. It made it through six episodes before being shelved. Unfinished, he’d made his point: the web was the new marketing frontier for mainstream authors. Unfortunately he also demanded being paid for it, which is almost understandable, and predictably the downloads tapered off when he doubled the download price after the fourth installment. Handheld readers were new and novel and people were sill skittish about reading on a computer screen and each installment was dozens of pages. I still have my printed copies in a three-ring binder. I came across them over the weekend. I couldn’t tell you if I ever paid for them. I don’t recall if I had a PayPal account then or a credit card I felt safe enough to use online. Biut I read it, and enjoyed it, and had it come out in paper form, I definitely would have purchased it.
I’m glad King has learned his lesson releasing into the wind first and compiling it for payment later. No question he’s taking his cue from Warren Ellis’ FreakAngels, Scott Sigler’s EarthCore and Nocturnal, and of course, Cory Doctorow’s works, as well as countless other pioneers of giving the public what they want, and the appreciative always kick in a few sheckles. It isn’t how much money you can make. It’s about the name recognition and the quality of the work.