King lights interest in Kindle with 'UR'

It's not the sensation of his first effort, but Stephen King's latest e-adventure is another best-seller.

King's agent, Ralph Vicinanza, said that downloads of King's novella "UR," available only as an e-book and released to coincide with the launch of Amazon's upgraded Kindle reader, have reached "five figures" after barely three weeks on the market.

In 2000, in the early years of digital texts, King's novella "Riding the Bullet" was downloaded hundreds of thousands of times, overwhelming Amazon.com and other online sites.

Amazon.com has declined to offer any specific numbers for sales of the Kindle or for individual books, although publishers have said that popular titles sell in the thousands or better.

Vicinanza had approached King with the idea of writing a story for release as an e-book as a way to "create some excitement" in electronic publishing at a time when the book industry is going through tough times.

The New York-based agent recommended the strategy even though the Kindle and competing devices account for no more than 1 percent of overall book sales. "UR" eventually will be made available in print, he said.

The Kindle 2, a slimmed-down model with upgraded components and storage capacity, downloads books, newspaper stories and blog posts over a wireless network.

"UR," available as a download for $2.99, is about a college English instructor whose pink Kindle allows him to access new books by famous dead authors as well as newspapers that tell of a future event that he is compelled to try to forestall.


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