mile81Here’s an intriguing experiment in e-publishing promotion. Scribner is going to release the new Stephen King short story “Mile 81” free to select members of the online-social-influence-ranking site Klout, a week before it goes on sale as an e-book single for $2.99. Apparently the idea builds on the marketing notion of identifying important trendsetters and influencers and pitching your product to them, enticing them to then pitch it to everybody else. It’s just that Klout seems to think it can measure exactly who those people are.

Is this going to be a clever new way for authors to promote their works to potential audiences, or another flash in the pan? It should be interesting to find out. King, of course, is no stranger to e-book promotions, having jumped into the game while the field was relatively young with his short story “Riding the Bullet” and his ill-fated experiment in self-publishing The Plant. He also provided an exclusive short story for the launch of the Kindle 2.

(Found via PaidContent.)