Case Study

Stephen King and the publishing industry's worst nightmare

26 pages
October 2000
Reference: IMD-3-0973

In the summer of 2000, Stephen King, a well-known American author of “horror” novels, created a nightmare for the publishing industry: he launched an internet-downloadable novel, perhaps the first by a celebrity author, without the involvement of his traditional print-publisher, Simon & Schuster. In his own words, King asserted that this was an effort to “become big-publishing’s worst nightmare.” This case examines the value-chain of the traditional book publishing industry, and considers how and where King’s effort poses a challenge for existing organizational actors in this industry. The case also looks at other digital initiatives that represent possible rethinking of the way that the traditional book publishing industry works, and invites the reader to consider both changes to the competitive terrain as well as the potential for appropriate strategic responses.

eCommerce, Publishing, Internet, Book
Northern America, United States of America
Media, Printing and Publishing
July 2000
Published Sources
© 2000
Available Languages
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