Stephen King will pull the plug on "The Plant," his self-published online serial novel. The experimental and prolific author is taking a break to complete other projects but, according to his assistant Marsha DeFilippo, King is also suspending the project because too many people are downloading the work without paying for it.
In a statement posted on http://www.stephenking.com, King told readers that after next month's installment, he will be shelving "The Plant" for a year or two to accomplish other goals. Among them: finishing two novels and "Black House," the sequel to "The Talisman," with co-author Peter Straub.
Next month's installment of the 10-part work will be free "as a way of thanking those readers (somewhere between 75% and 80%) who came along for the ride and paid their dues," King wrote.
DeFilippo said the explanation was written before King received a final account of how many readers--only 46%--actually paid $2 for Part 4. The first three parts cost a dollar apiece. Parts 5 and 6 are being posted by King because they've already been written.