Simon & Schuster puts lineup online

'Blair Witch,' Thompson's 'Screwjack,' and 'Perfect Recall' among offerings

NEW YORK — As the e-book business expands by fits and starts, New York’s major publishing houses have begun lining up to announce their online offerings for the fall season. Simon & Schuster is the latest to do so, announcing Wednesday that it will issue a handful of books exclusively on the Web and serialize several others prior to an ink-and-paper printing.

S&S will also publish the majority of its fall list — whose highlights include books by Stephen King, Stephen Ambrose, Jimmy Carter and Jesse Ventura — simultaneously online and in print.

Among the S&S books exclusively available as e-books are:

  • “Blair Witch: Graveyard Shift” by David Stern, due out after an August Showtime special on the film; and

  • a series of stories based on the Blizzard Entertainment, StarCraft, Warcraft and Diablo computer games that will serve as prequels to a trilogy of novels based on the games published in subsequent months.

    Those books that will debut on the Web as a prologue to hardcover publication include:

  • “Screwjack,” three long-out-of-print Hunter S. Thompson stories to be serialized online before their November hardcover publication in one volume; and

  • “Perfect Recall,” the title story from Ann Beattie’s new short story collection, the first she’ll publish with S&S after numerous books with Knopf.

S&S helped rewrite the rules of electronic publishing last spring when it issued Stephen King’s novella “Riding the Bullet” exclusively online. S&S won’t repeat that experiment this fall, opting instead to focus its exclusive e-books list on those titles that have a built-in audience.

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