Klout the Next Force in Book Publishing? Influencers Get Early Access to New Stephen King Novel

Klout's new partnership with book publisher Scribner gives influential people first access to Stephen King's new ebook, "Mile 81," through its Klout Perks program.

Those selected can download a free edition of "Mile 81" a week before it goes on sale nationwide Sept. 1 and can share the ebook with one other person.

The goal is to create a "unique social media conversation" about Stephen King's novel, according to a Klout statement. The company expects other authors will want to give influencers early access to their work.

The Klout Perks program bases perks not just on someone's score but also on how influential a person is in a particular topic. Klout lists 14 perks to date (past and current) ranging from previewing a new show on Fox to receiving a Fit Frappe coffee care package.

Klout's partnership with Scribner is the second announced this week. Funny or Die, a Sequoia-funded comedy site in which actor Will Ferrell is involved, became Klout Perks' exclusive comedy provider.
The companies will work with brands to produce customized ad campaigns that target the most influential people in comedy.

“Funny Or Die has been in the forefront of social media from the beginning and partnering with Klout is another important step to staying ahead of the curve,” said Dick Glover, CEO of Funny or Die.

LAUNCH has asked Klout how the company is monetizing these relationships. We will update if we receive a response.

Brands seeking a wider reach in a demographic like moms -- not necessarily influencers -- can use services like Adly, famous for getting Charlie Sheen on Twitter [ see our story ]. Adly matches brands like Toyota and Best Buy with celebrities to start conversations about products or brand.

Klout is not the first company seeking to help brands better target influential people.

Philadelphia-based Buzz Marketing Group has long offered tools to help businesses better target influencers ages 7 to 24. Past and present clients include Cosmopolitan, American Eagle, Nike, MAC Cosmetics and Conair.

The Word of Mouth Marketing Association (WOMMA), founded in 2004, has 367 listed members that include brands like Google and American Express, as well as marketers and agencies.

The Stephen King deal already has people tweeting.

Indie Reader Houston founder Cassandra Neace (Klout score 56) got exclusive access to "Mile 81." 

"I have ONE passalong to share my Stephen King #Mile81 Perk from Klout," Cassandra tweeted. "1st to claim it gets it! Thx @simonschuster!"

Four minutes after she tweeted the offer, tech blogger Johnny Mota (Klout score 65) responded: "I want #Mile81 @CassandraNeace @MonicaBenavidez @simonschuster."

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