When Stephen King decided to embrace the Internet in 2000 and publish “The Plant”, it was a move that scared many traditional publishing houses. At the time, Steve wrote on his website, “My friends, we have the chance to become Big Publishing's worst nightmare.” The venture was a commercial success, and fared far better than his first foray in eBook publishing with “Riding the Bullet”, which was beset with technical problems with downloading, and hackers that eventually cracked the encryption.
"The Plant" was originally published by Philtrum Press in Bangor, Maine by Steve and Michael Alpert and was an epistolary format book that was sent to friend on the King family Christmas List in 1982, 1983 and 1985. The tale stopped there in 1985, as Steve thought it was too much like the film "Little Shop of Horrors", which premiered in 1986. It was eventually picked up again in 2000 for three new chapters.
As the original tale was really only seen by at most 200 people, since that was the limitation of each book, in 2000 when Steve decided to release it as a digital download to the masses, he reluctantly made some editorial changes that attempted to not offend so many readers.
You can read the paragraph introduction that Steve made at the start of Part Four, in regards to two characters, and there are many more subtle changes between the two versions.
I guess Steve likes to read those damn newsgroups postings.