Stephen King's latest book sticks to print
The best-selling author is skipping a digital version of his new novel 'Joyland,' hoping to spur buyers to visit 'an actual bookstore.'
While Stephen King's new move might prove horrific to e-book fans, booksellers are likely to view him as a godsend.
That's because the best-selling writer isn't releasing a digital version of his new novel "Joyland," which will be published June 4, according to The Wall Street Journal. Instead, "Joyland" will be available only in old-fashioned print. King told the publication that he's not clear when he'll make the e-book available.
"I have no plans for a digital version," King said. "Maybe at some point, but in the meantime, let people stir their sticks and go to an actual bookstore rather than a digital one."
"Joyland," which is set at a North Carolina amusement park in 1973, is published by independent Hard Case Crime. In a blurb on Amazon.com (AMZN), King said one reason he decided to hold off on a digital format is that he loved the paperbacks he grew up with.
The move is an about-face for King, who was one of the first writers to publish exclusively in digital format in 2000. That's when CBS' (CBS) Simon & Schuster published his short story "Riding the Bullet" for $2.50.
One bookstore told the Journal it believes traffic has fallen off because of the ease of buying e-books, which allow consumers to make purchases online and start reading without even leaving their home or office.
"I'd just as soon not have people buy their books while typing a thank-you note," said Paul Ingram, a buyer for Prairie Lights bookstore in Iowa City, Iowa.
The publishing industry will be watching King's decision closely. He's one of the book world's sure bets, with his repeated best-sellers helping him to reap earnings of $39 million, according to Forbes.
Follow Aimee Picchi on Twitter at @aimeepicchi.
I love real books. I've read e-books before and it's true that it can be handy to just read a book at a random place without carring books around with you. But I still don't like them anywhere near as much as a real book. I love holding a book in my hands as I read. It will be a sad day when real books disappear completely. I hope that doesn't happen in my lifetime. I love technology, but I will still choose a real book over an e-book every time. For that matter, it will take a lot to get me to buy an e-book. I've only read free e-books the few times I've bothered.
That being said, I think Steven King's move isn't really worth doing. E-books are here to stay. And putting off making it available as an e-book isn't necessarily going to mean more real books sell unless there are really that many people who absolutely have to have his latest book and will buy the real book because of this when they would have normally bought an e-book. Maybe with Steven King, that's true. He has a lot of fans, including me. Still, I don't think it will have enough impact to matter.
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