Digital readers may find themselves unable to read the next Stephen King novel. The author has announced today that his upcoming June 4th release, Joyland, will only be available via traditional bookstores.
Stephen King is no stranger to digital and released a novel in 2000 called Riding The Bullet, that was only available as an ebook. Last year, he released a Kindle Single exclusive that was basically an essay.
Today, King told the Wall Street Journal: “I have no plans for a digital version. Maybe at some point, but in the meantime, let people stir their sticks and go to an actual bookstore rather than a digital one.”
Many publishing industry experts are surmising that this book may draw people into their local bookstores, but people who prefer to read digital may end up pirating the book. If you look at the Harry Potter case study, when the books were unavailable in electronic form, it created a wellspring of book piracy, with some torrents having hundreds of thousands of seeders. Many people we spoke with at the time felt no remorse about downloading the books, because they were being ignored as digital readers. In the absence of a true digital copy that people can buy, it is only a matter of time before this book is scanned and posted online, stinging the very bookstores Stephen King is trying to help.
Amazon is also selling the physical book at a very steep discount and in most cases will sell it for less than you can buy in a physical bookstore.
Michael Kozlowski has been writing about audiobooks and e-readers for the past twelve years. His articles have been picked up by major and local news sources and websites such as the CBC, CNET, Engadget, Huffington Post and the New York Times. He Lives in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.