Stephen King Shuns Digital Formats For Upcoming Novel; Goes Paperback Only

Stephen King's Upcoming Novel Available In Paperback Only

via New York Times

Stephen King's upcoming novel, Joyland, will hit stores next June from Titan imprint Hard Case Crime. The thing is, it's only hitting physical retailers: There will be no eBook version available on the publication date. 

In a statement, King said that he "loved the paperbacks" he grew up on, and "folks who want to read it will have to buy the actual book.”

According to Hard Case editor Charles Ardai, Joyland is “a whodunit, it’s a carny novel, it’s a story about growing up and growing old, and about those who don’t get to do either because death comes for them before their time.”

This is a gutsy move. On one hand, they risk losing sales from people who are biased toward their eReaders. On the other hand, it's Stephen King. He's not exactly sweating for name recognition. 

What do you folks thing?

Rob Hart

News by Rob Hart

Rob Hart is the class director at LitReactor, as well as the associate publisher for MysteriousPress.com. He's the author of The Last Safe Place: A Zombie Novella, and his short stories have appeared in publications like Shotgun Honey, ThuglitCrime Factory, and Needle: A Magazine of Noir. His debut novel, New Yorked, will be published by Polis Books in June 2015. He lives in New York City, and you can find his website at www.robwhart.com.

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Comments

Strange Photon's picture
Strange Photon from Fort Wayne, IN is reading The inner Citadel May 31, 2012 - 1:48pm

I'm with him on the principle of loving tangible books you can feel and smell. On the other hand, those in the world, like me, who have lost a substantial amount of visual accuity, eReaders are peerless when it comes to ease of readability due to their zooming features. So, Stevie, thanks for the nod to traditionalism, but thanks for nothing for not even thinking about those of us who need flexible font sizes.

Andrei Ruse's picture
Andrei Ruse from Romania May 31, 2012 - 1:51pm

I think a book needs to be published in any form, digital or on paper, even if the writer prefers to read (as I do) paperbacks. After all, the writer's business is to write and not to decide how to sell the work. But being Stephen King, he can do whatever he wants. :))

ReneeAPickup's picture
ReneeAPickup from Joshua Tree, CA is reading A truckload of books. May 31, 2012 - 2:19pm

I think he's making a statement. Not long ago he released a story that was only available in e-format, now he's doing one only available in paperback. I think he's realized he can do what ever he wants and is having fun with it.

ReneeAPickup's picture
ReneeAPickup from Joshua Tree, CA is reading A truckload of books. May 31, 2012 - 2:20pm

And I disagree that a writer has no business deciding how their work is sold. Especially if they are a household name and marketing isn't going to be an issue.

Erectitudes of the Universe's picture
Erectitudes of ... from Roswell, Georgia is reading The Moon is a Harsh Mistress May 31, 2012 - 2:35pm

I wish eBooks would just go away. I mean how lazy do you have to be that you cannot hold a book and turn the page.

Veronica Sicoe's picture
Veronica Sicoe May 31, 2012 - 2:48pm

The King can afford it, but I even he can't start a movement back in the direction of physical copies only.

MunchyRelue's picture
MunchyRelue from San Antonio, TX May 31, 2012 - 3:09pm

Using an e-reader makes us lazy how exactly? Do we not hold our e-readers the same as you hold your book? Or do you think they just float in front of our faces as we turn the pages using telekinesis?
Whether he can afford it or not, Stephen King shouldn't snub his loyal e-reading fans. I've got a large library full of physical books here at home but I prefer my Nook Tablet for my night reading. If you want to hate on anyone, why not hate on the people who don't read at all?

Varkko Stush's picture
Varkko Stush May 31, 2012 - 3:52pm

e-readers and their books have no soul. It's just more plastic land-fill trash for gadget-whores. I never have and never will. Long live the King!

Deets999's picture
Deets999 from Connecticut is reading Gravitys Rainbow May 31, 2012 - 4:12pm

I guess he's still bitter about that Internet book he tried to release in paid installments about ten years ago, I think it was called The Plant - anyone remember that experiment?

Karl M Schirrmacher's picture
Karl M Schirrmacher from California is reading The Sunlight Dialogues - John Gardner May 31, 2012 - 5:02pm

Perhaps Mr. King sees that format is part of the art of literature, creating a different experience depending on how it's presented? (hardcover, paperback, digital, web, twitter, etc) He has played with format before, and I don't think he really sees it as an either/or, all or nothing issue.

Robin Karlsson's picture
Robin Karlsson June 1, 2012 - 4:30am

This is just stupid. Reading is the point (right?), not the format. I'd understand if this was in fact som experiment with format, like releasing it only on toilet paper or whatever, but paperback? Come on Stephen, get over yourself.

Utah's picture
Moderator
Utah from Fort Worth, TX is reading Lonesome Dove by Larry McMurtry June 1, 2012 - 8:38am

Or do you think they just float in front of our faces as we turn the pages using telekinesis?

Mine does.  It's about fifty bucks for the upgrade, but it's worth it.

Nathan Campos's picture
Nathan Campos from Brazil is reading Steve Jobs by Walter Isaacson June 2, 2012 - 2:47pm

This is just unfair. He is denying eReader lovers to have access to his book. Even wrote an article about it. http://nathancampos.me/post/24275634833/stephen-king-and-ebooks

Zackery Olson's picture
Zackery Olson from Rockford, IL is reading pretty much anything I can get my hands on June 3, 2012 - 9:00pm

I echo Strange Photon's sentiments here. I miss being able to read physical books but it's just not feasible anymore. Audiobooks and eBooks go a long way to making sure I can continue to exercise my voracious apetite for books, and this decision rubs me the wrong way--especially when I've spent quite a bit of money in my life on King's work. I only hope that the book will eventually see either eBook release or audiobook release. Also, King should know better. After all, he has macular degeneration himself.