King Delays "Joyland" eBook Release and Releases 88-page Prequel Poem to ‘The Stand’
From the “for Pete's sake, make up your mind” and the “I'm beginning to think I can cure a rainy day!” categories: In 2000, Stephen King defied the publishing behemoth and released Riding the Bullet as an eBook for $2.50 (and I bought it). Now, he’s seen the light and is delaying the release of his new novel, Joyland, to encourage people to go to a brick-and-mortar store to buy it. And he seems quite adamant that it’s not going to happen.
"I have no plans for a digital version," Mr. 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."
So that’s that, then. If you want to read Joyland, set in a North Carolina amusement park, circa 1973, you’ll have to go to a store on June 4th… wait, nope, you can pre-order it on Amazon. How is that encouraging people to go to a real bookstore?
It’s also not the only thing he’s got coming out this year, with the sequel to The Shining, Doctor Sleep, due in August. If you can’t wait that long, you can order something he wrote in college: an 88 page “prequel” poem to The Stand, called The Dark Man — the first thing King wrote about Randall Flagg, the “antichrist” character from the book. It’s not often you can sell something you wrote when you were just starting to write, but he can.
Oh yeah, it’s also got “creepy illustrations” by one Glen Chadbourne, of decaying amusement park rides and other similarly gruesome topics. Starting price is $25 for a trade hardback, moving up to a staggering $1,750 for a signed edition printed in two colours that includes lots of extras including a small diamond, a personal servant, and a hi-res photo of Mr King’s butt. Okay, I made up those last three. But don’t worry if you can't afford it, that version has already sold out. (Recession? What recession?)
I don’t know, it does seem like he’s cashing in a bit. I’ll buy Joyland — hell, I’ll even go into a bookshop to get it — don’t get me wrong, but I’m not so sure I’ll be putting out for Dark Man or Doctor Sleep. What about you?
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