Once considered a pioneer in digital publishing when he offered a short story solely in e-book format back in 2000, Stephen King has announced that his latest novel, Joyland, will be released solely as a physical book starting June 4. Although Amazon does have it available on its site for preorder, the move is designed to encourage readers to “stir their sticks and go to an actual bookstore rather than a digital one,” says King. As of right now he is holding on to the digital rights, and isn’t saying when or if an e-book version will come out.
What’s the Big Idea?
A recent BookStats study reveals that revenue from digital publishing jumped 44 percent between 2011 and 2012, highlighting the struggle brick-and-mortar booksellers continue to face against a model that makes buying a book easier than writing an e-mail. Paul Ingram of Prairie Lights Books in Iowa City says that his store’s business has “fallen off some” in recent years, and hopes that other major writers will follow in King’s footsteps. Joyland will be published by independent publisher Hard Case Crime, which specializes in crime fiction with lurid book covers reminiscent of those seen on 1940s and 1950s pulp novels.