Stephen King is no stranger to experimentation, and depending on how you measure it he's one of the early adopters of the idea. Back in 2000, long before the Kindle brought the market to life, Stephen King published one of his novels as a serial.
The Plant didn't quite have the success desired (not enough paid downloads) but it did generate over half a million in revenues in a few short months. So it came as little surprise earlier this week that Mr. King is trying something new in order to promote his next book:
His next novel, Joyland, is set to come out in June 2013. The book is a murder mystery set in a Southern theme park in the 1970s. According to the publisher's press release, it's only going to be released in paper.
Stephen King commented, "I love crime, I love mysteries, and I love ghosts. That combo made Hard Case Crime the perfect venue for this book, which is one of my favorites. I also loved the paperbacks I grew up with as a kid, and for that reason, we’re going to hold off on e-publishing this one for the time being. Joyland will be coming out in paperback, and folks who want to read it will have to buy the actual book."
JK Rowling inadvertently tried this method a decade ago, and it seems to have worked out well for her. But we do live in a different age now, and I have to say that I'm looking forward to this.
Consumers are used to being able to buy the content they want in the form they want when they want. What's more, a growing percentage of readers have switched over to digital and have no plans to go back. Now we're going to see what happens when you tell them no.
The book is due out in June, but I'm half expecting the pirated ebook to hit the torrents in May (if not earlier). Someone at the publisher will want the ebook so they'll grab a copy from the source files. next they will likely share it with a friend or 2 and before you know it some helpful soul will release the ebook into the wild.
If and when the ebook leaks, let me know. I want to see if it comes out first.
image by Uncle Catherine