In a move to bump up physical book sales, Stephen King will not release an e-book version of his new novel, "Joyland," the Wall Street Journal reports.
It’s something of a radical move for the man who stood onstage with Amazon’s Jeff Bezos in 2009 to introduce the Kindle 2.
This time King has decided to throw his support behind brick-and-mortar booksellers. "I have no plans for a digital version," King told the Journal. "In the meantime, let people stir their sticks and go to an actual bookstore rather than a digital one."
The announcement has been warmly received by bookstores, which have been hurt by the lower price of e-books, sales of which are up across the board.
And King, a perennial bestseller, is often thought of as a digital pioneer. King made the opposite decision in 2000, when his 16,000-word story "Riding the Bullet" was released exclusively as an e-book. At the time, the $2.50 story was thought to be a game-changer. King has since released three more stories as Kindle Singles, as well as a nonfiction essay "Guns" in the wake of the shootings in Newtown, Conn. It's currently ranked fourth in the Thin Reads list of Kindle Single sales.
"Joyland," which is set in an amusement park circa 1973, will be released on June 4. Published by the independent press Hard Case Crime, it features a classic pulpy cover, picturing a frightened woman (red hair, green dress) posed in front of a Ferris wheel.
King will publish a major novel with Scribner in the fall, "Doctor Sleep." It's the long-awaited follow-up – a prequel -- to his 1977 novel "The Shining." King has not said whether an e-book will be released, though it seems likely. An excerpt of that novel will appear in the e-book version of "The Shining," from Knopf, out Aug. 27.