Maybe Stephen King had too much fun time-traveling back to the 1960s.
That was the premise in 11/22/63, his gripping story about an English teacher who tries to prevent the assassination of John F. Kennedy by slipping through a time portal in Lisbon Falls, Maine, and heading for Dallas.
Twelve days ago Hard Case Crime announced that it will publish Joyland, a new novel by King, in June, 2013. The author was quoted as saying, “Joyland will be coming out in paperback, and folks who want to read it will have to buy the actual book.”
The actual book?
Pew Research Center reports that one in five Americans read an eBook within the past year. And 28 percent of Americans own at least one tablet or eReader for reading eBooks. The average eBook reader read 24 eBooks last year, compared with only 15 books read by those who read only print. You would have to travel back to pre-Kindle Launch Day, 11/21/09, to enter a world where eBooks are not considered actual books.
I love Stephen King’s work, and I can imagine any number of motivations for this bizarre announcement. We know he likes to shake things up, as he did when he helped launch the Kindle 2 on February 9, 2009. At that event, King introduced a novella, UR, which features a Kindle with a button that displays the future.
I don’t need a magic pink Kindle to foretell the future of a Stephen King novel which the publisher refuses to make available to King fans who read only eBooks. The print version will be scanned and widely pirated. How much fun for the author and his publisher will that be?