The press release announcing Stephen King’s new 99-cent Kindle Singles essay, “Guns,” emphasizes how fast a major author can get his or her ideas into wide distribution because of eBook technology and platforms.
“King finished this essay last Friday morning, and by that night we had accepted it and scheduled for publication today,” Kindle Singles editor David Blum says in the release. I suppose one question would be, how come it took from morning all the way till evening to decide to publish the massively popular author’s rant. No matter. It’s still an impressive compression of the publishing cycle, and I’m sure it will be gratifying to King to see his essay rise quickly on the Kindle Singles bestseller list, which it surely will by the end of today.
It’s a rough piece, based on what I’ve read on my Kindle Fire HD so far. A quick search found seven f-bombs, which I don’t see the point of, frankly. An author of King’s skill ought to be able to make his case without using language that will be offensive to some readers. Why limit his audience that way? The content is fierce, beginning with a mocking satire of how mass shootings are covered by the media. Here’s a sample:
Sixteenth, what cable news does best now begins, and will continue for the next seventy-two hours: the slow and luxurious licking of tears from the faces of the bereaved. We’re treated to interviews with weeping mothers and fathers; interviews with stunned siblings and classmates; fleets of hearses rolling from church to cemetery; memorials featuring flowers, teddy bears, photographs, and signs saying WE WILL NEVER FORGET YOU.
You get the idea. And that same mocked media will no doubt make sure everyone hears about this latest example of how digital tools are speeding up the national conversation on just about everything, especially if you happen to be an author whose books have sold more than 350 million copies.