Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Stephen King Refuses E-book Format: I'll Read J. A. Konrath Instead

When I read that Stephen King is refusing to release his next book in e-book format, I did a search to make sure I hadn't missed something. I thought surely this must be a mistake. However, I have two links and it's evident King is serious about this.

I wonder if this is for publicity. I wonder if this is something personal to him. I always thought that the print books I was in would always remain print books and I took a silent pride in that. But when they all started being released in digital format, I realized there was nothing I could do about it. I didn't like it, but I've learned to live with it.

However, I've also made the switch to e-books completely. I didn't spend all that money on Kobo e-readers, a tablet, and a mini-iPad to sit and hold print books again. I'm just as likely to read a book now on my iPhone as I am on my e-reading devices. King doesn't seem to think this is a factor...or he doesn't care that he's insulting so many readers like me.

King has reportedly gone out of his way to buy up the all the digital rights to the novel in order to prevent it being distributed as an ebook.

"I have no plans for a digital version," King told the Wall Street Journal.

"Maybe at some point, but in the meantime, let people stir their sticks and go to an actual bookstore rather than a digital one."

Ha! Fat chance I'll be doing THAT. You can take the stick, stir it, and shove it. And even if I did buckle to this kind of intimidation from an author, we only have one brick and mortar bookstore left around here and it's in a tourist section of town which means I would have to pay ten dollars to park just to buy King's book in print version. If I drove to a mall, which I don't have time to do, it would cost me another ten dollars in gas just to read King's print book.

I think I'll stick with J. A. Konrath's digital books for now and pass on Stephen King's new book until he releases it in digital. What he's failing to realize is that he may be able to intimidate readers this way in the mainstream to sell enough books right now. A lot of people haven't made the complete switch to digital books. But he won't be able to intimidate readers like me who have switched to digital books with this tactic, not now...or in the future.

Those of us who read digital only do not screw around.

You can read more here, and here.


Thomaidha said...

Lovely post and one that requires so thought.

I'm one of those readers that as long as I remember myself books have always been part of my life. When I was little I used to spend hours in a book-store picking up the perfect book, but then again, back then and in my country (Albania) I only got to have a book twice a year, my birthday and New Year. Not much money to spend and if we wanted to read it was the library and loaning books, and of course trading with each other.

Then Greece became my country and things rapidly started to change. More money for once and I could use my student status to have discounts and my literary teacher was always more than happy to give me all sorts of books. Happy years.

So I was the reader that I would recognise a book was near me even if I was blind simply by the smell. There is something to be said about them.

But things always change and I'm not only talking about technology either. It is common knowledge that every country worldwide is having economic problems. It is common knowledge that people are struggling. At this point you can by two or even three novels in ebook format using the money book-stores charge you for one, at least this is the deal here. If I pick a book by a non-Greek author then I have to pay for the translation as well and you can imagine I'm not very happy about that either.
So bottom end is, as much as I'd love to have my hands on a paperback at times I simply can't afford it and the question that arises is: Has Mr. King thought about this fact? No matter his reasons for taking such a decision, in the end that is simply inconsiderate.

ryan field said...

The money factor is a big thing here, too. There are also physical issues, like my mom can't see well and can only read on her iPad. So e-books have allowed her to continue to read.

I think it's a selfish move, and also a publicity move. What he did is take away our choices. And when you take away our choices you turn your back on a large group of people.