Does Stephen King Hate Apple and Amazon?

When Stephen King's new book hits stores in two weeks, it will really only be hitting stores.

King has chosen to hold back on the digital distribution of Joyland, suggesting that his fans should head back into the bookstore.

This is naturally a departure for the famous horror author. King was at the forefront of digital delivery before it was cool. He was offering fans direct access to digital works before Amazon.com (NASDAQ: AMZN  ) , Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL  ) , and Barnes & Noble (NYSE: BKS  ) introduced the Kindle, iPad, and Nook, respectively.

In this video, longtime Fool contributor Rick Munarriz explains why King is taking a big gamble at a time when e-readers and tablets have their largest market penetration. 

Then again, it wouldn't be King if he weren't trying to scare somebody. 

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  • Report this Comment On May 22, 2013, at 10:58 AM, chillyfeez wrote:

    I do honestly think King is just conducting sort of a sociological/economic experiment with this move. It's no big deal to him if the book sells a million less copies than his last book, and holding back the e-book at initial release doesn't equate to refusal to create an e-book at all. Delaying the e-book is a profit bumping technique a few of the big publishers have been employing for years now - much like the standard nine months plus between hardcover and paperback release. I think what you're talking about is exactly what he wants to find out - will a move like this, for a book that is certain to be popular, actually drive more traffic to the bookstores, or will it drive more traffic to amazon? The one curveball we may see here would be a publisher-shared markdown at bookstores. This is a technique usually agreed upon between the bookstore company and the publisher when both become aware that there are excess copies of a title that may not sell at full price (think the 50% off table at the front of BN after Christmas, not to be confused with the clearance tables, which would be buried somewhere further back), but it's not unheard of for them to use this tactic for other reasons. If King really does want people to shop the bookstores, we may see Joyland debut at half off in stores in order to compete with the usually-lower online price.

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