I think we’re on the verge of a new publishing trend. I think we’re going to see ebooks starting to more frequently get a delayed release.
Stephen King just announced his new book Joyland would be released as paperback first. The press release sports the following text: “That way fans will have to buy ‘the actual book’.” While this probably was more about the fact that he wants people to have the experience of a physical book in their hand, it says a lot when a big time author, especially one who championed the ebook movement, decides to forego ebook publishing. And he’s not the only one.
The Wheel of Time is a very popular fantasy series. A Memory of Light, the final book of the fourteen-book epic concluded on January 8th. It was a print only release. The ebook version will not be released until April 9th, 2013. That’s right. Ebook fans will need to wait three whole months to read the conclusion of the loved franchise. The Wheel of Time is published by TOR, a company that announced it was going DRM-free beginning July 20, 2012.
It isn’t hard to imagine that the fact that the book could be widely distributed in a digital format played a part in the ebook delay. Stephen King’s books have never known DRM freedom, but being one of the most popular authors in the industry probably lends itself to pretty high priority on the ‘books to pirate’ scale.
So what say you? Does King’s decision disappoint you? Or will it put more paper books on your shelf?
Does TOR’s decision to delay the ebook make sense to you given the lack of DRM protection?