Most decisions about ebook availability come down to disagreements with publishers or lawsuits. Novelist Stephen King is deciding to keep his upcoming novel Joyland away from the digital ream for a different reason: the aesthetics and nostalgia of the physical medium. The book — about a student who must face a murder while working at a carnival in 1973 — is being published by Hard Case Crime, a smaller imprint known for its stylistic throwbacks to the pulp novels of the 1940's. "I love crime, I love mysteries, and I love ghosts," King said in a statement. "I also loved the paperbacks I grew up with as a kid, and for that reason, we're going to hold off on e-publishing this one for the time being. Joyland will be coming out in paperback, and folks who want to read it will have to buy the actual book." King followed a similar strategy with his last collaboration with Hard Case, The Colorado Kid, which was physically published only as a paperback.
King himself has been a leading pioneer of ebooks in general, however. He initially entered the field way back in 2000 with Riding the Bullet, a novella that was published as an exclusively-digital title, available for computers and PDAs like the Palm V. Additional experiments such as The Plant followed, along with Ur, a book about an otherworldly e-reader that was a Kindle Store exclusive at first. While King isn't ruling out an eventual ebook release for Joyland, we must say there's something charming about an author opting out of digital distribution in order to create a certain experience for the reader — an experience we can most certainly appreciate. Joyland will be released in June of 2013.
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