The dialogue about what value there is in holding off on offering books electronically until after they are published in hardcover (rather than having a simultaneous publication) continued this morning with a piece in the Wall Street Journal about Stephen King’s publisher keeping the e-book edition of his new novel Under the Dome back until Christmas Eve. Again, the thought here, one supported by the author himself, is that doing this will encourage more people to go into bookstores and buy the hard copy of the book, thus increasing bookstore traffic at a time when book sales are down.
My reaction is twofold: First, I am quite surprised that Mr. King, who has been a huge proponent of publishing books electronically is taking this stand. It seems diametrically opposite to what he has been saying (and doing) for so long.
Second, I still feel that the reader of electronic books is not the same as the reader of hard-copy books but, instead, is an additional reader. Selling the e-book at the same time as the hard copy book increases readers and sales, in my opinion.
I am more then aware that there are many who feel differently. What do you think?
If you can’t see behind the WSJ paywall, you can read about the issue, sans King quotes, in this AP article.