How Important Are Ebooks?

Joe Wikert has a blog post titled, "Can You Force a Customer to Buy Print Instead of E?"  

For some popular books, the idea has been that the ebook would follow the hardcover much the way a paperback does.   Wikert points out that Stephen King's JOYLAND will first appear in print only.  However, he notes concern that this approach could lend itself to piracy.  

Wikert writes:
I wonder how long it will take for someone to scan King's Joyland and post it on all the torrent sites. I'm not encouraging that, of course, but I do believe that you can reduce piracy if you offer your content at a reasonable price in all the popular formats. Although King's intent is to provide a reading experience from the old days I'm convinced it will only increase piracy of the title and cause him to complain that ebooks and ebook customers are evil.
Speaking of ebooks. . .

Do you use Scribd? It's a document sharing site that some colleges are looking to as a platform for publishing books.
I saw this interesting note in a recent article: In 2009, Simon & Schuster signed a deal to use Scribd as a potential Kindle competitor, offering excerpts and complete works from Stephen King and others. (HERE)
Check out the Los Angeles Times article from June 2009 (HERE)

Ya know, I really like books on good ole paper.  Hey, give me a scroll, I'm happy!  I remember King once saying he didn't like his word-processor because he felt like his words were under glass.  I like to be able to mark a book.  The words do feel more real in print.  But that doesn't change the fact that the e-book is so much easier!  They come to us quickly,  they're a lot cheaper and they allow us to have access to all kinds of tools inside the book itself -- like "search" and text to speech (something King, for reasons unknown to me, usually disables.) 


  1. The answer to the question of how long it will take someone to scan "Joyland" and post it as a torrent is probably something like this: less than a day.

    Odds are, though, that people who steal the book were probably never going to spend money on a copy -- be it physical or digital -- to begin with. Still, I'm not sure I understand King's decision to limit the potential audience for the book; at this point, it seems like a counterproductive move at best.

  2. I am surprised that King decided to do this.. being that he is one of the authors who pioneered ebooks. I love both formats of books and still read most books in physical print since that is mainly what the library has. We'll see if this makes a difference at all.