And the publishing price wars continue. The latest weapon: Stephen King.
After Amazon and Walmart.com both announced they'd be selling several presumably popular fall books (by the likes of Sarah Palin, Stephen King and John Grisham), Target.com also jumped on the bandwagon. All three are offering books by Palin, Grisham and King offer Palin's Going Rogue, Grisham's Ford County and King's Under the Dome for $9 or under, which has publishers fretting.
Now Scribner, reports the Associated Press, has announced that the digital version of King's 1,000-page-plus novel won't be released until Dec. 24 (the hardback comes out Nov. 10), in what appears to be an effort to keep digital sales from topping hardcover sales. (Going Rogue's digital release has also been delayed.) Not sure if this helps much; in the first week after the release of Dan Brown's The Lost Symbol, the AP reported that only 5 percent of sales, or 100,000 copies, were purchased digitally. So I guess Scribner is hedging its bets.
AP writes: "King, ironically, is a pioneer and champion of e-books. In 2000, his e-novella Riding
the Bullet' was initially offered for free and became an online sensation, downloaded so
many times that Internet sites offering the book were overwhelmed. In February 2009, when Amazon.com announced a new edition of its Kindle e-reader, King's novella Ur was offered exclusively through the device and incorporated the
Kindle into the narrative.