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Old 11-10-2009, 12:43 PM   #1
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Stephen King on GMA

Doesn't get into why he is withholding his ebook (1-track mind, much?)

http://abcnews.go.com/GMA/
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Old 11-10-2009, 12:48 PM   #2
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It could be a publisher decision as to why the ebook was withheld.
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Old 11-10-2009, 01:42 PM   #3
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That would mean it's a Stephen King decision. If he tells his publisher he wants people on the roof doing the chicken dance, they'd be doing it. If he tells them he wants the e-book released on the same date, they'd do that too.
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Old 11-10-2009, 01:56 PM   #4
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Not always. King isn't God. Despite being as big as he is, he still has limitations. Plus if it wasn't that big of a deal for King, do you think he'd fight for it? It could be the publisher wanted it, and he didn't care.
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Old 11-10-2009, 04:00 PM   #5
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That would mean it's a Stephen King decision. If he tells his publisher he wants people on the roof doing the chicken dance, they'd be doing it. If he tells them he wants the e-book released on the same date, they'd do that too.
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Old 11-10-2009, 04:13 PM   #6
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That would mean it's a Stephen King decision. If he tells his publisher he wants people on the roof doing the chicken dance, they'd be doing it. If he tells them he wants the e-book released on the same date, they'd do that too.
I don't think so. Publishers have a whole different mindset, and sometimes I think they are actually aliens. Publishers don't tell authors ANYTHING, and they couch their contracts in such convoluted legalese that most authors give up understanding it and just sign it. Then they're left with knowing almost nothing about what's actually IN the contract they signed.

Stephen King is no different here - sure, he makes them tons of money, but he still probably gets no say in their decisions.
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Old 11-10-2009, 05:59 PM   #7
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I respect those opinions but still disagree. If your theories are true, why wouldn't King publicly denounce the decision? What motive would he have to grin and bear it?

Anyway, even if publishers rule with an iron fist, it seems like it won't be for much longer. As Mark Coker wrote:

"The power center in publishing will shift from publisher to author, and the traditional line between the two will continue to blur. Authors will become their own publishers. Commercial publishers will become service providers.

Commercially successful authors will have greater leverage to negotiate higher royalties and advances. They may also demand to retain digital rights, since the means of ebook distribution are now available to any author at no cost.

Some commercially successful authors will go indie. It's only a matter of time before New York Times best-selling authors, including those on the level of Stephen King, Dan Brown, James Patterson, and J.K. Rowling, realize they can self-publish their next book. Such a prospect should chill the spine of any publisher whose business is based on big hits."

I don't believe that The Publisher would risk alienating King over an issue like this. Not when authors may start decoupling digital rights from written works. Coker said in an interview:

"A few weeks ago I spoke with one successful author who was considering selling print rights for his next book to a large publisher, because the publisher can get him great placement at the front of bookstores. However, he’s considering retaining digital rights for himself since he can distribute through Smashwords and retain 85 percent of the net for himself. Whether publishers will allow such a decoupling remains to be seen."
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Old 11-10-2009, 06:03 PM   #8
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It could be a publisher decision as to why the ebook was withheld.
According to an interview with King I linked to a while back in another thread it was a joint author/publisher decision.
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Old 11-10-2009, 07:01 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jament View Post
I respect those opinions but still disagree. If your theories are true, why wouldn't King publicly denounce the decision? What motive would he have to grin and bear it?

Anyway, even if publishers rule with an iron fist, it seems like it won't be for much longer. As Mark Coker wrote:

"The power center in publishing will shift from publisher to author, and the traditional line between the two will continue to blur. Authors will become their own publishers. Commercial publishers will become service providers.

Commercially successful authors will have greater leverage to negotiate higher royalties and advances. They may also demand to retain digital rights, since the means of ebook distribution are now available to any author at no cost.

Some commercially successful authors will go indie. It's only a matter of time before New York Times best-selling authors, including those on the level of Stephen King, Dan Brown, James Patterson, and J.K. Rowling, realize they can self-publish their next book. Such a prospect should chill the spine of any publisher whose business is based on big hits."

I don't believe that The Publisher would risk alienating King over an issue like this. Not when authors may start decoupling digital rights from written works. Coker said in an interview:

"A few weeks ago I spoke with one successful author who was considering selling print rights for his next book to a large publisher, because the publisher can get him great placement at the front of bookstores. However, he’s considering retaining digital rights for himself since he can distribute through Smashwords and retain 85 percent of the net for himself. Whether publishers will allow such a decoupling remains to be seen."
You have some very good points. However, I submit these thoughts: While Stephen King is big-name enough to go anywhere he wants with his book rights (depending on his contract length), he may have other reasons for not denouncing this boneheaded (in my opinion) decision from his publishing house.

Also, the decoupling of ebook rights from other rights is already receiving a setback from some publishers. I talked to Beth Groundwater about this very issue, and was informed that (in her agent's opinion) it isn't a smart idea, because some publishers want "the whole enchilada" with rights (ebook, audio, large print, etc.) and will not pick up an author if part of those rights already belongs to someone else or if the author wants to retain them. Beth isn't a big name, though, so the rules may be different for authors who are.
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Old 11-10-2009, 07:27 PM   #10
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I respect those opinions but still disagree. If your theories are true, why wouldn't King publicly denounce the decision? What motive would he have to grin and bear it?
What incentive does he have? If he has no strong opinion either way, it just makes sense that he would simply go with the flow.
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Old 11-12-2009, 06:47 AM   #11
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There's another way of looking at this. Right now, a lot of publishers are still reeling from the effects of the economic crash in both Europe and the States. They're tightening their belts when they can. They also depend hugely on major bookstores, both online (BN, Amazon) and brick (BN again, Borders, etc) to shift major quantities of books. A S. King book is a big seller; it's going to shift units, as well as bring people into their stores. The way the brick and mortar retailers see it, ebook sales will cannibalize their sales of physical books, and that might make them want to put pressure on King's publishers to focus on the physical book, especially on the run-up to Christmas. These are complex economic relationships.

Mind you, I personally think they're a bit mental to restrict the ebook sales, since even though it's a rapidly growing market it still represents only a tiny, tiny fraction of the whole, and surely isn't likely to cannibalise that many sales, if any. But if you look at it in terms of physical sales and the economic relations between the retailers and the publishers in a time when the economy is flatlining, you can get an inkling of the thinking behind it.
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Old 11-12-2009, 10:23 AM   #12
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Ebooks MADE the sell to me on this last SK novel. I have never read any of his books (not my genre) so I would of never given it a second look at a bookstore. When I saw the preorder price at Amazon and read the clip it sounded interesting so I pre-ordered it.

Again, that was extra coin in everyone's pocket that they would not of had if not for the fact I own a kindle.
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