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Whenever Stephen King releases a novel, readers line up to grab his latest book. But those looking to download the digital version of Joyland might never get the option.

King will not release Joyland as an e-book when it comes out on June 4, according to the Wall Street Journal.

King, an e-book pioneer, held on to the novel’s digital rights in hopes of spurring his fans to buy the print edition in bookstores. He said it is unclear when he will make the coming-of-age tale available digitally.

“I have no plans for a digital version,” Mr. King said. “Maybe at some point, but in the meantime, let people stir their sticks and go to an actual bookstore rather than a digital one.”

This seems like an interesting turn for King, who has been a proponent of e-books for several years. He has released several Kindle Singles, and in 2009, he joined Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos on stage to introduce the Kindle 2.

Joyland will be published through the independent Hard Case Crime, which previously released Colorado Kid (2005) by King.

It’s not expected that King will continue this trend when he releases more books. However, it will be interesting to see how authors follow in his path. Will more of them attempt to retain their digital rights in favor of giving booksellers a shot in the arm?

It’s an interesting precedent from an author who has been in favor of digital books up to this point.

 
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