Stephen King opts to only offer novel in book form

Stephen King In 2000, author King sold his horror story The Plant in instalments online

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Author Stephen King will initially release his forthcoming novel Joyland in paper form only, despite being an early pioneer of the e-book market.

The Carrie author became the first best-selling writer to release his work exclusively over the internet in 2000.

His latest horror story, Joyland, is due out in June.

"I loved the paperbacks I grew up with as a kid, and for that reason, we're going to hold off on e-publishing this one for the time being," said King.

The novel is set in and around an amusement park in 1973, and follows a college student confronting "the legacy of a vicious murder".

"Joyland will be coming out in paperback, and folks who want to read it will have to buy the actual book," King added

Shining sequel

King, a prolific author with a string of bestsellers to his name, released Riding the Bullet online in 2000, declaring: "I'm curious to see what sort of response there is and whether or not this is the future".

But the publishers' websites, which were offering the novel for $2.50, crashed due to high demand - and within hours the book was being offered around the web for free.

He went on to release thriller The Plant - selling instalments directly from his own website - on the understanding that he would quit the novel if readers failed to pay up. He completed six chapters.

He later revealed that he made a profit of more than £300,000, yet he brought the experiment to a halt, claiming: "Book-readers don't regard electronic books as real books."

King's novels include Misery, The Shawshank Redemption and The Shining, all of which have been adapted into acclaimed films.

Next year will see the release of a sequel to The Shining - Doctor Sleep, following the adult Danny Torrance, still traumatised after his childhood experiences in the Overlook Hotel.

The book is intended to be published in both electronic form and paper form.

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