February 24, 2014
Even the King Gets Caught in the New Publishing Norm
Stephen King, the undisputed “king” of active American novelists, is the latest author to find himself swept into the “GIVE IT TO ME NOW” world of modern publishing. Authors with fewer bestsellers to their name have been feeling the pressure for a few years now.
In the salad days of the 1990s, a popular author could get away with publishing a book just about every year. Sometimes, every few years was good enough to keep their fans happy. Today however, fans are asking for more to keep themselves content. While there could be several different reasons for this – and every publisher, author, and fan has their own favorite boogeyman – this fact won’t change even if the motivation does: People want more to read … and they want it faster.
Because of this, it was not surprising to learn that even a name as huge as King would announce that he would be releasing two books this year. Ronn Torossian, CEO of 5WPR, offers 3 reasons why this move will be good for King.
#1 – Even if King doesn’t need to, he is meeting expectations
There is no doubt that King could get by on what he has already written, or just write at the pace to which he has been accustomed since CARRIE came out in the 1970s. But he, more than just about anyone, understands the market and has chosen to respond to it.
#2 – The other book allows him to market to new readers
One of King’s two books is a traditional gumshoe detective novel, a first for King. King’s forays into “genre” fiction have been few and far between. This is an opportunity to branch out.
#3 – It keeps his name out there
King is definitely a household name, but today’s households have gotten busier and more forgetful. Shelf life just isn’t what it once was. If you want to stay relevant, you have to keep your name in the mix. Even if you are one of the most successful authors of all time.