Pirated eBook Copies of Stephen King’s ‘Joyland’ Circulate

We have learned that pirated eBooks copies of Stephen King‘s print-only Joyland are circulating online.

UPDATE: Hard Case Crime publisher Charles Ardai sent us this statement:

In the end you have to rely on the good behavior of the vast majority of the audience – I see no reason to think that pirates represent more than a small fraction of all consumers.  That doesn’t mean we don’t care about piracy – we do.  But it’s just one of the many punches you have to learn to roll with in the rough-and-tumble world of modern publishing.

Back in May 2012, King decided that his Hard Case Crime book would not have a digital edition. He explained that decision a statement:

I love crime, I love mysteries, and I love ghosts. That combo made Hard Case Crime the perfect venue for this book, which is one of my favorites. I also 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. Joyland will be coming out in paperback, and folks who want to read it will have to buy the actual book.

J.K. Rowling‘s beloved Harry Potter series was unavailable in digital editions as well. Pirated eBooks of that series circulated online as well.

For all the authors, publishers and readers who want to defend digital books against piracy, we’ve put together a simple five-step plan to discover and prevent eBook piracy.

Here is Ardai’s complete statement about the piracy:

We’ve seen dozens of websites over the past year purporting to offer pirated downloadable copies of JOYLAND, and so far they’ve all been frauds – if you try to download the file, you get malware or a virus instead.  But inevitably the book will eventually be pirated for real, just as every best-selling book and popular movie or TV show or piece of music is.  As a publisher, you try to prevent it or to stamp it out when you discover it, but it’s like the “war on drugs” – good luck.  Seize a boatload of heroin, and what does it get you?   There are more boats, there’s more heroin.

But all of that would be equally true regardless of Stephen King’s decision to release JOYLAND initially in printed-book form only.  Books that do have e-book editions get pirated, too, and I’m sure JOYLAND would have been pirated just as quickly either way.  There were pirated copies of HARRY POTTER before J.K. Rowling decided to release electronic editions and there were pirated versions after.

In the end you have to rely on the good behavior of the vast majority of the audience – I see no reason to think that pirates represent more than a small fraction of all consumers.  That doesn’t mean we don’t care about piracy – we do.  But it’s just one of the many punches you have to learn to roll with in the rough-and-tumble world of modern publishing.

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