Stephen King has always been known for writing big bricks of novels. Some people complain about King being too wordy. They don't like the long build ups in his stories. But for many of his fans (myself included) its King's wordiness and his ability to produce five hundred page books that we can get utterly and completely lost in, that make us his fans.
Lately King has been getting in on the eBook market. His recent books UR and Mile 81 are both short stories for the 'cheap buys' Kindle market. Both books are priced at $2.99, relatively cheap for a big author. However, people expect King to produce (and by that I'm talking about volume!) and both of these books are single short stories.
When many Kindle buyers are used to getting short story collections or full novels between $2.99 and $0.99, they simply feel ripped off at paying the top of those prices for a single short story.
Mile 81 currently has 131 reviews averaging 3 stars but the reason for most of the bad reviews isn't because the story is bad, it's simply that people are expecting MORE! They're used to paying $2.99 for a full novel and just getting one short story makes them feel like they've been short changed.
I've been recently asked by another author about the process of e-publishing. She had a short story she wanted to put out. What advice did I give her? I told her to hang onto that story and write some more. No different from the problem Stephen King is having at the moment, she is better off producing something of substance so the readers who try her book out will feel they've got enough for their money.
A good friend of mine recently said to me, 'You only get one chance with readers.' That phrase stuck with me and it's true. A reader who takes a chance on a new author may not always like what they read, but if they do don't let them not want to buy another book simply because they felt they didn't get their money's worth.
My own collection of short stories, Where the Dead Live (please click the link to take you through to the Amazon page), contains six stories and is priced at $0.99. My novel, Alone, is also priced at $0.99. Will everyone like my work? No, of course not, but then I've always believed if everyone likes your work, you're doing something wrong! What I do hope is that they feel they're getting enough content for their cash.
I understand King's eagerness to cash in on the Kindle market, but for someone who has so much money anyway, is there really any need?