Monday, February 9, 2009

Is Amazon selling King... Or, Is King Selling Amazon?

Now, I'm no technophobe. I use computers extensively. I blog, Twitter, Facebook, Youtube, you name it. I love the newest gadgets that make life easier (or just more fun).

Having said that, I'm more than a bit upset today about the Kindle 2 from Amazon. OK, let me qualify that a little. I'm upset with Stephen King and the novella he wrote for the Kindle 2.

Today, Amazon announced their new Kindle 2, and at the press conference was Stephen King, who wrote a novella that is exclusively available for owners of the Kindle. Don't get me wrong, I don't begrudge the fact that King wrote a story that was an exclusive ebook. He's done this before and I was excited about reading it. I'm slightly more perturbed about the fact that he wrote it for a ebook that uses an exclusive format, but even that doesn't cut to the heart of the matter.

What really irks me is the fact that the story revolves around a guy who owns a Kindle. It's a product placement story. Hey, Steve, why don't you just head to Madison Avenue and start writing ad copy? A short story about a man who drinks Coca-Cola exclusively to keep the demons away? A novella about a woman who literally can't live without her Manolo Blahnik shoes? An entire novel about a guy who's fallen in love with his John Deere tractor and it loves him back?

For a man who supposedly retired in 2002, he sure is putting out a lot of stuff. And unfortunately, for a guy whose books I used to wait for impatiently, it seems like he's run out of fresh ideas. For example, I give you "Cell." But has the well run so dry that he has to write marketing materials, disguised as stories for Amazon's Kindle?

Well, that's it for me. It was a nice run, Steve, but I'm done. I've got too many other worthy things to read than to read extended advertisements disguised as fiction- ads that I have to pay to read, no less. Good luck in retirement, but I will no longer be contributing to your 401(k).