Stephen King steps in to save Maine paper's book reviews
NEW YORK, USA – When Stephen King's local newspaper, under financial pressure, announced it would cut regional book reviews, the horror author swooped in – and managed to save the section with just a few tweets.
The story began on Friday, January 11 when King shared that The Portland Press Herald, a prominent newspaper in his home state of Maine, would no longer publish locally-written reviews of books set in the northeasternmost US state.
"Tell the paper DON'T DO THIS," tweeted the 71-year-old author, a master of horror and fantasy known for such novels as Carrie and The Shining.
The Portland Press Herald/Maine Sunday Telegram will no longer publish local, freelance-written reviews of books about Maine, set in Maine, or written by Maine authors.— Stephen King (@StephenKing) January 11, 2019
Retweet this if you're from Maine (or even if you're not). Tell the paper DON'T DO THIS.
"Many of (the writers) depend on those reviews to buy bread and milk," he added.
More than 8,000 fans retweeted the message.
In response, the paper challenged King to help raise the funds needed to pay for the reviews – which cost "thousands" of "freelance dollars," according to executive editor Cliff Schechtman.
"If you can get 100 of your followers to buy digital subscriptions to the @PressHerald, we will reinstate the local book reviews immediately," tweeted the newspaper, which employs some 70 journalists but has fewer than 10,000 subscribers.
These are challenging times for newspapers. But here’s an offer: If you can get 100 of your followers to buy digital subscriptions to the @PressHerald, we will reinstate the local book reviews immediately. Use the promo code KING. Deal? https://t.co/5eoqjQ2psV— Portland Press Herald (@PressHerald) January 11, 2019
By Monday, that goal had been met: Schechtman told AFP almost 250 people had signed up, paying $15 for 12 weeks.
"Thanks to everybody who subscribed to the Press-Herald. You saved the day. There are countries where the arts are considered vital. Too bad this isn't one of them," said King.
"The financial pressures are no less, the industry is being hit by tremendous changes and pressures that are very difficult – but in this case it was a good end to this story," Schechtman said. – Rappler.com
In these changing times, courage and clarity become even more important.
Take discussions to the next level with Rappler PLUS — your platform for deeper insights, closer collaboration, and meaningful action.
Sign up today and access exclusive content, events, and workshops curated especially for those who crave clarity and collaboration in an intelligent, action-oriented community.
As a bonus, we’re also giving a free 1-year Booky Prime membership for the next 200 subscribers.
You can also support Rappler without a PLUS membership. Help us stay free and independent by making a donation: https://www.rappler.com/crowdfunding. Every contribution counts.