Stephen King saves book review section in his local Maine newspaper after convincing 250 fans to buy subscriptions
- The Portland Press Herald reviews books written about the state of Maine
- But it announced it was cutting the section because it costs too much money
- King urged the paper to reconsider, so they challenged him to raise funds
- Within 72 hours King had signed up 250 people, and the section will now be kept
Stephen King has helped save a book review section in his local newspaper after convincing fans to subscribe.
The 71-year-old author – who has penned novels such as It and The Shining – spoke out after The Portland Press Herald announced it was axing its review section.
King argued the section, which features locally written reviews of stories about Maine, was a lifeline for many struggling writers.
Author Stephen King urged his 5.1million Twitter followers to subscribe to the Portland Press Herald, his local newspaper, after it threatened to stop publishing local book reviews
King – bestselling author of novels such as Carrie and It – warned that many struggling writers depend on good reviews in local papers to make ends meet
‘Tell the paper DON’T DO THIS,’ King tweeted to his 5million followers on Friday.
‘Many of (the writers) depend on those reviews to buy bread and milk.’
More than 8,000 fans retweeted the message, which drew a response from the paper’s executive editor Cliff Schechtman.
The message read: ‘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 Portland Press Herald, we will reinstate the local book reviews immediately.’
Within 24 hours, King had managed to persuade 71 people to subscribe to the paper, and by Monday the total had risen to 250.
The subscriptions run for 12 weeks, at a cost of $15.
Schechtman welcomed the news, but cautioned: ‘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.’
Within 72 hours of calling out the newspaper, King managed to get 250 people to subscribe to the newspaper, raising enough money to keep the book section going
King also responded, writing: ‘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. The paper thanked you guys.’
King, often described as the King of Horror, has sold more than 350million books including 58 novels, and hundreds of short stories.
Many of his books – such as Carrie, the Shawshank Redemption, Green Mile and Misery – have been adapted into films and plays.
He is worth an estimated $400million and lives in a Gothic-themed home in Bangor, Maine, with wife Tabitha Spruce and corgi Molly – who is nicknamed Thing of Evil.