Hard Case Crime Publisher Charles Ardai made this statement:
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.