Stephen King’s IT From First Draft to First Edition: A Look at the Many Documents Produced Along the Way

Vincent Neyt

Stephen King’s horror epic IT was originally published in the USA in September 1986 as a beautiful hardback trade edition with artwork by Bob Giusti gracing the cover. Six years earlier, King “cranked up some rock ‘n’ roll” in his office, rolled a sheet of blue paper into his IBM Selectric typewriter, and wrote the novel’s opening sentence. In my lecture I will describe “how IT happened” during those six years. I will focus primarily on the many documents that were produced along the way in both the writing and the publication process: original typescript and manuscript pages, photocopies for proofreaders, correspondence, floppy disks, printouts, in-house publisher’s photocopies, photocopies for the sale of rights, unbound and bound page proofs, printer’s galleys, preliminary concept sketches for the artwork, point-of-sale promotional items, review copies, and so on. Most of these items are in King’s archive and in private collections, some, unfortunately, are unaccounted for and may be lost, or in a dark attic somewhere.

it stephen king novel  cover art