"Doctor Sleep" follows Danny Torrance -- the little psychic boy who survived the horrific events of "The Shining" -- as an adult working in a hospice facility.
King, 65, said he expects the majority of the reviews for his latest work will be comparisons to "The Shining," which is widely regarded as one of the scariest books ever written.
"You are faced with that comparison and that has got to make you nervous because there is a lot of water under the bridge," he told the BBC. "I'm a different man."
King said he thinks he has become a much better writer since writing "The Shining" at age 28.
"What a lot of people are saying is, 'Well, okay, I will probably read this book, but it cannot be as good as "The Shining."' But I am, obviously, an optimist and I want them to say when they get done with it, that it was as good. But what I really want them to say is that it is better than 'The Shining.'"
Published in 1977, "The Shining" is about a couple and their young son who spend the winter minding a closed, haunted hotel high up in the Colorado mountains. It was adapted by the late director Stanley Kubrick in 1980 as a film starring Jack Nicholson.
"Doctor Sleep" is due out Tuesday.
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