Stephen King Scammers On Amazon

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DMT

Active Member
Jul 13, 2015
27
128
52
California
About Crossroads, an Amazon customer review:

"THIS IS NOT BY THE STEPHEN KING YOU THINK YOU KNOW
ByJoanneR "Joanne R"on March 9, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition
This book is by a completely different author who happens to have the same name. I bought it and was shocked when I realized that. I contacted Amazon and they refunded my money right away and took this dreck out of my digital content. DO NOT BE FOOLED LIKE I WAS!!! What's really messed up is that if you click the name under the title of this book, it WILL bring you to a list of "our" Stephen King's books (The Stand, It, Carrie, Duma Key, Pet Sematary, the list is almost endless). But this author of "Crossroads" is not the same guy."

So when you click on the Stephen King name under the same book, the imposter's book, it takes you back to a list of Stephen King's work, which can also mislead people. There's also the fact that this set of books has been on Amazon since March 2014. So apparently Amazon doesn't care about fixing this problem. This review was written a year ago.

The reviewer also said that the author happens to have the same name. I don't think so. Amazon doesn't require ID verification when self-publishing a book on Amazon. I know, because I publish there. It's so obviously a ruse.
 

Moderator

Ms. Mod
Administrator
Jul 10, 2006
52,243
157,324
Maine
I wonder what made Stephen King decide to oust that one, of all the books he has. Strange. Feels like a "Rage" situation.
I don't think he had anything to do with the decision to have it or not have it be in e-book format, but I don't recall that it was ever available (again, legally) to begin with. I can't imagine any reason why he would not permit it to be released in that format.
 

DMT

Active Member
Jul 13, 2015
27
128
52
California
I don't think he had anything to do with the decision to have it or not have it be in e-book format, but I don't recall that it was ever available (again, legally) to begin with. I can't imagine any reason why he would not permit it to be released in that format.
It seems strange that every single book is available in digital format except Christine. How could that have happened?
 

Walter Oobleck

keeps coming back...or going, and going, and going
Mar 6, 2013
11,749
34,805
Bought a "Dan Koontz" book this once...something about an IP or idiot program or...something. Sheesh...I have a shelf full of Dean Koontz stories, you'd think I'd know better. Probably in a hurry, saw the "Koontz" name, only half-grassed looked at the first name. Was an okay story, worth a read, so it wasn't a total loss. Isn't there a politician by the same name...or is his name Stephen? From...New York?

Have you heard about the Christine sequel yet? :)
 

Narvic

Well-Known Member
Oct 7, 2013
1,417
6,245
Chicago
Yes, I brought it to his attention but we've done as much as we can from this end and now it's up to Amazon to change their policies. It's not something he's going to push harder than he already has.
I bought one of those books myself...thankfully it wasn't much money and I have marked up to a lesson learned. I always double check to make sure I am buying from the right author now. I realize there's little that can be done when this man has the same name. Would have been nice however, if Amazon had asked him if he wouldn't mind using his middle initial or something! ;-D
 

blunthead

Well-Known Member
Aug 2, 2006
80,755
195,461
Atlanta GA
Bought a "Dan Koontz" book this once...something about an IP or idiot program or...something. Sheesh...I have a shelf full of Dean Koontz stories, you'd think I'd know better. Probably in a hurry, saw the "Koontz" name, only half-grassed looked at the first name. Was an okay story, worth a read, so it wasn't a total loss. Isn't there a politician by the same name...or is his name Stephen? From...New York?

Have you heard about the Christine sequel yet? :)
There's a novelist named Dean Coonts, too.
 

Neesy

#1 fan (Annie Wilkes cousin) 1st cousin Mom's side
May 24, 2012
61,289
239,271
Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada
taken from amazon.com, a customer's review:

While I love all things Stephen King, I feel totally taken advantage of in this instance. I kept thinking, I think I've read this before, so I checked the publication date. It says 9/2014. Yeah, maybe for this stand alone story but I had already read it in an earlier collection of short stories. King is worth re-reading in a lot of instances (I couldn't tell you how many times I've read The Stand), however, I prefer to make my own choice to do so, not be manipulated into thinking I'm purchasing a new short story, book, etc. Mr. King doesn't need the money, amazon.com doesn't need to do this to sell even more than they already do of anything, and I don't need the aggravation!!!

WARNING: This "book" is actually 2 stories from King's short story collection, Full Dark, No Stars, which I had previously purchased at full price. (And, which I would rate 4 to 5 stars.) Call me stupid for failing to download a sample first.

Paying $4.99 is a ripoff when you can get the larger collection for $8.99. I'm mad at myself, but I'm angrier at Stephen King, Scribner Publishing, and Amazon, as I feel that this is just a way for all of them to trick unwitting fans into buying books they've already purchased and/or read by presenting those works, or at least portions of them, in deceptive repackaging. I would have rated this Zero Stars, if possible.

Not right, not fair, and shame on you, Stephen King, Scribner Publishing, and Amazon!!

The story A GOOD MARRIAGE is featured in FULL DARK, NO STARS.
Not right, not fair, and shame on you, Stephen King, Scribner Publishing, and Amazon!!

This review is from someone who is mad at THEMSELVES for not paying attention or for losing a bit of their memory and who is then taking it out on everyone else, rather than laying the blame on their own faulty recollection. Meh (Caveat emptor).
 

Neesy

#1 fan (Annie Wilkes cousin) 1st cousin Mom's side
May 24, 2012
61,289
239,271
Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada
About Crossroads, an Amazon customer review:

"THIS IS NOT BY THE STEPHEN KING YOU THINK YOU KNOW
ByJoanneR "Joanne R"on March 9, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition
This book is by a completely different author who happens to have the same name. I bought it and was shocked when I realized that. I contacted Amazon and they refunded my money right away and took this dreck out of my digital content. DO NOT BE FOOLED LIKE I WAS!!! What's really messed up is that if you click the name under the title of this book, it WILL bring you to a list of "our" Stephen King's books (The Stand, It, Carrie, Duma Key, Pet Sematary, the list is almost endless). But this author of "Crossroads" is not the same guy."

So when you click on the Stephen King name under the same book, the imposter's book, it takes you back to a list of Stephen King's work, which can also mislead people. There's also the fact that this set of books has been on Amazon since March 2014. So apparently Amazon doesn't care about fixing this problem. This review was written a year ago.

The reviewer also said that the author happens to have the same name. I don't think so. Amazon doesn't require ID verification when self-publishing a book on Amazon. I know, because I publish there. It's so obviously a ruse.
a list of "our" Stephen King's books

One of us, one of us (they start to chant)

Hey - is this from that movie "Freaks"?
 

Mr Nobody

Well-Known Member
Jul 9, 2008
3,306
9,050
Walsall, England
I saw these books by the other Stephen King, too. Gave me an initial "You wot, mate?" moment since I'd never heard of them either as already in print or upcoming releases. I checked a couple of reviews and got the idea pretty quickly. The surprising thing was that these things were returned way ahead of actual SK books that had better ratings, earlier release dates, (presumably) far greater sales, and so on.
I was also surprised that Amazon hadn't 'advised' this other guy to change the spelling of his name or insert an initial as a differentiator, not least because it was on the .co.uk site and I always had the idea that not including one in such events was a breach of UK law (in the same way that David Tennant had to change his name to Tennant from McDonald due to another actor already being registered/active with that name, and The Charlatans had to add (UK) to their name to avoid confusion with an American band of the same name - see also The Chemical Brothers (iirc they had to change their name from The Dust Brothers since it was already taken)).
As for caveat emptor...yes. But it shouldn't really come down to that. There should be something within the system and/or legal framework to place a burden of clarity upon the author. In this case, an alteration to whatever initial (just pick one if one doesn't actually apply) would suffice - and since this other Stephen King is the newcomer, he gets to make the change.
 

Neesy

#1 fan (Annie Wilkes cousin) 1st cousin Mom's side
May 24, 2012
61,289
239,271
Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada
I saw these books by the other Stephen King, too. Gave me an initial "You wot, mate?" moment since I'd never heard of them either as already in print or upcoming releases. I checked a couple of reviews and got the idea pretty quickly. The surprising thing was that these things were returned way ahead of actual SK books that had better ratings, earlier release dates, (presumably) far greater sales, and so on.
I was also surprised that Amazon hadn't 'advised' this other guy to change the spelling of his name or insert an initial as a differentiator, not least because it was on the .co.uk site and I always had the idea that not including one in such events was a breach of UK law (in the same way that David Tennant had to change his name to Tennant from McDonald due to another actor already being registered/active with that name, and The Charlatans had to add (UK) to their name to avoid confusion with an American band of the same name - see also The Chemical Brothers (iirc they had to change their name from The Dust Brothers since it was already taken)).
As for caveat emptor...yes. But it shouldn't really come down to that. There should be something within the system and/or legal framework to place a burden of clarity upon the author. In this case, an alteration to whatever initial (just pick one if one doesn't actually apply) would suffice - and since this other Stephen King is the newcomer, he gets to make the change.
Since I have never ordered a book on-line I do not know how obvious it is, whether something is legitimate King or someone who just sounds like King.

I just think maybe people should delve a bit deeper, read reviews etc. in other words, research their choice before going ahead to make that purchase.
 

Ragan

Free-Zone Committee Reject
Aug 3, 2011
620
963
Idaho
I noticed these books the other day, and I think I posted about it. Who knows what I post online anymore. I am far from a newcomer to Sai King's work but I still got curious, especially since the real Stephen King has branched into writing other things like his short book on guns.

I am of the mind that Amazon knows. My reasoning is simple enough. If it wasn't the real SK, they would have found a way to make this known to a customer. It's not rocket science. Also, there have been a number of occasions in which I see that they are advertising a work by Stephen King, and a few customers have complained that they touted this imposter's work as "from all time bestseller", though I have not seen this. Something else I have noticed are the five stars ratings these imposters' books get, with reviews like "King's best". I have seen these. Although, to Amazon's credit they often remove these comments or the comments are deleted by the reviewers themselves, probably after they've already derived some financial advantage and people have bought their books. It's a very big problem.
Of course they know. They have a disclaimer buried under editorial reviews. It's not easy to spot. They should put a note on the author's name. The fake SKs came up alongside and before other Stephen King eBooks.

From the reviews, not only are they not the real SK, but they are very poor quality, and I have to wonder about the legal issues here. Having low-quality writing isn't a trademark of Stephen King, but having his name and reputation tied to someone's mistakes seems like an issue.

The reviewer also said that the author happens to have the same name. I don't think so. Amazon doesn't require ID verification when self-publishing a book on Amazon. I know, because I publish there. It's so obviously a ruse.
Whether or not it is the author's name, and we can't know if that is the true author's name unless he whips out his driver's license or such, it is entirely impossible that the author was not aware of the name of possibly the most famous writer of the last 40 years. It has been impossible during that time to not see a commercial, movie poster, or supermarket checkout lane and never see the name Stephen King. Especially with these pseudo-Kings publishing fantasy and horror stories. They knew the name was a free ticket to book sales, whether it was their name or not. If they had any decency and the author's real name happened to be Stephen King, he should be writing at Stephen J. King or something. Not only because of courtesy and decency to the real author, but so that his own work could actually stand on its own. This writer doesn't want that. Doesn't want to be known for their writing. They are content to just gather sales on someone else's reputation. It is pathetic.