Word of Mouth
11:48 am
Thu July 10, 2014

A Kingly Confusion: How One Author Is 'Spending The Stephen King Money'

Credit ginnerobot via Flickr Creative Commons

There is an increasing number of books that share titles, a fact that might not confuse a person in a bookstore but can pose problems for online search algorithms. Word of Mouth intern Molly Donahue spoke with author Emily Schultz about a strange phenomenon she experienced this year. So what happens when two authors release two different books with the same title?

Credit Amazon.com

Basically, happy confusion. Emily Schultz’s book Joyland shares a title with a recent Stephen King release and it began appearing as the number two search result on Amazon.com when the title was searched. Stephen King’s book had not yet been released in e-book format, something that escaped some readers who immediately chose the first e-book titled Joyland – Schultz’s 8-year-old debut novel.

In addition to the title confusion, the bare-bones plot descriptions of the two novels might be easy to confuse as well – King’s novel takes place in a 1970s amusement park while Schultz’s is set in a 1980s arcade.

Those are two of the reasons Schultz thinks a situation like this might not arise often, despite the growing number of books that share the same, or similar, names. For instance, she doesn’t expect to be sharing profits with Joyce Carol Oates when her new novel The Blonds comes out – Oates’ novel is named Blonde, but the plots are totally different and it’s unlikely that the e-book confusion will result with surprise royalties for Schultz.

Still, it would be nice.

Schultz tracked how she spent “the Stephen King money” on a blog and it managed to catch the attention of Stephen King himself.

Here is the complete interview with Emily Schultz, author of Joyland and curator of Spending the Stephen King Money.

Interview with Emily Schultz, author of the 2006 novel Joyland.

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