I was on Amazon the other day looking up a book by Stephen King when I came across a book that I had never heard of. It was titled “Awaken.” It was a book of short stories. What really got my attention was that the book had only a 2 star rating. What’s more 69% of the star ratings were for 1 (one) star. I couldn’t believe it. Something was wrong. Had I accidently slipped into an alternate universe? I wondered why it had been rated so low so I looked for the reviews. It only took me reading a couple of reviews to realize what was happening.
This was not the Stephen King of “The stand, It, Cujo” and numerous other blockbusters. Now if this is the author’s real name I think he should use it, but it seems to me he is making no effort to distinguish himself from the great author Stephen King except for a small note under editorial reviews that is easy to overlook that says: Please note: if you are looking for books by Stephen King, bestselling author of Doctor Sleep and the Shinning please visit his author page. The word “author page” is in blue so one can click on it. This note in itself is misleading. One could assume that the publisher was merely pointing you to his author page.
Could it be that this author of “Awaken” and other subpar books seriously thought people were buying his books for what they were and not confusing him with bestselling author Stephen King? Let’s check out that hypothesis.
Here are a few details:
Awaken. RATING: 2.0. REVIEWS: 103. PUBLISHED: 01/07/2016. PRICE: $6.99
Messiah. RATING: 1.0. REVIEWS: 7 PUBLISHED: 04/10/2016. PRICE: $0.99
Descendants. Rating: 2.3. REVIEWS 90 PUBLISHED: 01/07/2016. PRICE: $6.99
(The note referring to bestselling author Stephen King’s author page was more prominent, but still nothing saying that this author is not that bestselling author)
Beast Control. RATING: 2.4. REVIEWS 63. PUBLISHED: 05/08/2015. PRICE: $4.99
Redstone. RATING: 2.3. REVIEWS: 81. PUBLISHED: 12/12/2014 PRICE: $4.99
Blood rituals. RATING: 2.5. REVIEWS: 96. PUBLISHED: 12/12/2014. PRICE: $4.99
Could this author really believe that he could get all these reviews without people confusing him with the bestselling author – bad reviews at that – and still move up on Amazon’s bestseller’s list? I can’t believe that. I think that he just couldn’t stand up on his own merits.
This is an insult to authors (such as myself) who struggle to make a good book that people want to read and then have to go to the arduous task of promoting it. I’m envious of just getting that many reviews in such a short period of time. And what about the prices? If I could sell a book with a 2.0 rating for nearly seven dollars I wouldn’t get so upset with a bad review. I’m not the greatest writer, but I’m always striving to be better. It irritates me when someone can move up so quickly by riding on someone else’s accomplishments.
I guess there’s only one thing I can do. Tomorrow I go to the courthouse and see how much it costs to change my name to Dean Koontz.