Last year, Stephen King published a mystery novel called Joyland. Soon after, ebook sales for a book by Emily Schultz spiked.
This mystery’s solution is a simple one: Schultz published a novel, also called Joyland, back in 2006. King released his book as paperback-only when it was first released, to honor the pulp fiction that inspired his novel. Many unsuspecting customers on Amazon accidentally bought the ebook version of Schultz’s book instead of King’s.
Now the royalties are in, and Schultz is detailing her buying spree in a blog, “Spending the Stephen King Money.” It turns out, King doesn’t mind at all.
“I’m delighted for her, and I’m going to order her book,” King told EW.
In addition to posting photos of what she buys (the new St. Vincent album, a haircut for her husband), Schultz is trying to guess whether Stephen King would approve of each purchase. For example:
PURCHASE: The deductible on bumper repair.
NOTE: The cause of the damage is somewhat mysterious. We think it happened during garbage removal.
WOULD STEPHEN KING LIKE IT: Cars, mysterious garbagemen, feelings of vengeance—of course he would!
Some buyers of Schultz’s book were confused and gave it poor reviews on Amazon, which Schultz responded to individually in her online magazine, also called Joyland.
“I asked Amazon to change their search results to keep people from buying the wrong book but never heard back,” Schultz wrote on her blog. “Apparently there were a lot of confused readers as this week I got a—for me—big royalty check for those mistaken books. I’m not so upset anymore.”
“Those negative reviews on Amazon do really hurt, especially since they’re not so much for my work, or even Stephen King’s book, as they are for a wrong ‘product,'” Schultz told Melville House. “So this is my way of getting over that.”