If you follow Joyland Magazine, you know we’ve been taking “Stephen King’s Joyland” in stride. It’s just a book, we’re just a magazine, and the name Joyland predates both by years and in many incarnations. But our co-publisher Emily Schultz’s first small press novel from 2006 is also called Joyland and it’s receiving some very negative reviews from irate Stephen King fans on Amazon. Why would they be irate? King released his Joyland as a print-only edition. Schultz’s book is available in hardcover, softcover, and ebook. It was the ebook version that saw a sales spike this August for reasons that are easy to infer. As well, a “review” of Stephen King’s novel was being deceptively sold as the elusive ebook version in Amazon’s self-published marketplace.
Again, we could continue to take all this in stride: Schultz’s book is seven years old; forget it Jake, it’s the Internet. On the other hand, Schultz’s new novel The Blondes is coming out next fall from St. Martin’s-Thomas Dunne, and it seems unfair that her reputation is racking up undeserved negative feedback. Getting a bad review is part of the writing life—and you should never ever respond—but we firmly believe that a review should be for the correct book. So for your amusement, here are some Amazon reviewers who maybe posted too quickly on the wrong page, or were being malicious after an incorrect purchase.
Hi “jackarms.” Emily Schultz’s book is not some kind of Oulipo-project where the book is really just a review of itself. It’s a real book that was published in hardcover, reissued in softcover and made available as an ebook. We think you might be a victim of this.
Thank you, Sheila E Peebles. It’s hard to say no to a five star Amazon review but in all fairness, it’s difficult to tell if this one belongs to Stephen King or Emily Schultz, as you have described the plot of her novel. Maybe the two authors could split it?
This could be an honest opinion of Emily Schultz’s book but “Woman of the south” might not be telling the whole truth about her expectations. A click on her other reviews reveals a Stephen King fan.
We agree, who doesn’t hate those pretentious “ph” Stevens?
Schultz has joked that “rambling stream of consciousness mess” is her favorite misplaced review blurb as it could also describe her first novel.
In the end we have to ask, are these reviews for Emily Schultz’s book, a book by Stephen King, or a piece of Kindle spam? Thanks to Amazon’s capacity for complex inexactitude “Joyland” is becoming a kind of indivisible trinity of all the above.
Now, if only the royalties could be the same.