I noticed the other day that another author has recently brought out a novel using the author name, Jenna Grey. I wish her well with her book, but I was rather dismayed to see that it was displayed on the page with all of my work, making it look as if it was one of mine. As I bring out books quite frequently, anyone looking at that page would automatically think that it was my latest, only to be disappointed when they saw it was what appears to be a young adult book, and really nothing like the books I write. I’ve already had people asking me why I’ve started writing young adult books and to please go back to writing dark fantasy!
I’ve contacted Amazon and asked them if they would get in touch with the author and suggest that she put a middle initial in or spell her surname the American way, to avoid confusion. I’ve used the name for several years, and readers that enjoy my books know me by that name, so I really can’t change it now. Honestly, I don’t see why I should change my name; that’s not me being precious and stamping my little foot in a fit of pique – I’ve worked so hard over the last few years to get a readership and have put eighteen books and something over a million and a half words up online. I think I’ve earnt the right to use the name Jenna Grey.
Amazon got back to me and said exactly what I expected them to say: Hard cheese, you’ll have to change your name, any author can use any name they want on their site. Fair enough if the two authors are writing in different genres and there’s no chance of a reader buying a book under the impression that it’s written by someone else. The other Jenna’s book has a similar style cover, similar text and the title could easily be mistaken for one of mine. There is really no way of knowing that it’s not one of my books until you start reading and realise that it’s a young adult book and that the style is different. By then you might well have already bought it.
Not only that but when you click on the ‘Author’ link beneath the title of the other Jenna’s book it takes you to a page displaying all of MY books, making it look as if she wrote them all!
I contacted Amazon again pointing this out and they came back with the same reply. Sorry, she can call herself what she likes and if people buy her book thinking that it’s yours hard luck. Surely though, Amazon has a responsibility not to mislead customers?
To begin with Amazon shouldn’t allow an author to take the same name as another author if it’s likely to cause confusion, but inform them that it has already been taken when they publish the book. They certainly shouldn’t put a link on the page of one author linking to the books of another author with the same name, making it appear that they are one and the same person.
I’m going to try and contact the other Jenna and sort this out, because I don’t want her to start getting complaints, returns and bad reviews because people buy her book thinking it’s one of mine. I’m also going to put the Egyptian eye symbol on the front of all of my covers, with a note inside the book and on the book page pointing out that unless the book bears the logo, then the book isn’t one of mine. It’s going to be a hell of a lot of work and I’ll have to republish all of my books, but it seems the only sensible thing to do at the moment.
In the meantime, Worst Fears, by Jenna Grey, isn’t one of mine!