Tuesday, December 27, 2005


A PBW by Any Other Name

1. I am not Richard Chizmar.
2. Richard Chizmar did not write my novel Endurance.
2a. He didn't edit it, either.
3. I have no idea who Richard Chizmar is.
4. Amazon.com is convinced otherwise.
5. This kind of idiocy makes concerned readers write to me. Repeatedly.
5a. Not to Amazon.com, or Richard Chizmar, but to me. The one who doesn't own the site, and has no freaking idea how Richard got listed as the author/editor/whatever.
6. Still, I have to do something about this. Readers have written. Richard might get hit with extra taxes.
7. I e-mail Amazon.com and politely ask them to correct the listing.
8. I get a return e-mail thanking me and asking me to provide more information.
8a. Hello, the brief and pointed explanation, the fact that I wrote the novel, and the sig block weren't enough?
9. I e-mail again and point out in words of two syllables or less #1-3 and 5, and the additional astounding fact that if they look at their own photo image on the page they will see that my name, not Richard Chizmar's, IS PRINTED ON THE BOOK COVER. Furthermore, Amazon.com will not find a single mention of Richard Chizmar in, on, near, or within the vicinity of this book except on Amazon.com.
10. Amazon.com does not respond, and the listing does not change. I repeat #7 and #9 five times respectively, with the same results.

So what do you think would work better as a nickname for my newest pseudonym, Richard, Rich, Rick or Ricardo?


  1. Anonymous12:10 AM

    This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  2. Anonymous12:24 AM

    Btw, the only comments I delete on this blog are SPAM, which SFI Marketing should not be posting here, hint, hint.

  3. Just in case you are curious, Rich Chizmar is the founder and publisher of Cemetery Dance Publications. How Amazon screwed this one up so badly is quite beyond me, however...

  4. You can't go wrong with a classic: "Dick".

    Also, I stopped by Amazon, and posted a correction to their "Suggestion Box" form, just in case it'll help. Maybe if enough people do it, you won't have to change your name to Dick...

  5. I just submitted an author correction too. Hope everyone used the same spelling ;-) Says it takes up to 5 days to implement.
    BTW, I just happen to be reading this book at the moment. Looking good.

  6. Anonymous7:07 AM

    I like Ricky, personally. Has that androgynous feel to it.

    B&N has my books listed by two different names, both mine, yet different. So someone looking for one book won't have any links to the other.

    Good luck, Ricky Dick, getting this resolved.

  7. Yah, I'd go with Ricky, or Rikki, depending on your mood.

    I work as a database developer. Incorrect data, once in, has a tendency to stay wrong. I'm sure there's a law of physics that explains this.

  8. Anonymous7:36 AM

    I submitted the correction also, via their "Online Catalog Update Form."

    Though that might be like pressing the elevator button repeatedly: it makes me feel that I'm doing something useful, but the elevator doesn't care one way or the other.

    Here's hoping it's helpful.

  9. Anonymous7:41 AM

    This happened to me, too; a scientist was given author credit for writing my first Ellora's Cave novel, which had to come as big a surprise to him as it did to me. I was able to put in a request to change the listing through the website by virtue of having signed up as an amazon associate. It took about 3 days, but they did take his name off the listing.

    And out of curiosity, does anybody know how these things happen? - Charlene Teglia

  10. Anonymous7:54 AM

    I did my part with the Amazon correction form, too. Hopefully they'll beleive at least one of us... :)

  11. Well, at least it hasn't hurt your Amazon sales rank any ;-)

  12. Anonymous8:24 AM

    I'm confused! Isn't this stuff your publisher should handle?

  13. Anonymous9:59 AM

    However, those new to this site have to do some looking to find what the author's name is, if it isn't Richard Chizmar. Or is PBW's anonymity deliberate?

  14. I think you should go with Chizzy.

    I had something similar happen with Amazon--they got the title wrong on my first book. (And it took a gazillion emails to get fixed. Sorry.)

  15. Anonymous10:35 AM

    I believe this is enough reason to get them sued. I can only imagine how frustrating this is, and the fact that amazon STILL have not rectified their mistake it does not do them any favour.

  16. Anonymous10:42 AM

    As a happy lurker, I pitched in and sent a catalog correction request to Amazon.

  17. Anonymous11:39 AM

    What are the chances? Richard Chizmar's one of my best friends in the biz.

    I'll let him know!

  18. Anonymous1:12 PM

    Anonymous 9:59, it's right on the cover of the book (amazon link provided in post), as PBW pointed out to Amazon. For STARDOC novels, she writes as S.L. Viehl. She writes as half a dozen other names as well.

  19. Rikki. Rikki Viehl.

  20. Anonymous2:47 PM

    Thanks to everyone who wrote to Amazon.com. Maybe you all will get more results than I did.

    Doug, tell Richard I said Hi and see if he wants to answer some reader e-mails. :)

    Anonymous wrote: However, those new to this site have to do some looking to find what the author's name is, if it isn't Richard Chizmar. Or is PBW's anonymity deliberate?

    I don't do anonymous. I write as, in alphabetical order, Gena Hale, Jessica Hall, Rebecca Kelly, Sheila Kelly, Lynn Viehl and S.L. Viehl. I have a couple of other pseudonyms besides those, which are used for my writer-for-hire work and which I am obligated by contract not to disclose without publisher permission, or I'd give you a list of those, too.

    Those who are new to the blog eventually figure it out.

  21. Amazon.de gets it correct. No Richard in there. :-)

  22. Wow...

    Amazon has done a lot of stupid things, so for some reason this doesn't surprise me. Well, maybe it does. Your name is on the cover after all.

    It is royally funny though. Good thing fans know the difference.

  23. Did they at least get the "Wishful thinking, Hippocrates old pal..." quote right?

  24. Anonymous12:43 PM

    Hey!! On looking at the book page, it shows as "S.L.Viehl" as author. I note it still doesn't show up on an Amazon search or an author listing, but the book page looks fixed.

    Congrats on the partial correction!

  25. Dear Richard--

    I've got a dark fiction story that I think would be perfect for Cemetery Dance.

    Should I sent it to the magazine, or to your pseudonym, S.L. Viehl?

    Looking forward to the next Stardoc--I don't know how you can find the time.

    all best,

    JA Konrath

  26. I'm thinking Ricardo. *ggg*

  27. Anonymous3:46 PM


    It's right now. Probably just a temporary glitch in their database that got corrected automatically. I hear they do get them from time to time. Sometimes they'll cross over the price from one book to another, I'm told...

  28. Anonymous9:04 PM

    I love you guys. Thanks so much for doing what I could not.

    JA wrote: Dear Richard -- I've got a dark fiction story that I think would be perfect for Cemetery Dance.



Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.