How a self-published author inspired by Stephen King knocked his idol from the top spot on Amazon

Dylan Jones, 39, started reading Stephen King novels when he was 11. He’s pretty sure he’s read all of King’s fiction, which is saying something: King is an impressively prolific author.

It was King who first inspired Jones to try writing. “He was, I think, probably the single reason that I started writing, to be honest,” Jones tells CNBC. “He’s definitely a role model.”

So it felt almost surreal when, on August 16, 2015, Jones’ novel, “Black Book,” the first-installment of an ongoing trilogy, passed King on the most popular list in the horror genre of Amazon.com. And the triumph wasn’t a fluke: The novel, which Jones describes as a “time-traveling western,” has surpassed those of his idol a couple of times since then, too.

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