My name is Richard Devine and I am currently working on a collaboration with Stephen King, (obviously NOT the original author himself). We currently act under the pseudo name 'KD Novels' (King/Devine). We don't want to print his name on the cover as we wouldn't want the reader to buy it thinking it was written by the man himself. Not that the book would dissapoint, we just don't want to ride on the back of someone elses success. However we were wondering about the legalities involved in printing his name inside the book. It is his name after all and his huge contribution deserves credit. Any other suggestions would be welcome.
The name on the book is a brand name. It's a sales tool. It need not relate in any way to the author's real name.
Another way to think of it: If readers enjoy one of your books, you want them to be able to find and buy more of your books. So choose a name helps fans remember you and find more of your books. You do not want them to have to scan past another author's stuff.
Consider using a pen name. If you want, you can mention in the author bio that the name is a pen name for Stephen King, and clarify (with as few words as possible) that it ain't that Stephen King.
Me, I'd go with Richard Bachman.
The simplest solution is for Stephen King to alter his byline somehow — to Steve King, or Stephen [X.] King (whatever his middle initial is), or Stefan King, or his childhood nickname Steverino Polpettino King, or a pen name like Charles Dickens.
Failing that, a large captioned photo on the back cover and/or inside flap would help.