Week 7 Prompt

You come in my Barnes & Noble for any period of time, you'll hear one of us complain about James Patterson. The gist is that he's got so many books coming out that it feels like there's at least one a week. Realistically, it's closer to one a month, probably less. His books also release on Monday, a day earlier than the rest of publishing, so it's extra effort at the beginning of the week, instead of when you're already doing new releases. They always go directly onto bestsellers and live on promotions for weeks after. In my store, his books take up more than an entire bay (approximately 5 shelves, 4 feet long). We don't get reasonable numbers of them, either. Instead of the 15 or so we may sell in the first week, we get triple that, so we're sitting on ridiculous numbers of books by Patterson.

And then we all lament that he doesn't actually write them, and want to know why people continue to buy them, when a "James Patterson" book isn't written by James Patterson--despite him still being alive. (I understand why a deceased author's series continues and is written by another.)

I suppose I actually do understand why, in thinking about the appeal factors we have covered in class. Despite a book not being wholly written by James Patterson, because his name is on it, it tells the potential reader that the elements that they like about his work will still be there. NoveList says his works are plot-driven, fast-paced, suspenseful, and compelling and they mention his short chapters and sympathetic characters. These are all things that can be carried over throughout books, so readers know what they're getting.

When it gets down to it, I really can't complain much about James Patterson. He's an author who gets people to read and keeps them reading--and in the case of the bookstore, he gets people in the door and buying books. I may complain about the release day and sheer quantity, but James Patterson may actually be good for the reading public.


  1. I couldn't agree more! Also, I didn't realize the publishing date was on a Monday. Ouch! I agree with your final statement as well. Full points!


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