James Patterson’s BookShots

We all know someone or several people who will not read. They make excuses or say that books are old fashioned. Heck, you wouldn’t believe how many people walk into my HPB and say they can’t believe people still read books. It’s one of those things I can only akwardky laugh at. Because it’s a ridiculous statement.

Anyway, James Patterson has all those people in his sights with his forthcoming BookShots. BookShots (don’t know where the name came from) will be his way of getting those people reading. How? By writing shorter, more plot driven books that are meant to be read in one sitting. The books will be less than 150 pages and cheaper than $5. The aim is to publish 2-4 of these each month. And also to get these books into stores that don’t typically sell books anymore.

Now I have no problem with him trying to get as many people reading as he can, but I would like to remind Mr. Patterson of something. Other bestselling authors already do this with things like Kindle Singles. And those are generally priced between $0.99-$2.99. So I’m just skeptical that this will actually get people reading. And I honestly think Patterson’s name is both good and bad for this. It’s good because there’s no doubt in my mind that people who read his other work will read these. It’s bad because those who don’t, won’t.

What I think will ultimately happen is he’ll keep selling a ridiculous number of books because he’s simply got the math on his side. But I don’t really see his attempt at reviving the dime novel being any more successful than that.

What do you think of Patterson’s BookShots? Destined for success? Failure?

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11 thoughts on “James Patterson’s BookShots

  1. I suppose there are far worse things than a cheap, 150 page book, as long as the book is well-written. But I don’t think that such books are likely to get non-readers reading books. More likely they will just attract people who already read quite a bit, who are looking for a short book to read on a day at the beach, or cross-country airplane flight.

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  2. He probably won’t write them himself. He’ll get one of his authors in his factory to write them and take the name and monetary recognition.

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  3. In my opinion, if someone doesn’t usually read, 150 pages is way too long. Not really sure who this will be picked up by other than (as you say) people who read his books anyway.

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  4. Well, at least he’s thinking about it. It seems to me that book reading is becoming a niche activity rather than mainstream. Mind you I have noticed over the years that the death of the book has been convincingly predicted by those who don’t read.

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