I’ve written about James Patterson in a number of posts because it doesn’t get any better than him when it comes to selling books. But I’ve also mentioned that his work is scrutinized well beyond the work of others, and I just don’t get it.
How often do you read blog posts about how much that particular person hates JK Rowling or Stephen King? Really doesn’t hardly happen. Or how about how that person will never read any books written by a particular author? That happens, but one wouldn’t expect to be talking about the bestselling author in the world. If you don’t like his books, then okay. No one is holding a gun to your head telling you to read them. But I’m thinking there’s more to it than that. Which really makes no sense to me.
Writers, readers, and other prominent authors seem to feel the need to criticize Patterson for everything he does. Again, this goes beyond the books.
Do you HATE that he sells millions of books every year and you don’t?
Do you HATE that his name is in several different genres?
Do you HATE that he earns nearly $100 million every year?
Do you HATE that you can’t break into traditional publishing and he runs the damn place?
Do you HATE that you’re so obviously a better writer than he is?
Do you HATE that he’s assisted in his writing by other writers?
Or do you just not find his work appealing?
Seriously, answer those questions. Because we both know that it won’t just be about the books. It never is when it comes to Patterson.
But let’s slow down a bit. James Patterson won the Edgar Award for Best First Novel back in 1976 for his novel The Thomas Berryman Number. Guys, you don’t win Edgar awards by accident. So to sit there and say that he’s the worst writer blah blah blah is just a matter of your opinion. Second, so many people seem to pay so much attention to how he uses other writers. Why? What do you care how he writes his books? You don’t even know how your favorite authors go about writing their books or their process or much of anything besides their release dates. But James Patterson working with several other authors suddenly makes him a terrible person, right? Even though there’s no doubt in my mind that every one of those authors has made A LOT of money by working with him. Oh, but writing isn’t about money, right?
Third, James Patterson releases books in multiple genres. Oh no, the world is going to end. He’s no good for writing books that can be read by just about anyone, but it’s okay if JK Rowling writes whatever she wants because she gave us Harry Potter. Yep. Shut up. There’s not even an argument with this one.
It boils down to the fact that James Patterson is undoubtedly the best at what he sets out to do, sell books. I’m not going to say he’s the best writer writing today, because I certainly don’t believe that to be true, but the criticism he receives is so often about something other than the books. It’s about James Patterson the person or his philosophy when it comes to writing or how much money he makes every year.
He collaborates with other authors. Get over it. He releases several books a year. Get over it. He has more money than you do. Get over it.
By the way, I only read one series he writes. His original. Alex Cross. A series HE writes.