Wait, what did I just say? Hehe. I’ll explain.
What do you think of when you think of James Patterson? I think of several things. Alex Cross. Michael Bennett. Young adult. Ghostwriting. Ridiculous criticism. MILLIONS. And also, “all the books.” If you know anything about James Patterson, then you should understand why I think of those things. Pretty straightforward. The difference between myself and others is that I have no issue with the way he does things. He’s figured out how to make book publishing an overly profitable business for A LOT of people. He now publishes his young adult series under his own imprint. But I’ve learned something during my 4+ months working in a bookstore. He’s not the only one, he just does it better than everyone else.
John Grisham. David Baldacci. J.K. Rowling. Rick Riordan.
What do all of these authors have in common besides being major bestsellers? They’ve all written/write young adult and adult fiction. And this is certainly not an exhaustive list. Now I bet you’re thinking, “But that isn’t why I criticize Patterson, I criticize him because he doesn’t write his own books.” Right. Except you only know that because he’s allows you to know it. What you don’t know is how many authors don’t. Right? You can’t sit there and say with any amount of certainty which authors do and don’t write their own books. You can guess and you can assume, but you can’t really know for sure because you’re not in the room when those books are being written. So the ghostwriting criticism is flat out dumb. And there can’t be too much criticism about publishing for teens and for adults because there are SO many other authors doing the same.
Patterson doesn’t need me to defend his work or methods, but I’ll continue to do so for as long as he keeps entertaining me with his Alex Cross novels. Because they’ll never be the greatest books written, but they’re more entertaining than so many other series I’ve read. That’s gotta count for something.
PS: His various young adult books can’t be kept in stock at my store. Too many people coming in for them. So while so many people criticize him he’ll just keep on writing books that entertain readers of all ages.
What do you think of authors writing in different genres and not doing so under a pen name? I have no issue with any author who’s able to do it well, because it can’t be as easy as they make it seem.
First, you have to guess. Of course. So go ahead.
Before I saw the top 20 list I’d have said *gulp* Go Set a Watchman. I have been very open about being against just about everything this book stands for. But in the back of my mind I’m still thinking of those million books sold the first week. Not too many books doing that. So even with all my reservations about ever reading the book, I’d still have guessed that.
But it was only #3. Here’s the top 20:
1. The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins
2. Grey by E.L. James
3. Go Set a Watchman by Harper Lee
4. The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah
5. Memory Man by David Baldacci
6. Make Me by Lee Child
7. Rogue Lawyer by John Grisham
8. The Girl in the Spider’s Web by David Lagercrantz
9. Dead Wake by Erik Larson
10. Silent Scream by Angela Marsons
11. 14th Deadly Sin by James Patterson and Maxine Paetro
12. Old School by Jeff Kinney
13. Enchanted Forest by Johanna Basford
14. The Wright Brothers by David McCullough
15. Adult Coloring Book: Street Relieving Patterns by Blue Star Coloring
16. The Liar by Nora Roberts
17. Luckiest Girl Alive by Jessica Knoll
18. The Crossing by Michael Connelly
19. The Stranger by Harlan Coben
20. A Spool of Blue Thread by Anne Tyler
When I read through the list I see no surprises. This may be because I’ve been working in a bookstore for four months, but even I hadn’t I’d still not be surprised by any of these. There are some books that we cannot keep in stock at the store. We’ll get a copy or two of something and they’ll be gone in a day or two. Sometimes this happens with older books, but most often I’ve seen it with newer releases. Which is understandable.
Did the bestselling book of the year on Amazon surprise you at all? Or any others from the top 20?
Photo Credit: The Fat Pixel
I don’t. But companies offer this service to take even more of your money. I can name on one hand how many authors I know who you use these. James Patterson. Michael Connelly. David Baldacci. The only reason I know of Baldacci is because I spend a lot of time on YouTube and happened to catch the trailer for his newest release before the start of a video I was watching.
That’s a pretty short list of authors, right? Even though the companies or people who make these claim that they will help hype your book and get people buying. Uh no. Come on. Even if you have a very well done book trailer, you can’t really believe that. Book trailers are always so dull. A monotone voice (assuming you have someone speaking) that gives the watcher only the slightest bit of information about the book. You can most definitely get more information by reading the reviews and/or synopsis. So why do authors use them? I have no earthly idea. But there are a lot of things people will do that they believe will help their book become the next self-published bestseller.
They’ll have a press release written up. Even though no one really cares that they’re releasing their book. They’ll have bookmarks made. Even though they can’t plan a signing or event anywhere. They’ll send out ARCs to major publications seeking a review. Even though it won’t be happening. They’ll do anything in an effort to get their book in front of some readers…like have a book trailer made. For the 18 people who are going to buy the book. Great thinking there.
Two questions this time around. Ever watched a book trailer? Ever had one made for your own book? Don’t worry, I’m not going to laugh at you if you admit to having one made.
I just watched a few on YouTube and they were basically all the same and not intriguing at all. Ugh.