Friday, February 19, 2010

Conquering the Book World

With all the writers James Patterson has working for him, I’m surprised there’s still any kind of job recession going on. The man is a conglomeration. He has the ideas and he hires writers to follow his detailed outlines and write the books, which make him a multi-mega-selling name.

Now he’s branching out to comics. According to USA TODAY, he’s now in partnership with IDW Publishing to create comic books and graphic novels. What will they be? New work? Adaptations of his past novels? Work that branches off from his already published works? Yes. Yes. Yes.

Probably around May you’ll see the first in a five-part comic series based on his YA novel, Witch & Wizard. It’ll be written by Dara Naraghi. Then in June, expect a comic adaptation of The Murder of King Tut - written by Alexander Irvine. Eventually, there will be a new series Patterson is calling Beer Belly and the Fat Boy.

Where will Patterson go next in his march to conquer the book world? Got any ideas for him?
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26 comments:

  1. I'm sorry, but that's cheap. Are they his ideas at all? Is he even a part of the process or just the name under which everything is sold? I find it hard to believe this one elderly man is interested in airport novels, YA AND comics. REALLY? I have an idea: sit on the board and let the people doing the work get the credit.

    Michele
    SouthernCityMysteries

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  2. Kind of like Disney and Gates and Oprah and Martha neh?

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  3. Wow, what won't he do to make money? Hopefully he doesn't go as far as the group Kiss - we don't need James Patterson coffins.

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  4. Hey James, leave some room in the book world for the rest of us!

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  5. I'm thinking of abandoning my manuscripts and applying for a job!)

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  6. Patterson used to have others write his ideas, but only his name went on the cover. Now, he's giving co-credit to some - perhaps all, but I believe it's only the ones who've proven themselves.

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  7. I think he's really a corporation and we should just look at him that way.

    I'm like Jane...I'd love the opportunity to write for him. If you're out there, James? Call me! :)

    Elizabeth

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  8. What's left? How about board games? I'm amazed what all that he does or is involved in.

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  9. Once written, does he then take a hand in the rewrite? Stylizing? He only gives credit SOMETIMES?

    I guess I have two takes on this: as a consumer, I don't really want to buy a James Patterson than is actually a Warren Swartz (I pulled that name out of thin air, no offense to any real person named that)--it's like paying designer prices for a knock off.

    As a WRITER, I don't think this is probably a bad schooling--it's like the painters who used to paint under the masters.

    But like the painters under the masters, the signature should not say James Patterson, it should say SCHOOL OF James Patterson. Otherwise it's deceitful.

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  10. Talk about cashing in on a name. Sheesh.

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  11. He has turned himself into a brand name and kudos to him. I don't like the idea of other people really being the ones doing the writing, but if the public is buying, he'd be a fool not to continue. He doesn't strike me as being a fool.

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  12. Nor me, Elspeth. He is one smart cookie. Rich cookie. And he himself is a good writer. He says he has more ideas than he could possibly write by himself.

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  13. He churns out books like crazy!!! It must be nice to have that many ideas.

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  14. I can't help but be envious of his success but I don't feel any resentment. I've enjoyed his books in the past and my daughter likes his YA work. Anything that keeps people buying books is good for all of us.

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  15. Hey Helen, I find the comments on this post interesting, considering the conversation we`re having on your Sharing E-books post.

    As a matter of fact, I just asked this question: Should we expect to make a living as authors?

    Sounds like it might be a complicated issue.

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  16. I think making a living as an author is the goal of most authors. We write fiction, nonfiction, articles, stories, whatever to make it happen. Some of us ghostwrite, like the earlier authors for Patterson. If he asked me to write for him, I would. He's a juggernaut and I would, undoubtedly, learn a lot.

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  17. I have read that James Patterson is extraordinarily generous in helping newer writers, and gives many scholarships to writing conferences and does other helpful things.
    I read this about a year ago, and so don't recall all the details, but I was very impressed with his "giving back."
    If an unknown writer partners with Patterson to cowrite a book and it sells well, that can be the platform for that author to get their own book contract.

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  18. I confess I'd like to have that enough ideas to keep that many writers busy. I like the idea of "school of James Patterson." Since I'm in it to make a living, one of these days, I guess I give him kudos, if he pays a living wage.

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  19. I agree, Helen: think of him as a corporation. I can stomach that. Thanks for keeping us informed. This is really a great blog!

    Michele
    SouthernCityMysteries

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  20. I am not surprised that he is doing this. He is definitely a writer who understands the business of writing and treats it that way. And he has been lucky enough to be able to capitalize on project after project.

    I, too, wish he would leave something in the publishing world for the rest of the writers, but I also admire his savvy. What he is doing with the books is not any different from what Barbara Carland did with the early Harlequin romances.She came up with story ideas and had a whole staff of writers who would write the books.

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  21. Yikes - I don't think the man needs any help in ideas for making money :)

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  22. Sounds like he has enough ideas of his own.

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  23. I would love to make a living doing what I love. I`m in a place right now where I can`t see that happening.

    I guess I`m wondering if it`s time to step up my game. I`ll keep writing either way.

    A few years ago I was verbally beat down by a snotty literary-type for letting too much time lapse between my first and second book. He implied that I wasn`t a real author. I took it to heart.

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  24. Ooh, I hate snotty literary types who beat someone down. Grrr.

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  25. Ironically, this happened at a writer's workshop.

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