We've all heard anecdotal evidence about the sorry state of the book industry these days - especially, I think, when it comes to the sale of literary fiction. But it doesn't get more disgusting than this Plain Dealer quote (Karen Long) of a recent Barnes and Noble sales pitch:
This week, my e-mail burbled up an alarming assertion from Barnes & Noble: "In 2007, one of every fifteen hardcover novels sold was a James Patterson title, and in total, Patterson's books have sold an estimated 150 million copies worldwide."We certainly can.
Ye gods. In "Cross Country," the latest chest-thumper from the Patterson print factory, it takes until the third paragraph for protagonist Alex Cross to ask, "Was I getting too soft for this? I wondered for an instant, then let it go. I wasn't soft, if anything I was still too hard, too unyielding, too uncompromising." Friends, we can do better.
I find it impossible to believe that a man who places his name on books he farms out to other authors for the actual grunt work of writing them can keep outselling real authors. Admittedly, I've never been a fan of the Patterson style even when he was writing his own books. They always seemed more like screenplays than novels with those dozens of little two-or-three-page chapters. I find it impossible to enjoy novels with over 100 chapters...I'm just saying.