Saturday, May 30, 2009

James Patterson Sets Record for Selling His Name

Tom Clancy was the first writer that I noticed farming out his name to books largely, if not completely, written by others. Of course, Tom's name was always in a huge font and the grunt who did all the real work had his name on the cover in much smaller print. Clancy did pretty well with that business model but James Patterson has taken it to new levels of absurdity.

And now the Guinness World Record people are recognizing just how greatly Patterson has abused his reading public by marking him as the official world record holder for "Most Entries on the New York Times Best-Seller List." According to GalleyCat, Patterson (or someone using his name to sell books) has placed 45 books on the list, 31 of them going all the way to number one.

All this proves to me is how easy it is for junk writers to dominate bestseller lists while better writers struggle to sell a few thousand copies of their work. In an age dominated by reality television, made-up junk sports, and rap music, I am not at all surprised by this. A bit sad, maybe, but not surprised.


  1. I would have to say mine would be The Hour I First Believed by Wally Lamb.

  2. Obviously my comment was meant for your other blog entry and not this one. Sorry.

  3. I feel foolish because I had no idea that he did this!!

  4. Same here Stacy - very surprising news...

    thank for the info...


  5. I'm sure that Patterson sees nothing wrong with this practice - it's made him a very wealthy man, after all. But, IMO, it borders on being unethical because I find it misleading to the consuming public. Of course, it is a "buyer beware" marketplace and it takes very little "research" to see what's going on with so many of James Patterson's bestsellers. And, I suppose that Patterson's publisher deserves some of the ridicule I direct Patterson's way.