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The Art of Money

James Patterson books continue to pile up

Kai Ryssdal Jul 1, 2013
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For best-selling author James Patterson, a book launch is almost old-hat. In fact, he’s just launched two books at once.

“It’s no accident they’re coming out in the same day and that’s not about marketing,” he said. “What it is about, is adults.”

Patterson sponsors youth literacy programs and scholarships around the country.

He hopes parents that buy his latest John O’Hara novel, “Second Honeymoon” will also stop to pick up a copy of “Middle School: How I Survived Bullies, Broccoli, and Snack Hill” for young readers at home.

“Remember your kids because if you don’t get your kids reading and they’re not good readers, it’s like sending your kids out in the world with a handicap,” Patterson said. “And nobody would do that knowingly but people do it all the time.”

The two books are his 108th and 109th to be published.

“I don’t think about an industry or building things but somebody says you’re lucky if you find something you like to do, which is true, and then it’s a miracle if you get paid to do it,” he said. 

Patterson co-authored both titles, a practice he uses frequently.

“If you think about it, out there in Hollywood, most of the TV shows, it’s a couple of writers,” Patterson said. “And then you start going okay, Simon & Garfunkel, Lennon and McCartney, Woodward and Bernstein—you know what I mean? It’s done a lot.”

As for how fans are reading his books? More are swiping a tablet instead of turning a page. But Patterson has some reservations about that.

“With my adult books, for the first six weeks or so, it’s about 60 percent ebooks in terms of sales. The kids books, it’s like 5 percent,” he said. “Which means that the parents, the ones that aren’t going into stores now, they’re no longer buying books for their kids which is not great.”

Patterson said he understands the limitations of physical books, even if he still loves them.

“There’s nothing like being able to carry around seven books and it weighs 11 ounces,” he said.


Patterson read an excerpt from “Second Honeymoon” for us. Listen now:

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