Wow. Fascinating. Repulsive. Inspiring? But he's right. If that many people like his stuff -- and they're READING -- what's the problem? Sure, it's a sad comment on mass taste, but what else is new? Who's he hurting? Still, it confirms in my mind that he doesn't need a place in my monthly newspaper review column. Better to find and opine about newer writers who are advancing the genre.

Views: 76

Reply to This

Replies to This Discussion

I think the article describes the end of publishing as we know it. If all the money goes to Patterson, what's left for anyone else? Like the article states, few publishers are going to take a chance on a no-body.

But how do you find the next Patterson or the next King? Only be taking a chance, it seems to me.
Hey, haven't we just learned there's no such thing as, "all the money," we just print up more ;)
That was a good article. Of course he is going to have his jealous detractors, but the man paid his dues and built his way up to be where he is. How can anyone fault that?

Here is a direct link to the article:
This is from the article, and is a nice concise description of how publishing got broken:

"The story of the blockbuster’s explosion is, paradoxically, bound up with that of publishing’s recent troubles. They each began with the wave of consolidation that swept through the industry in the 1980s. Unsatisfied with publishing’s small margins, the new conglomerates that now owned the various publishing houses pressed for bigger best sellers and larger profits. Mass-market fiction had historically been a paperback business, but publishers now put more energy and resources into selling these same books as hardcovers, with their vastly more favorable profit margins. At the same time, large stores like Barnes & Noble and Borders were elbowing out independent booksellers. Their growing dominance of the market gave them the leverage to demand wholesale discounts and charge hefty sums for favorable store placement, forcing publishers to sell still more books. Big-box stores like Costco accelerated the trend by stocking large quantities of books by a small group of authors and offering steep discounts on them. Under pressure from both their parent companies and booksellers, publishers became less and less willing to gamble on undiscovered talent and more inclined to hoard their resources for their most bankable authors. The effect was self-fulfilling. The few books that publishers invested heavily in sold; most of the rest didn’t. And the blockbuster became even bigger."
I'd like to be optimistic and think that when the multi-national conglomerates get out of publishing the industry can return to the way it was - maybe even with some improvements. The publishing companies that now exist that aren't part of the conglomerates are doing some good things.

This article says that an alliance of independent publishers was the fifth biggest publisher in the UK last year.
well, it's good to see one of my publishers, Serpent's Tail (part of Profile Books) is part of this alliance.
There ya go! That's what it is all about.

And is it really true that nobody is getting hurt?
I think we should launch a "Patterson Relief Campaign". Every serious crime/mystery/detective/suspense reader out there should make it their personal duty to search out every Patterson reader they can find, take them gently by the hand and say: "You like his stuff? Great. But hey, try this guy (or girl). He (she) is good too." Gotta believe that exposure to ANY kind of decent writer in the genre will have them abandoning the SS Patterson in droves. And drive them to writers with way better chops ... and a little heart.
All of this misses the point that the mega-sellers are driven by mega - publicity campaigns. Without them, they might still be selling fairly well, but they would not dominate the market. The publicity campaigns (no, I'm not getting into the recent supreme court decision here) assure the success of a few writers and the failure of the rest. They also brainwash a goodly portion of society in the process.

Yes, people are getting hurt.
It's intriguing--Little, Brown didn't want to advertise. But Patterson footed the bill and created his own ads and finally convinced them to go along.

Which goes to show you that an author can literately be 'created' by astute, imaginative use of advertising dollars. Any author who has a moderate level of talent. Put the advertising dollars in the right place--in the right market--and 'bestsellers' are born. (which the hell I had some money to advertise myself.)
from the article Patterson's background was advertising, and he was clearly good at it.

I remember reading similarly about James Ellroy. When he sold movie options for Black Dahlia (I think it was this one), he rolled the 50K (plus 50K match from his publisher) into NY Times ads for LA Confidential, which propelled him onto the NY Times Bestsellers list.

I guess sometimes it takes these days it takes gutsy moves to break out.
Newspapers would rather review Patterson than a new writer because they're not in the business of promoting new writers; they're in the business of selling newspapers. The more likely a potential newspaper reader is to want to read a review of a writer's work, the more likely it is someone will publish that review. If a reader has read Patterson before and wonder about the new book, he's a lot more likely to want to read a review of it than if he never heard of the writer.


CrimeSpace Google Search

© 2023   Created by Daniel Hatadi.   Powered by

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service