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Back in the day, when i was a kid, my friends in garage bands made more than the rest of us by playing in bars and parties, etc. Then music went digital and DJs became the money earners (My friends were out of a job) with the more successful and innovative ones commanding more than the biggest live bands. Would it be fair to say that James Patterson would be the book world equivalent of the those DJs?
 

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I don't think the two fields, although they both relate to entertainment, correlate directly. Bands went under because tastes changed from rock towards hip-hop. There are other reasons that the number of live venues had declined, none of which I'll go into here.

There are still a lot of bands that primarily use the internet to get their music to the people, so that has changed. But the decline in garage bands is more due to a major change in music tastes, which is more generational than based on the method of delivery.

In publishing, the venues increased via independent book publishing after Amazon opened it up in 2007 or 2009 (don't recall the exact year off the top of my head). There are also other venues available for independent authors to get their product out there. This opened things up for the publishing equivalent of 'garage bands', and many have become quite successful because of it.

James Patterson writes the kind of stuff that's been around for years. What he did was change how books are advertised, and he also started using ghostwriters and co-writers to push more product out there -- something that may have already been done before but perhaps not so blatantly. EBooks and electronic publishing have undoubtedly added to his bankroll, but he was doing well even before the shift to internet book publishing.
 

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James Patterson morphed from author to a brand.  Not sure anymore how many books he himself writes anymore. At some point people will buy his "brand" irregardless of quality.

Walked into a bookstore a year ago and could not believe the shelf-space James Patterson books take up. (Referring to an Indigo bookstore)

Mark
 

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At a certain point of backlist ubiquity, and consistent competent servicing of readerships within 'x' subgenres, you get the kind of sales success where you reach the level of your name on the cover becoming a recognizable brand unto itself, like a can of Coke or a box of McDonald's fries.

Once you get to that point, where the simple presence of your name is enough to pretty much guarantee 'x' number of sales, then you farm out the actual work as widely as possible, in coordinated fashion, in order to scale up and get that license-to-print-money brand recognition emblazoned on as many products as possible. It's basically Patterson cashing in on all the groundwork he's laid. Out-sized profits inevitably follow.

Say what you want about his 'writing', but the guy ain't dumb.
 

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markpauloleksiw said:
James Patterson morphed from author to a brand. Not sure anymore how many books he himself writes anymore. At some point people will buy his "brand" irregardless of quality.
He said a while back in an interview that he outlines and has a stockpile but no time to write them all. I think that was his way of explaining the co-authors.

Corvid said:
Say what you want about his 'writing', but the guy ain't dumb.
He's not dumb, he's just the Hallmark Channel of thriller writers, and I think for the money most people would be doing the same thing if they could swing it.
 

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I think James Patterson is more like a songwriting team (Max Martin is the name everyone knows but there are many), but with him as lead and him also as the pop star.

Maybe like Taylor Swift, though I imagine she worked with producers from the getgo, so not a perfect analogy.
 
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