Thursday, July 8, 2010

Crime leads the way: Patterson first author to 1 million eBook sales

Perhaps fuelling another debate about quality vs quantity, but interesting enough news nonetheless from a crime fiction reader perspective, it was announced in the last couple of days that marketing maestro James Patterson is officially the first novelist ever to surpass the 1,000,000 mark for eBook sales.

The press release from Hachette Book Group notes that, "According to the International Digital Publishing Forum’s aggregated data, ebook sales (across the board) have more than tripled over the past year and show no signs of leveling off in the near future, reinforcing what the New York Times Magazine’s cover story on Patterson posited earlier this year: that he’s a writer who has “transformed book publishing,” and continues to do so."

One of the world's biggest-selling print authors as well, Patterson is of course the creator of the Alex Cross series, the Women's Murder Club series, and several other co-authored adult crime thrillers, as well as children's and young adult novels like the Maximum Ride, Daniel X, and Witch & Wizard series. According to the press release, since Patterson's first novel, THE THOMAS BERRYMAN NUMBER, won the Edgar Award in 1977, his books have sold more than 205 million copies worldwide. You can read the full press release, including comments about the influence of digital publishing from Patterson and the CEO of Hachette Book Group, here.

You can read Crime Watch's review of one of Patterson's recent novels, 8TH CONFESSION, where I said "Since co-opting co-authors to help accelerate his sales juggernaut, Patterson’s tales have become mixed, at best (but bestselling regardless) – often formulaic, and never really scaling the excitement heights of his earliest works", here.

What do you think of eBooks? Of James Patterson leading the innovation charge? Thoughts and comments welcome.


  1. Craig - Thanks for this information. It's funny you would ask for thoughts about E-books. I see them as a very viable alternative to paper books (although I admit to a preference for paper). I'm glad that crime fiction authors and publishers are keeping up with the times and making products available in E-book format, since that seems to be a growing market.

  2. Obviously the eBook market is growing and looks like continuing - I haven't been tempted yet but that's largely because of where I live (you can't buy nearly as many eBooks for Oz as you can for the US) and because the stuff I enjoy reading is often not available in an e format. I don't have any real objection to them. Eventually all the territorial copyright and 'we don't publish in this format' nonsense will get sorted out and I'm sure I will be reading them one day too.

    I can say with absolute certainty though that I'll never read Mr P again, in e format or any other.

  3. I'm not tempted by e-books yet but have nothing against them. Pretty sure they are the future but I still I prefer the touch of a traditional book in any format. Maybe I'm just a sentimental