Patterson's Books Dominate Thousands of Bookstands. So Why No Room for You?


James Patterson's novels appear in just about every drugstore, grocery store, airport, Walmart, news stand, discount house, chain store, and book store in America, along with most every other retail outlet you can name that sells printed books. Just like a single soft drink dominating shelf space, the sheer overwhelming presence of his books assures massive sales. Yet my books, and the books of thousands of other writers, are in none of those stores. Many, many copies of his dozens of books (using co-writers and ghosts) are displayed at one time on the limited amount of shelf space available, crowding out other authors. Apparently that isn't enough for him. Despite the fact that he and a handful of comparable big-name authors dominate the retail outlets for printed books, he wants more. Indeed, he wants to dominate the internet as well. You can imagine my reaction when I saw his quotes during the height of the Hachette-Amazon dispute: He would prefer that the one bookseller--Amazon--who actually gives all writers a fair shake also be controlled by the same multi-billion dollar New York conglomerates who maintain a stranglehold on all those retail print outlets. Those who rant against the evils of Amazon complain about limited access to book buyers on the internet, yet they practically own the distribution outlets for printed books. Furthermore, Amazon doesn't deny them access at all. It simply grants equal access to all writers. But Patterson, and his compadres, apparently think the future of the world depends on denying the marketplace to others, with absolute access for themselves.

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