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James Patterson slams Amazon, says it’s hurting literature

31 May 2014

From USA Today:

Best-selling author James Patterson accused online retailer Amazon of hurting the publishing industry in a speech Thursday in front of hundreds of independent booksellers.

He made his remarks while accepting an award for championing small bookstores at BookExpo America, the industry’s annual convention.

Patterson said he believes “the future of our literature is in danger.”

“Amazon wants to control book buying, book selling and even book publishing,” Patterson said, adding that the company “sounds like the beginning of a monopoly.”

Amazon is in the midst of a battle with Patterson’s publisher, Hachette Book Group.

. . . .

The crowd at the awards luncheon gave Patterson a standing ovation.

Link to the rest at USA Today and thanks to Laurie for the tip.

PG wonders if everybody in Big Publishing started cutting their pills in half at the same time.

Amazon, Big Publishing

22 Comments to “James Patterson slams Amazon, says it’s hurting literature”

  1. Shouldn’t he be putting red ink on someone else’s writing?

  2. “Amazon is in the midst of a battle with Patterson’s publisher, Hachette Book Group.”

    Ya don’t say. Kudos to Kelly Lawler for mentioning that pertinent fact.

    Serious question: Is he actively dishonest, or is he being used as a “useful idiot”?

  3. Each time the Patterson “team” puts out another book, it endangers the future of our literature…

    • Hah, yeah. You’d think, from the way he’s talking, in the context of all the pearl clutching that goes on about high brow culture apparently being killed off by self publishing, that he was some experimental, transformative and avante garde AW-thoooor who somehow managed to gain great sales and elevate the popular culture through being nourished by his traditional publishers.

      Instead, he’s James-effing-Patterson. No disrespect, he does what he does and he does it well. But let’s not pretend that he’s anything other than a producer of potboilers (again, I promise, no disrespect) or that he has anything useful to say about any part of publishing today (okay, a little disrespect there).

      If he wasn’t being so useful in promulgating hysterical ADS (Amazon’s not perfect, but in this case it’s miles better than Hatchette) I can guarantee that he would be the first in the cultural firing line as an example of a coarse and coarsening popular culture.

  4. I sense that the Patterson Book Factory is worried that its rice bowl is being broken.

  5. Amusing the instant coverage Patterson gets — in the speech itself, he says he never sees any coverage of Amazon as a monopoly etc.

    Joe Konrath’s take. The comments, exposing Patterson’s numerous egregious mistakes of fact and logic, are also awesome.


  6. Umm…mad respect to Patterson for being a marketing and bookselling genius, but he’s the last dude who should be covering his face with ash over the future of “our” literature. He doesn’t even write anymore; he outsources and skims the profits. Yay for him for figuring out how to make a tradpub contract incredibly profitable, but sh!t, son, you’ve got much more in common with Hachette itself than you’ve got in common with the rest of Hachette’s authors.

    So this is what I think of your opinion and your standing ovation.

  7. No surprises here. He speaking to book sellers. They love him. They don’t love the rest of us. Our books they return double-quick to the publishers, and the ones they sell they take big discounts on. Nobody has hurt the midlist author (and American readers) as much as book stores have by catering to a handful of authors like Patterson.

  8. That bandwagon’s getting pretty darn crowded…

    Now I’m really hoping Amazon says, “You know what, f**k this s**t!” and cuts all Hachette books from its store. That’d teach ’em.

  9. Terrence OBrien

    There are more books available to more people at low prices than at any time in history.

    And Patterson wants the government to fix that?

  10. I didn’t realize that Amazon is hurting the publishing industry in a speech.

    Who writes these articles?

  11. James Paterson has contributed to literature exactly how?

    Because I don’t think printing a bazillion books counts as ‘contributing to literature’. Especially as he no longer writes them.

  12. Dear ghod, he actually uses the word literature. I thought you were misquoting him. *wince*

  13. I love posts like these where the best part is the comment section!

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