Notes from An Alien

~ Explorations In Reading, Writing & Publishing ~

Tag Archives: James Patterson

Bestsellers, Major Literacy Project, The World Hasn’t Completely Fallen Apart, and FREE BOOKS :-)

This is my first “Kitchen Sink” post of the New Year—I’ve secured my new apartment in my old city; I’m increasing my health tweaks; I’m a bit less “fractured”; and, I can “breathe” a bit better… 

Free Books

Image Courtesy of Judith P. Abrahamsen ~

First topic—Meet the Writers Who Still Sell Millions of Books. Actually, Hundreds of Millions.

Commented on are the authors Paulo Coelho, Stephen King, Dan Brown, John Grisham, Ken Follett, Nora Roberts, James Patterson, Stephenie Meyer, Nicholas Sparks, Danielle Steele, Debbie Macomber, R.L. Stine, J.K. Rowling, Dean Koontz, Jeffrey Archer, David Baldacci and Mary Higgins Clark.

One of the more interesting statements is:

“How do you get to be a blockbuster author? Typing is not enough, though some of these novels certainly read that way. The writing quality and storytelling vary tremendously, but there are some similarities among hit writers.

“Chiefly, they’re extraordinarily productive. They publish with Swiss-clock regularity…”

And, for the starving authors out there who still have dreams of being just like those mega-selling writers, I must point you toward what I consider the most import post on this blog—What About All The Authors Whose Books Don’t Sell Very Many Copies?

Here’s an excerpt from that post:

“If failures becomes invisible, then naturally you will pay more attention to successes. Not only do you fail to recognize that what is missing might have held important information, you fail to recognize that there is missing information at all.

“You must remind yourself that when you start to pick apart winners and losers, successes and failures, the living and dead, that by paying attention to one side of that equation you are always neglecting the other.”

“Are you catching the drift yet?

“Perhaps, no matter what an author does (or, a publishing company), most books will still sell not so many copies?”

Again, if you’re trying to sell your soul to become a bestselling author, read the Facts in that post

Now, onto the Top Books That Made People Readers In 2016.

That article is about the Major Literacy Organization, WorldReader; and, it lists the best-loved books of folks who (before WorldReader got to them) had very few books, if any at all

Perusing these lists would be enlightening for any reader:


Top Books among parents and caregivers in India (Read to Kids Program)

Title Author Publisher Category
1 The Talkative Tortoise / बातूनी कछुआ Jeeva Raghunath Tulika Publishers Storybooks
2 नन्ही उँगलियाँ/Little Fingers शीला धीर/Sheila Dhir Tulika Publishers Storybooks
3 The Musical Donkey / सुरीला गधा Namrata Rai Tulika Publishers Storybooks
4 रंगबिरंग/Rang Birang Madhav Chavan Pratham Books Storybooks
5 सोना बड़ी सयानी/Sona badi Sayani Vinita Krishna Pratham Books Storybooks
6 Hawa ped / हवा-पेड़ ज्योत्सना िमलन/Jyotsna Imln Katha Children’s poetry
7 बूडाबिम/Boodabim (it’s a name) अलंकृता जैन/Alnkrita Jair Tulika Publishers Storybooks
8 भीमा गधा/Bhima’s Donkey Kiran Kasturia Pratham Books Storybooks
9 My Best Friend / मेरी सहेली Anupa Lal Pratham Books Storybooks
10 Red Umbrella / लाल छतरी Nandini Nayar Tulika Publishers Children’s poetry


Top books in school and library projects in sub-Saharan Africa

Title Author Publisher Category
1 Magozwe Lesley Koyi African Storybook Project Beginning readers
2 A Tiny Seed: The Story of Wangari Maathai Nicola Rijsdijk African Storybook Project Beginning readers
3 The Girl With the Magic Hands Nnedi Okorafor Worldreader Young Adult Fantasy
4 Ready? Set. Raymond! (Step into Reading) Vaunda Nelson Random House Children’s Books (Penguin Random House) Beginning readers
5 Disability is Not Inability Wairimu Mwangi The Jomo Kenyatta Foundation Beginning readers
6 Old Mother West Wind Thornton Burgess Public Domain Children’s classics
7 I Am An African Wayne Visser Self Published Poetry
8 Boastful Sui and Grandmother Goes to the Pictures Marg Reynolds Self Beginning readers
9 The Secret Garden Frances Hodgson Public Domain Children’s classics
10 The Adventures of Robin Hood Howard Pyle Public Domain Classics


Top Books among teens and adults reading on the Worldreader app

Title Author Publisher Category
1 Broken Promises Ros Haden Cover2Cover YA romance
2 The Holy Bible: King James Version Various Public Domain religion
3 First Love: Thinking of Him A.V. Frost Beaten Track Publishing romance
4 Sugar Daddy Ros Haden Cover2Cover YA romance
5 There’s Something about Him Lauri Kubuitsile Worldreader romance
6 Forever My Love Heather Graham Open Road Integrated Media romance
7 The Girl with the Magic Hands Nnedi Okorafor Worldreader fantasy
8 A Quest for Heroes (Arabic) Morgan Rice Lukeman Literary fantasy
9 Damaged Souls Stine Arnulf Self published Romance/Fanfiction
10 Le Roman de la momie Théophile Gautier ILIVRI romance

So, if you’re still with me but having a rough time feeling positive about this new year, this article should help:

It may have seemed like the world fell apart in 2016. Steven Pinker is here to tell you it didn’t.

And, for the imperturbable, constant readers: Free Books in your Inbox…


If you don’t see a way to comment (or, “reply”) after this post, try up there at the top right…
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Making Certain Authors Eat Their Own Words . . .

Can over 900 authors all be wrong about the same thing?

Authors Eat Their Own Words

Image courtesy of Ry Young ~

Well, I think most authors can be dead wrong about many things.

Take this Amazon-Hachette tussle.

Huge publisher, Huge retailer—a fight over pricing—some authors feeling they’re caught in the middle.

I started gathering material about this business fracas weeks ago—started getting fed up with all the childish behavior—told my Best Friend I wasn’t going to blog about it…

Then, I spotted an article from Publisher’s WeeklyOver 900 Authors Sign Open Letter to Amazon—read a bit of it and immediately went off to see what Joe Konrath had to say about it.

Joe is an author who fought his way out of the trenches of traditional publishing and has become a bestselling self-published author—he knows what he’s talking about—he’s been-there-done-that…


His response to those over-900 authors who are complaining about their treatment by Amazon is amazingly straightforward and will probably force a few of them to eat their own words…

Joe’s article—Authors Behaving Badly and Authors Who Aren’t—is fascinating reading—here are just a few excerpts:

“So a bunch of legacy authors–many of them smart and who should know better–just signed a letter accusing Amazon of things that simply make no sense.”

“Preston [the author who wrote the letter other authors have signed-on to] recently said:

‘If I were Jeff Bezos, the one thing I would fear most is if authors organized themselves and took broad, concerted, sustained, and dignified public action.’

“Konrath replies:

‘If I were Jeff Bezos, I would know that legacy authors have no power, because they signed away their rights to their publishers. Patterson, Turow, and Preston couldn’t remove their books from Amazon even if they wanted to. But, strangely, I don’t hear any of them demanding it, or even mentioning it.'”

[Preston] “…in this case, Amazon has done something unusual. It has directly targeted Hachette’s authors in an effort to force their publisher to agree to its terms.

“Joe sez: Amazon is engaged in blatant acts of capitalism. It hasn’t ‘targeted authors’. Last I checked, Jeff Bezos isn’t sending authors hate mail, or hiring people to follow authors around and push them into puddles, or making public statements about how Hachette authors are boycotting common sense.

“What Amazon is doing is not allowing Hachette to control ebook prices, because Hachette wants to raise them.”

[Preston] “As writers—some but not all published by Hachette—we feel strongly that no bookseller should block the sale of books or otherwise prevent or discourage customers from ordering or receiving the books they want. It is not right for Amazon to single out a group of authors, who are not involved in the dispute, for selective retaliation.

“Joe sez: Again, look at the purposely provocative, incendiary choice of words. ‘block the sale of books’ and ‘discourage customers’ and ‘signal out a group of authors’.

“Amazon doesn’t sell beer. Are they blocking the sale of beer? Amazon doesn’t sell Glocks. Are they discouraging customers from buying Glocks? Amazon isn’t signaling out a group of authors. They are in a business negotiation with the authors’ publisher.”

[Preston] “Our books started Amazon on the road to selling everything and becoming one of the world’s largest corporations.

[Joe] “You didn’t form Amazon from the ground up. You didn’t innovate the world’s best online shopping experience. You didn’t invent the Kindle.

“Amazon has made YOU millions of dollars. Customers have chosen where and how they want to shop, and savvy writers have run with the advantages Amazon has offered us.”

There ya have it—a bunch of screaming authors and another guy who tells it like it is :-)

If you really want to understand what’s going on with the Amazon-Hachette dispute, do go read Joe’s full article…

In the meantime, any Comments?

And, don’t forget, Today’s the Last Day to take our Latest Poll…
To Leave A Comment, Use The Link At The Top-Right of The Post :-)
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Ask This Author Some Questions . . .

Asking authors questions has never been so easy—assuming the author is open to the idea…

GoodReads Ask The Author

Image courtesy of Chris Baker ~

I’m sure readers have questions for authors—about characters, why things happened the way they did, when the next book will be out…

And, authors often have questions for other authors—some exactly the same as other readers—some about specifically Writerly topics—how to, or why to, or when to, or other issues that impact a writer’s life…

It’s one thing to read an author interview or other articles where authors convey information—quite another thing to ask direct and specific questions.

Back in June, I wrote the post, Asking Authors (and Readers) Questions . . .

An excerpt:

“If you could ask Margaret AtwoodKhaled Hosseini, or James Patterson anything, what would it be? Maybe you want to know their writing inspiration, what they read as a guilty pleasure, or you have a burning question about one of their bestsellers. Now’s your chance because these three are among the 54 major authors who are helping us launch an exciting new program on Goodreads—Ask the Author!”

So, since they opened the program up to any Goodreads author, I gave it a try—read that last as “A Big Fail” :-)

I thought I’d activated the Ask The Author program but only succeeded in creating a group I called Ask The Author :-(


I finally figured it all out.


First you have to sign-up as a Goodreads Member (free).

You could stop there and explore all the benefits of the most popular site for Readers…


You could go to my Ask The Author page :-)

I’m open for any and all questions—why I write, how I write, what I read, why I’ve written my books, what’s next…

Be aware, though, if you ask me a question that needs a specific bit of “advice” about writing, I’ll answer it, but in a way that makes you ask yourself a few questions :-)

Also, if you hate Goodreads, just use my email—right down there in Red text…
[Big Secret: I’m working on a permanent Forum for questions, answers, and conversations…]
To Leave A Comment, Use The Link At The Top-Right of The Post :-)
For Private Comments or Questions, Email: amzolt {at} gmail {dot} com
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Asking Authors (and Readers) Questions . . .

Not long ago, I wrote a post about GoodReads new Ask The Author program.

GoodReads Ask The Author

Image courtesy of Chris Baker ~

Well, not only can you ask over 50 well-known authors questions, now you can ask any authors (there are over 100,000) who sign-up for the program.

Here’s just a bit from GoodReads article about the program:

“If you could ask Margaret AtwoodKhaled Hosseini, or James Patterson anything, what would it be? Maybe you want to know their writing inspiration, what they read as a guilty pleasure, or you have a burning question about one of their bestsellers. Now’s your chance because these three are among the 54 major authors who are helping us launch an exciting new program on Goodreads—Ask the Author!

“Ask the Author allows readers to ask questions and get answers from their favorite authors. At Goodreads, we believe the relationship between authors and readers is very special. Authors tell stories and create worlds that spark the imaginations of their readers. Now readers can deepen that connection by asking questions about the new worlds, ideas, and people they’ve discovered in books.”

Also, GoodReads says they’re starting a companion program called Ask The Reader :-)


Next Sunday, the 22nd of June, from Noon til 4pm EDT (USA), you can ask me questions—about my books or my writing life.

Next Monday, I’ll let you know what happened………

BTW, you can avoid going to GoodReads to ask me questions by using the Comments section of this blog :-)
To Leave A Comment, Use The Link At The Top-Right of The Post :-)
For Private Comments, Email: amzolt {at} gmail {dot} com
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