Dear Mr. Patterson:
I’ve had about enough of you. I used to be a fan. I suppose someday I’ll re-read many of your books, but right now I’m just a little pissy.
First, I found out that you don’t actually WRITE most of “your” books, yet you rake in millions of dollars a year. That’s kind of a slap in the face to almost every other author, isn’t it?
Is that why you feel the need to comment on the book industry and stick your face into every book or publishing controversy? Do you think anyone cares what you think? What makes you qualified—reminds me of celebrities running off at the mouth about politics; they believe everyone should listen to them for some obscure reason.
Second, last year when all the hoopla was about you personally donating to struggling bookstores, I signed up for “updates” and even threw our bookstore into the ring.
Yep, that’s what I got. No updates, no responses—not even to a message I sent you, essentially agreeing with your full-page ad. Oh, and no grant. Had to close OUR bookstore, one of the ones you’re so concerned about.
And now this. Your publisher is having a slap-fight with Amazon and so you speak up yet again.
According to the USA Today article that I just read, you said “the future of our literature is in danger.” Then you added that “Amazon wants to control book buying, book selling and even book publishing,” and you mentioned a monopoly.
Well, bless your heart—where have you been? Of course Amazon wants a monopoly! That’s old news, just ask a bookseller. I just can’t help thinking you might have stayed quiet on the publishing part, except it involves Hachette.
But guess what? Amazon does stuff like this to a lot of publishers—particularly small press. Heck, just last week they listed one of RHP’s books as “children, ages 0-17.” It was a murder mystery. With sex and violence. Ha.
Sometimes it takes a week or more to have our books listed on Amazon. Often the cover pics are missing for days. We don’t usually get to put our books up there for pre-orders, and even when our books ARE available, Amazon adds things like “only one copy remaining” and “will take two weeks to ship.”
Now, let’s talk about your comment about “the future of our literature.” My, doesn’t that sound elitist? Do you write “literature?” I must have missed that one. I guess you meant reading material, specifically books, right? I mean, well . . . never mind. That’s not my point.
What I THINK you meant is that big authors and publishers are in danger from the [gasp] Amazon monopoly, and that their sales will suffer. Of course, you may also have meant that there will be a dearth of quality reading material for consumers, if Amazon is allowed to continue on its merry way.
Let me tell you something, Mr. Patterson: NOT ALL GOOD BOOKS COME FROM NEW YORK. There are a lot of small press, and yes, indie and self-published authors who can tell a good story. Their books might be the high-gloss, widely marketing, absolutely perfect copy that you and your minions churn out, but readers can forgive some of that if the story is good.
Not everyone gets lucky, like you did—there, I said it. Luck. Like getting a job without experience, authors can’t often get a top-notch agent without having a considerable track record. I have no doubt, in the beginning, you worked your tail off—but I know a hundred authors who work just as hard as you did and probably write just as well, if not better.
Maybe you should mingle with the common folk for a bit. In fact, come on out to St. Louis and I’ll introduce you around to all the talented folks here that yes, DEPEND on Amazon to get their work in front of an audience.
But fair warning, I’m still ticked off about the bookstore grants . . .