I am Exhausted Just Reading This

So, apparently James Patterson is the world’s most successful writer (via Pimp My Novel) [key quote: “Patterson may lack the name recognition of a Stephen King, a John Grisham or a Dan Brown, but he outsells them all. Really, it’s not even close. (According to Nielsen BookScan, Grisham’s, King’s and Brown’s combined U.S. sales in recent years still don’t match Patterson’s.)”]. This is fascinating stuff, especially when you dig in and read how hard the man works, although he’s pretty much just a Content Supplier at this point, and not so much a writer.

Which is cool; I doubt Patterson has sleepless nights regretting that he never wrote that spiritually devastating Serious Novel. The man pays co-authors out of his own pocket in order to publish 9 books a year; there’s no way he has any angst about the road he’s taken. Plus, sleeping on a bed of money kind of eases the pain a little, I’ll bet.

Some struggling authors might be jealous of Patterson’s success. Some who have even had a measure of success might be envious, but not me. And not because of fruity artistic concerns, either (they can make Avery Cates lunchboxes if they want, or — OOH! — Avery Cates cologne), but because I do not ever want to work that hard.

I can’t speak for other authors, because I shun the company of other writers (all they want to do is talk about craft and writing and the business of publishing, when all I want to talk about is who is buying the next round, when will the next round be forthcoming, and where are we going after closing time), but for me, my authorial dream life has always been the sort they depict in the movies and television: Rich writer spends about 5 minutes a day writing, about six hours a day endorsing huge checks, and the rest attending fabulous parties. I enjoy the writing, so writing for a few hours every day is fun, but that’s about where my ambition ends, and I fully believe in paying other people to do things like read my contracts, market my books, cut up and pre-chew my food, etc.

SO, I will never be quite as rich or successful as Mr. Patterson, sure, I accept that. Trust me, you will never hear me complaining because I haven’t published nine books in the past year, and I will never, ever, bemoan the fact that I’m not allowed to run my own marketing meetings at Hachette. Trust me. I’m putting all my efforts into becoming Castle from the TV show, sans daughter. Although, I must admit, the idea of paying other folks to write my books for me is kind of appealing. Except for the paying part. Maybe I could start the first ever unpaid internship for ghostwriting? College kids would submit writing samples and I’d pick three every year to live at my house and write a novel each for me to submit under my name. IT’S GENIUS!

Who’s with me? All accepted interns would be required to address me as El Jefe. Submit your resumes via my contact page.


  1. Janet Reid

    As long as I don’t ever have to call you El Jefe, this sounds fine to me.

  2. Bill Cameron

    You already accepted ACID TEETH: The AVERY CATES STORY, this Fall on Lifetime. So now you’re down to two.

  3. djhornbsy

    Your last six sentences… BRILLIANT!

  4. jsomers (Post author)

    Janet, as always, you can refer to me as either “Dearest Client” when I do something profitable or “Dumbass” when I do something damaging to my career. So far, I think “Dumbass” outnumbers “Dearest Client” by 3-1.

  5. jsomers (Post author)


  6. jsomers (Post author)

    djhornsby, thank you! Appreciate the comment. Anyone calling me brilliant under any circumstances is OK in my book.

  7. Lesli Muir Lytle

    Come on!

    Do they have to be college students?
    How about former Mormon Mafia Members?

    If so, I’m in!

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