What’s the Verdict on BookShots?

James Patterson launched a new idea in publishing a year ago. Anthony Mason interviewed Patterson on “CBS Sunday Morning” on June 5, 2016, and I just happened to watch. That was the first I’d heard of Patterson’s BookShots. The first BookShots book was released on June 7, 2016.

The idea of BookShots caught my interest enough that I made a note of it, but it was a year before I checked one out at the public library and read it. I read Detective Cross this week. I read it for a couple of reasons:  (1) I was curious to read a BookShot and (2) I’m probably the last person in the world to read a James Patterson book. It was about time.

Detective Cross, a BookShot by James Patterson

What BookShots isn’t

I thought a BookShot book might be comparable to a Kindle Singles short story, but Kindle Singles are much shorter than a BookShot. For instance, Witness to a Trial:  A Short Story Prequel to The Whistler, by John Grisham is 36 pages and No Time Left, by David Baldacci is 15 pages.

What’s a BookShot?

Dianna Dilworth described BookShots this way in her article, “James Patterson’s New Imprint Has Sold 1 Million Titles” on [http://www.adweek.com/galleycat/james-pattersons-new-imprint-has-sold-1-million-titles/123220]on August 2, 2016:

BookShots, is a line of novella-length titles designed to get people that don’t read to pick up a book. The imprint, which is under the Little, Brown and Company, features titles that have less than 150 pages and the books cost less than $5.”

Has Bookshots been successful?

Daisy Maryles reported the following in “The Year in Bestsellers 2016” on https://www.PublishersWeekly.com on January 13, 2017:

“Innovative bestselling author James Patterson came up with a new idea to promote reading: a series of thrillers that are short (150 pages or less), cheap (around $5), and fast paced. Called BookShots, the idea looks like a quick success: 16 titles held 53 spots on the bestseller lists in 2016. Patterson is hoping to soon have them at grocery store checkout lines.”

Patterson’s first BookShots release, Cross Kill, sold 18,000 copies the first week! BookShots sales have been good, but are BookShots getting in the hands of people who never or rarely read a book? Are they being read by people who don’t desire to or have time to read a novel of several hundred pages? That was Patterson’s objective in launching the idea.

I suppose it’s too early to get a reading on that. I couldn’t find any progress reports or even any speculation about that. Patterson has long been a childhood literacy advocate, and this is apparently a tangible attempt by him to encourage adults to read.

A naysayer might say that Patterson came up with the BookShots idea to increase his bank account, but I can’t imagine that is the case. According to Natalie Robehmed, writing “The World’s Highest-Paid Authors 2016:  James Patterson, Jeff Kinney and J.K. Rowling Top Ranking” on the Forbes website on August 3, 2016 [https://www.forbes.com/sites/natalierobehmed/2016/08/03/the-worlds-highest-paid-authors-2016-james-patterson-jeff-kinney-and-j-k-rowling-top-ranking/#450fb5cd711c] “Patterson topped our list for the third straight year, earning $95 million pretax,” so it’s not that he needed the money.

Call to action

Have you read a BookShot? What’s your opinion of BookShots? Leave a comment below. Share this blog post on social media by using the icons below. Thank you for sharing.

In closing

I hope BookShots will be successful. If they are sold in drug stores and other retail outlets that traditionally have not gone for the hardback several-hundred-page novel, I believe it will fill a niche and reach people who aren’t avid book readers. I’m in favor of almost anything that gets people to read!

Until my next blog post

I hope you have a good book to read. I’m reading Camino Island, by John Grisham.

If you’re a writer, I hope you have productive writing time.