From James Patterson's MasterClass

Marketing The Patterson Way

Before publishing his first book, James was an executive at a top ad agency in New York. Find out what James learned from his time in advertising and how he used it to change the book marketing game.

Topics include: Brand yourself • Create a tagline • Advertise • Use social media • Push your publisher


Before publishing his first book, James was an executive at a top ad agency in New York. Find out what James learned from his time in advertising and how he used it to change the book marketing game.

Topics include: Brand yourself • Create a tagline • Advertise • Use social media • Push your publisher

James Patterson

Teaches Writing

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Bizarrely, there is a Harvard case study on me, and I think one of things that the professors found interesting is that they could write about me the way they write about Coca Cola as a brand. I don't particularly think of myself as a brand, but they at least found that angle to be interesting. It's been written that I've changed publishing somewhat. I think what I changed was just common sense things. Like a lot of businesses, once it gets into a groove, new people come in and they don't change with the times. They just kind of keep doing what they've been doing. And in a lot of cases I just question everything. It's not necessarily that I want to change anything. [CELLO SOLO] There was always this thing you should just publish the one book every year and you publish it the same month and that became a model. And it worked for a publisher, Putnam, for a number of years, and it just became this little machine. And here was Robin Cook, and every April or whatever the month was he would publish the next novel. I said I don't really understand why that should be, and I remember going into the publisher one point I said, I want to do three novels this year, and it was like oh, I don't know about that. I said, Well, let me tell you the books. I gave him the idea for Beach House, which was a thriller set out in the Hamptons. And then I gave them an idea for a couple a book called Suzanne's Diary for Nicholas, and when I went through that story the publisher actually cried when I was telling the story. And then afterward he said, OK, we want to do Beach House, but we don't want to do Suzanne's Diary for Nicholas because we don't think it's your brand. And I said, look not that I know everything about brands, but such as it is, here's what I think a brand is. A brand is a relationship between a product or in this case me and customers. It's just a relationship. I know that Crest toothpaste gets my teeth clear, or acceptably clean, or I think it does, and does a little something for my breath. So I have a relationship. I've been using it since I've been a kid, and I don't really want to think about toothpaste so much, and that's just fine. In the case of my books, I think the relationship that I have is I know that if James Patterson writes a book the pages are going to turn themselves. That's the relationship. That's the expectation. That's what I'm going to deliver. So that's my opinion about what a brand is, and the fact that I could write in different genres was kind of mind-blowing for a lot of publishers. Then the notion of oh, he's writing two books a year. Oh my god, he's writing four books a year. Oh my god, 10 books a year. If I stop writing 10 books a year at this point, a lot of people at the publishing house would have heart attacks. So we've gone from like, how can you do that? To please don't stop. [CELLO SOLO]...

Set out to write a best-selling book

James Patterson, the author of 19 consecutive No. 1 New York Times bestsellers, reveals his tricks of the trade. In his first online writing class, he guides you from the start to the finish of your book.


Students give MasterClass an average rating of 4.7 out of 5 stars.

Having written a couple mystery novels primarily for friends and family, I wanted to hear from the master if I was on the right track.

James Patterson cut my chains one by one... I am like the whale in the story... I'm free now But I want to stick around my rescuers :)

The class is practical, and breaks down Patterson's writing process with down-to-earth videos and effective assignments. I'd recommend this class!

I have learned how to create a robust outline. Spending time doing so can make the writing process a lot easier. Also, GRIT is important. So I should take rejections with a grain of salt.


Bonnie A.

I was interested in what James Patterson said about pushing your publisher. Specifically that they need to communicate that enthusiasm for your book to book stores, reviewers and readers. What I have been told is that writers must to do all of their own promotional work and that the publishing houses do none of that. Can anyone tell me their experience?

Georges S.

My book should be published in two years. My publisher asked me to build my following and personal brand further in the meantime. One idea i have is to start a 1 minute weekly video on a related topic that i cover in my non-fiction book that i post on social media. Should i start this now - two years before the book is out? Or should I wait until i have the manuscript written and start publicity a year before the book is out? Am I putting the cart ahead of the horse?

James B.

This is a tagline for a novel I'm writing I have in mind: Is the world truly as you see it?

Shayne O.

A memoir which may be sold as a work of fiction to save feelings. Tagline 1: One woman’s journey of self-discovery and escapade that will plummet you into the unfathomable smoke & mirrors world of today's Middle East. Tagline 2: A cross-cultural love affair for the digital age of passion, heartbreak, honor and betrayal across continents and the great age divide. Tagline 3: A modern tale for the digital age, a romance where old world east and new world west meet and clash across cultures, continents and the great age divide. Tagline 4: A modern-day romance explores the developing relationship between an urbane Australian woman and her traditional Jordanian Bedouin lover. From the height of passion to the depth of despair.

Margot B.

Mine is a fictionalized women's memoir: 1. Seeking herself. Seeking God. Finding love. But that kind of gives away the final twist... 2. Jen's search for self and God is ultimately the quest for love. 3. Jen, a young American sets out in search of herself and God. What she finds, is beyond her wildest dreams. and one more for good measure... this is kind of fun... 4. Jen's quest to escape the American dream in India leads her to find more than she could have ever dreamed of. 5. Setting out to escape the American dream, Jen finds healing, meaning and more than she could have ever desired, in India. Would love your views. Thanks.

Autumn D.

Oh I got it! The Tag line for the series: "The urban cozy you're been waiting for." (Since James Patterson's brand is "the pages turn themselves," I was thinking of a brand tag line for my series. I really like it.

Autumn D.

Tag Line and book blurb: Mystery. Mistaken Identify. Burnt Cookies. When bakery clerk Lexi Fagan's lover, firefighter Jerry Stevens, turns up dead in a devastating hotel fire, Lexi has no time to mourn. Homicide detective Robert Reiger discovers Jerry’s death was no accident. Caught up in the investigation, Lexi uncovers a shocking secret that just might get her killed.

Michael W.

To save his failing marriage, Tyler gets a job at San Diego’s biggest charity. But he’s got a little secret they can never find out...and even more importantly, neither can his wife.

Yazz B.

Little Boy Blue . A psychological thriller peeling away layers to uncover the truth about resurrected hidden ghosts. cover -optical illusion of two faces on the cover where you would have to find the two faces in one.

Miles T.

Here is my tagline. A high school girl gets warped into the distant future, where she becomes prey to man-eating monsters and beast men who want to either sacrifice her or kill her for sport.