Chapter 19 of 22 from James Patterson

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

James Patterson

James Patterson Teaches Writing

James teaches you how to create characters, write dialogue, and keep readers turning the page.

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Class Info


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 for the very first time. In this course, he guides you through every part of the book writing process.

22 lessons totaling 3+ hours of video from James covering everything from starting your outline to getting published.

Each video lesson is paired with notes, reading materials, and assignments to make sure you get the most out of your class.

Submit your rough drafts and assignments for feedback from other students taking the class (and possibly James himself!).


James Patterson

James Patterson Teaches Writing