Lesson time 6:08 min
Readers do judge books by their covers. What should they think about yours?
Topics include: Favorite titles and covers
No book has ever been bought that wasn't picked up, OK? And to some extent what makes you pick it up is the cover. It needs to immediately tell people that that's that genre that they love. Oh, I love mystery, oh I love Noir mysteries. It looks like a Noir mystery. But then, it needs to look like a unique Noir mystery, one I haven't read before. It's not just an issue of, boy that's a beautiful design, or that's cool, or that's innovative, or that's new, or I haven't seen that before. It really is a major communication about what's inside. All right, so this is my break out novel. The first title on this one was Remember Maggie Rose, and the girl who gets kidnapped, her name is Maggie Rose. So that was the first title. It's not a bad title. One of the issues with it, there's a couple issues with the title. One is, is it really good to be writing a book, that you want to really sell well, about a missing child to make that the key selling point, question mark. Secondly, when I sold this book, part of the deal was that they wanted a second book about Alex Cross. And I hadn't been thinking of a series, it was just going to be this one book. But the publisher wanted a second book. So then, we came into, OK, what can help people to identify that it's a series. And what I came up with was nursery rhyme titles, which hadn't been used in a big way. So Along Came A Spider, kind of scary, I can tell that it's going to be thrilling, it's going to be a little scary, but it's not a turn off, and especially in terms of the look of this. Art directors don't particularly like a lot of big type covers. But sometimes they're very, very effective. All of the Robert Ludlums were big type covers, all of the John Le Carre. People just go, OK, I get it, it's probably going to be a mystery thriller, it's probably going to be a page turner. So this is a real mass cover and it's the beginning of a series. And I don't know if it's brilliant brilliant, but it worked very well. Now, here, once again, the Little Brown really went all out for this. They got quotes from Nelson DeMille, and Clive Cussler, Ed McBain, Ann Rule, and Sidney Sheldon. So they really went for it in terms of-- you read this and you go, OK well, obviously, there's some-- One, if you like some of the authors you go, oh Nelson DeMille, I like him, he's smart. If he says it's good I'm going to kind of believe it. If you've got five big authors, it's communicating, obviously, there's a lot of enthusiasm about this book. So I'm feeling I'm feeling good about spending my money on this. No picture, which as you can see by looking at me, is a good idea. Honeymoon is a good title. Most people have either experienced it or want to experience it, it's a very emotional time. Nothing bad should happen on your honeymoon, nothing tragic, nothing horrifying. So the notion of writing...
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.
This was a great springboard for getting me started! I appreciate practical guidelines for structuring my time and practice.
I was delighted to take part in the program and found it to be a treasure chest of knowledge. Being coached by one of the best is invaluable.
I feel inspired and blessed that James shared his writing experiences with me through this course. The outline for Honeymoon was such a great example for story plotting, which has been my biggest hang-up. Using this idea, I have made great gains in my own story plotting and feel confident that I will be able to produce the beautiful book that I've wanted to write for years. Thanks, James! :0)
This was a fantastic class. Mr. Patterson is brilliant, and I am very fortunate to have been able to hear him share his expertise.