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Should you write long or short books?

M LeMont Follow @mistersalesman

Should you write long or short books and what do readers want? I’ve been writing short copy, texts, books, blogs, articles, etc. for some time now. I figured with so much noise that people wanted information fast and they wanted it now. They wanted to get in and out quickly and be done with it. Recently, I read an excellent article about James Patterson and the process behind his writing. I’ve curated the essence of the article to save you time and shed some light on this intriguing question; Long or short copy, which is better?

I want to thank the writer for the time, dedication, and sacrifice it took to write this article.

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James Patterson mostly doesn’t write his books. And his new readers mostly don’t read — yet.

By Karen Heller June 6, 2016

BRIARCLIFF MANOR, N.Y. — In book publishing, there is James Patterson — and basically everyone else.
His author bio: “James Patterson has written more bestsellers and created more enduring fictional characters than any other novelist today.” Beloved by critics and peers? Not so much. But his popularity among readers remains incontrovertible. He is an industry unto himself.
And now the author of popular thrillers — and children’s books and young adult novels and romances and mysteries — has launched BookShots , a series of short, cheap, plot-propelled novels directed at an audience more prone to reading smartphones than print. (Naturally, there is an app for it.)

“In this day and age, when so many people have decided to spend so much of their lives not reading books, I think to create a new habit for them is a smart thing,” says Patterson, 69.
The trick? “I’ve taken the fat out of commercial novels,” he says. “In an awful lot of novels, there’s more in them than there should be.” Not in these books. The sentences are simple and declarative.
And frequently double as paragraphs.
Chapters are hiccups. Questions? Rampant. Answers? Plenty and fast. Italics emote. Verbs outnumber adjectives, which Patterson appears to view as the literary equivalent of parsley. (Want to write like this? You can! Through the online James Patterson MasterClass!)
“Every single chapter is conceived to move the plot and the characterization forward,” he says, “and to turn on the movie projectors in our heads.”

He labels BookShots “a revolution” and “a huge thing.”

The motto: “Stories at the speed of life.”

“People want things faster. They want to binge,” says the former adman and onetime creative chief at J. Walter Thompson. “These books are like reading movies.”

In the past year, he’s written 117 volumes for BookShots. Although written is not the precise verb. Conceived, outlined, co-written and curated. Patterson delivers exhaustive notes and outlines, sometimes running 80 pages, to co-authors, his printer regularly discharging collaborators’ efforts like lottery tickets. “The success rate when I write the outline is almost 100 percent. When other people do, it’s 50 to 60 percent,” he says.

Patterson is among the first writers credited with promoting books through television spots, releasing more than one title a year, and maintaining a stable of writers that rivals this year’s field at the Kentucky Derby. “It may be a factory,” Robinson says, “but it’s a hand-tooled factory.”

“Jim realized his ideas were never going to all get done at the regular pace of publishing,” Robinson says.
“Publishing doesn’t innovate,” Patterson says. “It’s kind of weird, in this world where everything is changing every 10 minutes.”

He isn’t big on following publishing tradition, or accepted rules about writing. “I don’t care about rules per se. They either work or they don’t work. I’m going to attempt to write a best-selling book,” he says. When he first started with fiction, “I would write at the top of every chapter, ‘Be there, be there, be there in the scene.’ Feel what the hero is feeling. If you’re being electrocuted, feel that. You can’t be distant. You can’t be watching from another room.”

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