James Patterson Aiming For International Book Market With New Series “Private”

James Patterson already rules the American book market, but apparently he has his sights set on global domination. Patterson recently launched a new series that revolves around an international private investigation firm called Private, and is run by ex-CIA agent Jack Morgan. According to The Wall Street Journal, Patterson is partnering with authors worldwide to make Private an international franchise. This is how the process will work:

For each new book in the “Private” series, Mr. Patterson will write a mystery novel centering on Jack Morgan, a former CIA agent who runs an international investigation firm with branches and clients around the world. These books will be published in the U.S.; in the debut “Private” novel, out this week, Morgan hunts for his former lover’s murderer.

Then, an overseas author will write his own version of the story, featuring the same criminal investigation from the foreign detective’s perspective. American characters may have cameos in the overseas versions. The first international spin off is “Private London,” written with British thriller writer Mark Pearson, due out next spring. Mr. Patterson says “Private Rome,” “Private Australia” and “Private Amsterdam” are also in the works. These versions will be released overseas, some in foreign languages, and books that become hits in foreign markets will likely be translated into English and released in the U.S., Mr. Patterson says.

That’s pretty ambitious, right? I recently read that 1 out every 17 books sold in the US is by James Patterson, and most of the books he puts out these days are with co-authors who do the majority of the writing. I guess at this point he’s more of a brand or a franchise, like McDonald’s. Readers know when they see his name on the cover that they’re getting a fast-paced, entertaining thriller.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: I’m happy to see people reading, regardless of their choice in reading material. Yes, I think the quality of his books has deteriorated over the past few years, but more power to him for getting people to read. I’m still enjoying his Women’s Murder Club series, which he writes with Maxine Paetro. Since she’s the co-author of Private, I think I might check this new series.

What do you think about James Patterson’s plan for an international franchise? Do you think his books will be as popular internationally as they are in the US?

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