James Patterson Statistics

James Patterson Statistics

James Patterson book sales statistics

  • James Patterson has sold more than 425 million books
  • He is thought to be the best-selling modern author
  • In 2020, Patterson published his 100th NY Times bestseller
  • Patterson has published 260 Times magazine best-sellers
  • None of Patterson’s books have made Time magazine’s list of 150 best-selling titles since 2004
  • Patterson’s sales rely more upon the volume of work he produces rather than any individual book
  • James Patterson was the best-selling author of the 2010s
  • He sold 84 million books (print and ebook) from 2010-2019
  • Over this period he was believed to have made over $700 million
  • His net worth was estimated at over $800 million by Forbes in 2018
  • In 2020, Patterson was the highest-paid author in the USA making over $80 million
  • From 2019-2020, Patterson sold more than 5 million books
  • Patterson was the first person to sell 1 million ebooks
  • In total, he has now sold over 5 million ebooks
  • His best-selling book is Along Came a Spider which was turner into a movie in 2001 and made over $100 million at the box office
  • Along Came a Spider is part of the Alex Cross series which have sold more than 81 million copies in total

How many books has James Patterson written?

  • In total, Patterson has published at least 394 pieces of work
  • Between his first release in 1976 and his latest release in October 2022, Patterson has published a piece of work every 6 weeks on average
For Adults
Short Story Collections and Novellas78
For Young Adults
For Kids
Short Story Collections1
Picture Books15

Patterson’s 5 most popular series are:

  • Alex Cross series
  • Women’s Murder Club series
  • Maximum Ride series
  • Michael Bennett series
  • Middle School series

How did James Patterson become an author?

  • Patterson worked as an aide in a psychiatric facility with suicidal patients
  • He often worked night shifts with little to do and started to read to pass the time
  • Patterson has stated that he had a small-town perspective on life but working in this Harvard-affiliated facility allowed him to meet different people that expanded his ambitions
  • He went on to get bachelor’s and master’s degrees in English
  • Patterson began working for an advertising agency in New York. The company was struggling and he started getting opportunities someone in his position wouldn’t usually get because the higher-ups on large salaries were being made redundant.
  • Patterson was a success and went on to be the CEO of the agency by the age of 38
  • He began writing in his spare time – before work, at lunchtime, in the evenings after work.
  • His first novel was rejected by 31 different publishers

Wiriting style and critical reception

  • Stephen King once said James Patterson is a “terrible writer”
  • Patterson often writes short chapters and one-sentence paragraphs which have been widely criticized by literary critics
  • However, Patterson views this as essential to his success as a writer as it keeps the plot moving along at a fast-pace
  • Patterson works with other writers in many of his books and has been criticized for his co-authoring approach with accusations of being a brand rather than an author
  • He has also been accused of being a money-making machine rather than focusing on the craft of writing