Murder by numbers: Deighton Is #1 At "mindless, page-turning bestsellers"


These days, John Deighton uses Patterson's example to teach his MBA students the secrets of creating a blockbuster product. And Patterson continues to prove a worthy case study. Despite a relatively low profile compared with authors such as John Grisham and Tom Clancy - and a near-total absence of critical acclaim - Patterson, 60, has had more No.1 bestsellers in the past five years than Grisham, Clancy, J.K. Rowling and Dan Brown combined. He reportedly sells more than $127 million worth of books a year and last week it was revealed that he is the author most borrowed from British libraries. The "by the same author" page of his latest novel lists 48 previous titles, which he produces at an average of three a year and sometimes far more, often working with collaborators in a back-and-forth process whereby he supplies detailed plot outlines, then edits drafts written by others. A former advertising executive, he has, on occasion, paid for his own TV advertisements and market research.
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