Best-Selling Author in the World: A Literary Powerhouse’s Remarkable Journey

Written by Danish Akhtar
Best-Selling Author in the World: A Literary Powerhouse's Remarkable Journey


There is one writer in all of the literature whose words and stories have gone beyond boundaries and touched the hearts of millions of people worldwide. This literary giant has achieved a degree of accomplishment and acclaim rarely seen in publishing history. The influence of this writer’s works, both in enticing fiction and inspiring nonfiction storytelling, has been nothing short of spectacular.

Tale of the World’s No.1 Author

Patterson has sold more books than any other living author for many years. Although his interactions with celebrities are rarely as entertaining as his tales from childhood, Patterson knows almost as many people as he does stories.

These tales are dull, but Patterson is fascinating. His success, as with many best-selling authors, rankles people who wish the reading public had different tastes. His works have sold over 400 million copies. His critics harp on his use of stock characters and plot devices and his tendency to crank out many titles with the help of ghostwriters each year. Patterson’s success can be attributed to his work ethic.

His record-breaking book collections

According to Publishers Weekly, he’s the best-selling author of the previous seventeen years, and he’s authored over 200 books that made the New York Times bestseller list. However, Patterson’s works have not been added to the magazine’s list of 150 bestsellers published since 2004.

The secret is in the list length. Patterson provides extensive plot summaries for his novels, much like the Stratemeyer Syndicate did in the early twentieth century when it published hundreds of books for young readers featuring characters like Nancy Drew and the Hardy Boys.

Patterson is hypersensitive to the criticism leveled against him and his work. In 2009,
While Patterson would have you believe otherwise, he is not a materialist. He was never much of a reader growing up. Still, while working as a night aide at a psychiatric hospital, he discovered a passion for reading and a wide range of authors, from James Joyce and Gabriel Garcia Márquez to John Rechy, Evan S. Connell, and Stanley Elkin, among others.


Wrapping Up

Despite the formulaic nature of Patterson’s thrillers, the author continues to sell millions of copies annually. Any hints about the methods he used to achieve this level of dominance would be greatly appreciated. To aspiring authors, Patterson has some advice: This is very standard advice for writing action, but it bears repeating: trim the fat and keep the story moving. From aspiring novelists to fifth graders doing book reports, he recommends that all writers “outline, outline, outline” in his brief two-page chapter on technique.