“What’s that all about? Can you get a job? Yes. Is it harder? Yes,” Patterson, 75, told the British newspaper. “It’s even harder for older writers. You don’t meet many men 52-year-old whites.
Now, Patterson is facing backlash from critics and writers who say the author has blatantly ignored recent data showing what the publishing industry has been and continues to be.a business that is owned by white men.” In a diversity self-audit of Penguin Random House, the publisher found that about 75 percent of contributors during that period were white. Only 6 percent were black, while 5 percent were Hispanic, the audit shows. The company also acknowledged that more than 74 percent of its employees were white.
A 2019 survey of children’s publisher Lee and Low Books found that 85 percent of publishing employees who buy and edit books are white. A 2020 report from the New York Times found a similar result across the US publishing industry, with 89 percent of books written in 2018 written by white writers.
“James Patterson of all people” best selling author Roxane Gay tweeted. “First of all, he writes your own books, mate.”
Patterson use ghost writers to help you publish multiple titles a year.
A representative for Patterson did not immediately respond to a request for comment early Tuesday.
With more than 300 titles to his name, Patterson is one of the most prolific writers in the publishing world. He has sold over 400 million copies of his books, with the New Yorker praising Patterson this week as “the world’s best-selling author.” His 260 New York Times bestsellers led Publisher’s Weekly to name him the best-selling author since 2005.
Forbes reported in 2018 that Patterson had an estimated net worth of $800 million, tying him with golfer Tiger Woods. Patterson made a estimated $70 million in 2019 alone, according to Forbes, behind only JK Rowling.
While hundreds of millions have bought his books, critics and authors have singled out Patterson for his writing style and use of ghostwriters to help him publish multiple titles a year. patterson said washington post in 2016 that his simple, declarative style is meant to “turn on the movie projectors in our heads.”
“I’ve taken the fat out of commercial novels,” he said at the time. “In many novels, there is more than there should be.”
Patterson’s rise was due, in part, to the success of his “Alex Cross” series, in which a fictional black detective faces threats against his family and Washington. The series spawned three movies, with actor Morgan Freeman playing Cross in “Kiss the Girls” and “Along Came a Spider.”
When the Sunday Times noted the early success of a series involving a black main character, Patterson noted that race did not play an issue in the development of one of his most memorable characters.
“I just wanted to create a character that happened to be black,” Patterson said. “I wouldn’t have tried to write a serious saga about a black family. It’s different in a detective story because the plot is so important.”
In addition to his comments about white men in publishing, Patterson denounced the decision by his own publisher, Hachette Book Group, to withdraw Woody Allen’s memoir in 2020 after employees staged a protest over the book over long-standing allegations. of sexual abuse. against the famous director. Allen’s memoir “Apropos of Nothing” was eventually picked up by Arcade Publishing.
“I hated that,” Patterson said of Allen’s book withdrawal. “He has the right to tell his own story.”
Patterson added, “I’m almost always on the side of free speech.”
But much of Patterson’s interview focus was on his claim that white men struggle to find work in the publishing industry. Gina Denny, associate editor at TouchPoint Press, indicated that when USA Today reported on Patterson’s comments, only nine authors on the newspaper’s list of 150 best-sellers there were non-white writers. Three of Patterson’s titles made the list, while only five women of color and four men of color made the best-seller list. The rest were white men between the ages of 36 and 84, Denny said, and some of the white men on the list are long dead.
“Dead white men are statistically just as likely to be on the USA Today best-seller list as a person of color,” Denny wrote.
Several black writers objected to Patterson’s comments, including Shola Mos-Shogbamimu, author of “This Is Why I Resist.”
“What an obtuse statement from James Patterson. He better pick up books and educate himself on what racism is,” he said. wrote. “Are you missing the good old days when white men had ALL the writing jobs?”
Frederick Joseph pointed out that 20 publishers rejected “Patriarchy Blues,” which became a bestseller last month, because said Publishers “didn’t think people would buy a book by a black man that discussed patriarchy.”
“James Patterson believes that white men face racism in publications” wrote Joseph, who has written two best-selling books. “From a black man who has had over 50 book rejections (all of which are now bestsellers) because white publishers don’t understand them or ‘already have black male authors’…shut up.”
Joseph additional“Support black authors.”
Meanwhile, Patterson continues to sell. His autobiography, “James Patterson by James Patterson,” was released last week, and “Run, Rose, Run,” his March bestseller, was recently acquired by Sony Pictures, according to Term.