James Patterson Unhappy With Bookstore Placement

Posted on March 31, 2008

James Patterson is not happy with the bookstore's placement of his latest book. The chains want to shelve it in Young Adult section -- in the back of the store. But Patterson says it needs to be up front, because it's not a young adult title at all.

Bookstores classify James Patterson's latest, The Final Warning, as a "young adult" novel. Patterson calls it a "family page-turner" for readers "10 to 110." He urged booksellers to display the book, fourth in his Maximum Ride series, up front in stores, not in YA sections in back. It enters the list at No. 2. Saving the World and Other Extreme Sports, his last book in the series about kids who are part human, part bird, hit No. 4, then faded.

Steve Bowen, president of James Patterson Entertainment, says the traditional bookstore approach is akin to taking a film like Indiana Jones and "running it in limited theaters only on Saturday mornings," compared with a wider distribution "that brings in the big box office." Patterson is close to signing a movie deal for Maximum Ride.

Harry Potter books are always at the front of the big bookstores, so why not the Maximum Ride books? We'd agree that they are family entertainment. If the books are made into a film, it will become moot. They'll appear at the front of the store when the publisher pays extra for front of store displays.

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