From 2010 to 2019, James Patterson sold 84 million units across print and e-book formats, making him the past decade’s bestselling author at outlets that report to NPD BookScan. Patterson’s sales total was double that of Dr. Seuss, and more than those of Stephen King, David Baldacci, and John Grisham combined, BookScan said. It also found that the prolific Patterson was the only author to have sold more than one million units in each of the adult, YA, and juvenile categories over the past 10 years. And in a final numerical nugget, it reported that one in seven books sold in the suspense/thriller category in the past decade were written by Patterson.
To mark these achievements, last month BookScan’s Karyn Schoenbart and Jonathan Stolper met with Patterson, Ned Rust, James Patterson Books publisher, and Erinn McGrath, director of publicity and marketing at James Patterson Books, over Zoom to present him with BookScan’s Bestselling Author of the Decade Award. Citing his donation of millions of books to schoolchildren and the military, and the more than $70 million he’s donated to support education and encourage reading, Schoenbart thanked Patterson for his long-standing support of booksellers, librarians, and teachers.
The current decade has gotten off to a good start for Patterson: The Family Lawyer just hit #1 on the New York Times bestseller list, marking the 100th Patterson title to reach that top spot. HBG CEO Michael Pietsch certainly appreciates having Patterson on board. “I’ve worked with James Patterson for nearly 20 years and can honestly say that I’ve learned more from our partnership than any other in my career,” he said. “All of us at Hachette feel honored to be celebrating these two gigantic milestones with him. It’s not so much that he’s the bestselling writer as that he’s the most read writer, someone who brings the thrill of story and character to multiple millions of people. The work he’s done to get kids reading and to support independent booksellers and school libraries truly makes him the first citizen of the world of books.”