James Patterson is to target new avenues for selling books with a series of shorter, cheaper novels he is calling BookShots.
In the US, Patterson will publish between two and four of the 150-page, $5 novels a month via publisher Little Brown, telling the New York Times he hopes they might appeal to people who do not normally read at all. "You can race through these – they're like reading movies," he said.
In the UK, PRH's Cornerstone has confirmed that it will publish BookShots in all its territories, but has so far released no further details.
In the US, the plan is for BookShots to be stocked in the usual booksellers, but according to the NYT Patterson and Little Brown want to target retail outlets that don't usually sell books, such as pharmacists and grocery stores. "These venues are very inhospitable to traditional publishing, but we think this is a type of book that could work very well there," Hachette Book Group chief executive Michael Pietsch said.
HBG is planning to publish 21 BookShots in 2016, including thrillers, sf, mysteries and romances. The first two, to be published in June, are Cross Kill starring Alex Cross and Zoo II, an sf thriller written by Patterson with Max DiLallo.
All the books in the BookShots series will be written or co-written by Patterson, aside from the romances, which will be branded "James Patterson Presents."
BookShots will later include non-fiction, "with a focus on short, newsy books that play off current events."