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Pay James Patterson $300 Thousand and He’ll Destroy His Latest Book

12249197884_d67d983f52_bHaving successfully transitioned from author to brand, the famed James Patterson is now trying a new business model: not writing at all.

He’s offering a unique opportunity for a single individual to pay $294,038 for the privilege of destroying the next Patterson-branded book. The package includes a first-class flight to an undisclosed location, two nights’ stay in a luxury hotel, a 14-karat gold-plated binoculars, a five-course dinner with Mr. Patterson, and a complete autographed set of the Alex Cross series, including the books Patterson wrote himself.

And at the end of your trip, you’ll get to read Private Vegas, shortly before watching it be wiped from this Earth.

I don’t know about you, but $300 thousand sounds like a good deal if it keeps the next Patterson book out of circulation, so much so that I am about to go launch a crowd funding campaign to raise funds.

Who’s with me?

No, wait – scratch that idea.

Apparently I misunderstood the story in the NY Times; the $300 thousand only give you the privilege of destroying a single copy, not the book itself. My bad.

Yes, Patterson is offering some rich fan the opportunity to spend a lot of money to blow up a single copy of Private Vegas (and no, Patterson won’t be holding it at the time).


According to the NY Times:

Susan Holden, managing director of the promotion at the advertising agency Mother New York, said she asked Mr. Patterson that very question.

“He said to me that he wouldn’t be surprised if one in his circle of friends might be interested,” Ms. Holden said. “He’s a super down-to-earth guy, but he runs with a billion-dollar crowd, so for some person that’s a huge Patterson fan, this could be chump change and could be funny.”

Patterson is also offering a promotion for those with tamer interests. Starting Wednesday at noon,  Patterson’e website at has been giving away codes which will enable a limited number of fans to read for free. It’s only open to US residents, apparently, and the codes will expire after 24 hours.

Edit: A reader pointed out a connection I missed that renders this story even more absurd. As you may recall, about a month ago Patterson released this video where he uses the allegory of a book burning to represent how book culture is being killed off in the US:

And now he’s literally destroying a book. The irony is delightful, no?

image by Alexandre Dulaunoy

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dave January 21, 2015 um 9:26 pm

Destroy it the old fashioned way – don’t buy the crud his factory writes for him 😉

Gary January 21, 2015 um 9:40 pm

If I had $300k to indulge myself, I wouldn’t pay to destroy a book.

Instead, I would approach any one of several authors whose work I like, and I would commission them to write and publish a sequel to one of their books that **I** liked, but which never caught on with the general public.

Unfortunately I am not that rich…

Perhaps I could use kickstarter to crowd-fund the writing of such a sequel; a book that would otherwise be uneconomic for the author to write and publish… If a thousand people each are willing to pay $20 for a sequel, would that be enough for a mid-list author to write one?

fjtorres January 22, 2015 um 7:22 am

Depending on the author, you might get an agreement with $50K. $100K would get pretty much anybody who isn’t a best seller. Few midlisters make even $50K per book, much less $50K guaranteed upfront.

Of course, the author may not like the book you want sequeled or be tied up on other projects. (Or be chained by a tradpub contract with a nasty non-compete.)

But it’s an interesting idea: contact ’em and see what they say.

Nate Hoffelder January 22, 2015 um 8:07 am

Even better, just give six authors $50k each and let them write what they want without having to worry about their day jobs.

fjtorres January 22, 2015 um 9:33 am

Kinda like a MacArthur Grant.

AvidReader January 21, 2015 um 9:51 pm

So Patterson is going from bookbinding analogy to get the White House to be more involved in saving books to destroying one of his own for marketing? Talk about a split personality!

Nate Hoffelder January 21, 2015 um 10:11 pm

And don’t forget, this is the same guy who wanted to save literature from the ravages of Amazon.

It’s like he’s his own sideshow act. If he didn’t come across as entirely serious I would swear that his public persona was a work of performance art.

Mackay Bell January 21, 2015 um 10:26 pm

If we pay $400,000 will he promise not to publishing it?

How much to get him to never write again?

AvidReader January 21, 2015 um 11:17 pm

Bookbinding should be book burning. Sorry.

Nate Hoffelder January 21, 2015 um 11:28 pm

Thant makes more sense. Wow, I can’t believe I missed another angle. I’m going to edit the post.

The Self-Destructing Book? – Becton Literary January 22, 2015 um 10:37 am

[…] Pay $294,038 to win a vacation, dinner with James Patterson, and the opportunity to blow up a copy o… Apparently, James Patterson is too clever for me because I don’t get it. […]

Jason January 22, 2015 um 12:23 pm

I’ve never read a Patterson book. Ignorance is bliss.

Greg Strandberg January 22, 2015 um 2:10 pm

Gimmicks are a sure sign something is losing its luster.

anothername January 22, 2015 um 3:14 pm

Very nihilistic. He can’t have a high opinion of his books. If the author thinks his books are not worth seeing the light of day, perhaps he needs to do something more worthwhile with his time. Unless he plans to use that money to improve the conditions of others.

puzzled January 22, 2015 um 3:41 pm

"Unless he plans to use that money to improve the conditions of others."

Yes. His agent, his publisher, his business manager, his accountant…

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