Growing Pains…Hustling Any Way You Know How

James Patterson recently put out a new interactive fiction mystery on Facebook messenger. I saw an ad on it earlier today. I read some of the comments and deleted it. Many of his readers were disappointed in the long 30+ chapter book on an app such as messenger. 

I felt that if such a relevant author like JP was getting frustrated ‘reviews’ how could a book last on such a forum? I thought this will never last. Then I realized…wait a second. These comments could be coming from trolls, they could be from old JP fans that haven’t read the book but hated his last work, you never know. 

I decided to create a conversation in one of my writer’s groups and inquire their thoughts. Of course they asked for the ad (which I no longer had). james patterson link 

I researched for an article about the ad I saw. It seems like a lot of work to do, yes. It also seems like a great idea, but I’m not sure if his audience is the target for such a ‘novel’ idea (cornball, I know). I wouldn’t know, I have no clue who his target audience is.

My point, even at the top of your author game, you hustle to find a new way of getting out there. You do what you need to do in order to stay relevant. This new and exciting forum could be the biggest hit or the biggest flop known to mankind. Either way JP has people talking about a new creative way to put books out for the world to read.

Interactive fiction is not new. I’ve mentioned multiple times I am attempting to write a MG interactive fiction story. Not that I am succeeding at the moment, but I recall reading them when I was a kid. The genre has been out for years (probably before I started reading them).

His twist on this particular genre, his IF is geared for the adults AND it is on messenger. Yes, he is making his book relevant and free for download on messenger. Flop or fantastic, he has something going for him.

this particular genre, his IF is geared for the adults AND it is on messenger. Yes, he is making his book relevant and free for download on messenger. Flop or fantastic, he has something going for him.

I was talking to my editor a couple of weeks ago. We were chatting, getting to know each other for the book’s sake. She mentioned how she loved I have a ‘novelette series because I am following the JP footsteps.’

No I wasn’t. I have been doing this type of writing for years (not professionally) because that’s my style. I don’t follow footsteps of anyone. But because it is JP, I am stuck with some in the industry thinking I am following a trend. 

I do have to hand it to Patterson on his hustle and creativity. He is a rockstar when it comes to staying on top of his game of marketing. I don’t read his books. His work is too long, in my opinion, I can’t follow work that long. I tend to lose interest (no offense to those who read or write novels of that length). james patterson short series

This is his exact reasoning for the ‘novella series’ he put together. He felt those that don’t normally read or those who tend to read less could have an opportunity to check out his work in shorter spans. This is a great idea. His novellas are typically about 150 pages as opposed to a book like “Cross the Line” with 432 pages or “House of Robots” with 352.

I get he has a platform and a well-known brand already. I can’t compete with that. Honestly, Stephen King broke up “The Green Mile into smaller sections when I was a kid but JP is getting the credit. Does this mean SK is less relevant than JP? At the moment there is a shift because nothing lasts forever and JP is the hustler. That’s my opinion anyways.

Not to say that King isn’t relevant, obviously he is. Pet Sematary is coming out in 2019 and I’m sure the book will skyrocket to top ten again. Since I haven’t seen anything intriguing about King, there’s little talk except the movie remake. 

In order to stay or become relevant, you must keep hustling. Stay in front of your audience. Get your fans to talk about you and others to keep talking. I’m not a fan of Patterson but he has me watching him. I am paying attention. If he can surpass Stephen King with his own idea from years ago, take IF to another level, reintroduce the same ideas from years ago and make them his own I will continue watching him.

He is a hustler. Maybe I’ll even read one of his novellas this weekend. 

Failure is the key to success; each mistake teaches us something. - Morihei Ueshiba

Stay fabulous newbies. Stay relevant and stay in front of your audience…keep that hustle!

Robyn Branick


Robbie Ellie


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