How Many Books Has James Patterson Written?

James Patterson is a very popular novelist who is very well known for his minimalistic style. He has written lots of American thriller novels, of which he has sold over 230 million copies across the world! He is well known for the stories that he creates. 

How Many Books Has James Patterson Written?

James Patterson has written a variety of different genres. He has written some non-fiction books, romance, young adult and historical fiction. However, he is best recognized for his thriller (If you like thrillers, also check out Falling), suspense and mystery novels. 

How Many Books Has He Written?

Since James Patterson started writing, he has published more than 200 novels. He started publishing novels in 1976. Patterson has released around 12 books every year. 

James Patterson held The New York Times record because he had 67 New York Times Number 1 bestseller awards. 

Speaking of awards, check out our Nobel prize winning books to get an idea of what to read next! And you might also be interested in how many Twilight books are there or how many books has Stephen King written!

Who Is James Patterson? 

James Patterson is a very successful author who has written lots of novels from different genres. He published his first book in 1976. He also worked his way up in the advertising world.

He remained in the advertising industry until 1996, when he decided to give up this part of his career to focus on his writing career. 

James Patterson is a Guinness World Record holder for having the most books on the best-seller list for the New York Times. 

What Was James Patterson’s Early Life Like?

Patterson was born in New York in 1947. While he was a fairly good student, he never actually enjoyed reading until after he graduated from high school. After school, he went on to study English literature at Vanderbilt University.

However, he didn’t finish his degree, instead taking a job as a copywriter in 1971. 

Patterson’s Novels

Patterson ended up becoming the CEO of the advertising agency that he worked for, but he wrote fiction in his spare time. He published his first novel in 1976 named The Thomas Berryman Number. This novel won the Edgar Award, a prestigious award for mystery writers. 

Patterson got his first major success in 1993 when he released the novel Along Came A Spider. Patterson used his experience in advertising to set up an advertising campaign that helped the novel to sell well.

When his novels started to become successful, he left his life in advertising in order to focus on his writing. 

Patterson has created a character: Alex Cross, who appears in lots of his novels. He is the protagonist in Spider, Pop Goes the Weasel and lots of other novels.

There have been lots of movie adaptations of these novels in which Alex Cross has been portrayed by Morgan Freeman and Tyler Perry. 

Varied Genres 

Patterson has written a book featuring a New York Detective Michael Bennett. Michael Bennet has 10 adopted children. Women’s Murder Club was a short lived TV show that was released in 2007.

He has written novels in lots of different genres, including romance, science fiction, historical fiction and non-fiction. He has also written books for younger readers (check out how many Fear Street book are there, if you want to get something nice to your little one).

How Many Books Has James Patterson Written?

Writing Process 

Patterson writes a lot of different novels. He was connected with 14 books in 2011 and 13 books in 2012 and 2013.

He has co-written some of these novels which helps with the huge output of novels that he manages to release. In 2018, Patterson co-authored a novel entitled The President Is Missing with the former American president Bill Clinton.

This book topped the charts immediately and sold 250,000 copies in its first week. This is the biggest number of sales since Go Set A Watchman was released in 2015, which was the sequel to To Kill A Mockingbird.

Patterson is part of the Guinness World Records as he sold over 1 million e-books. He was the first author to ever do this.

He also holds the world record for the number of New York Times best sellers; he accumulated 350 million book sales across the world with 114 of them on the bestseller list.

Patterson earns millions of dollars every year for his novels, and he has become a great success in brand management. His success and the success of his brand has become a case study that you can research at Harvard Business School.


Patterson has been awarded many different achievement awards over the years. In 2015, he was awarded the National Book Foundation’s Literian Award. He received this for Outstanding Service to the American Literary Community.

He has also donated $1.75 million dollars to public school libraries. He supports independent bookstores too, having donated $1 million to independent bookstores across the U.S.

President Trump has also presented Patterson with an award. In 2019, he received the National Humanities Medal from Trump.

James Patterson’s Private Life

James Pattterson married in 1977. He married a woman named Susan, and they settled in Florida. The couple still spend most of their time in Florida. In 1998, they became parents when their son, Jack, was born. 

In 2005, Patterson established the James Patterson PageTurner Awards which focussed on funding schools and other institutions to spread excitement surrounding reading. 

The PageTurner Awards were set on a backburner in 2008 when Patterson decided to focus  on a new initiative. 

Patterson released which aims to help parents, librarians and teachers to find good books to encourage children to read, no matter what their interest levels are. Through this scheme, he donated millions of books to young people, schools and soldiers. 

He has also established some Teacher Education Scholarships at some different universities, and has donated lots of his wealth to bookstores, libraries and universities, including his own: Vanderbilt University. 

Final Thoughts 

James Patterson is a very successful author who has written over 200 novels. He has sold over 230 million copies of his books, and has also donated lots of money to funds that support libraries and reading in schools and other institutions.

Patterson has received many different awards for his literary works, and he continues to release novels to this day.

Go through our guide on the 100 greatest novels ever written to freshen up your literary knowledge and pick something interesting!

Sophie Andrea