James Patterson's BookShots Offers Short Reads On The Cheap

One of the most famous writers in the U.S. has launched a brand new imprint — courtesy of Little, Brown and Company — dedicated to publishing affordable novellas. Each of the e-books from James Patterson's BookShots will be fewer than 150 pages in length, and cost less than $5. Patterson says, "Nearly a third of Americans have not read a single book in the past year," and adds that he "hope[s] ... BookShots will get people reading now and reading more often."

BookShots currently offers three categories: Thriller, Romance, and Nonfiction. At the time of this writing, there are no nonfiction titles available. Two romance novellas — Learning to Ride by Erin Knightley and The McCullagh Inn in Maine by Jen McLaughlin — go on sale on July 25.

E-book versions of BookShots titles are available for $3.99, with e-audiobook versions priced at $9.99. Users may pre-order books before their release. Readers in the U.S. and Canada who make a purchase before June 13 will receive a free BookShot, Mary Mary, which features Patterson's famous investigator, Alex Cross.

There are seven novellas listed under BookShots' Thriller mast. Two are available now, with the remaining five rolling out over the summer and fall months. The BookShots Thrillers are:

  • Cross Kill by James Patterson
  • Zoo 2 by James Patterson and Max DiLallo
  • Little Black Dress by James Patterson and Emily Raymond, available July 5
  • The Trial by James Patterson and Maxine Paetro, available July 5
  • Chase by James Patterson and Michael Ledwidge, available August 2
  • Let's Play Make-Believe by James Patterson and James O. Born, available August 2
  • 113 Minutes by James Patterson and Max DiLallo, available September 6

Some might scoff at the idea that reading should be made more accessible, and I'll admit that I feel some conflict over the subject. My feelings don't change the facts, however. Bestselling books are getting longer, and some people don't have the time or the patience to read them. That's unfortunate, but true.

Here's the thing, folks: everyone should be able to find books that suit them. That's why we need diverse books. It's why we have teens who read Camus, and adults whose reading difficulties prevent them from doing so. Consider the additional fact that reading is an expensive hobby, and you can see how elitist the argument against short, cheap books can be. If Patterson's BookShots can reach adults who lack the time and funds for full-length novels, more power to them.