If people in the entertainment industry were aware that being a writer could gross you $95 million in one year, Los Angeles would be a ghost town. The only two artists that beat out Patterson for highest paid celebrity are T-Swift herself and boy band One Direction. This gives all us book nerds hope that someday we may be as successful as the more sociable celebrities we see on T.V.
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Generally we see book writers as a kind of niche profession. We know of J.K. Rowling and Stephen King, but we don’t see them as comparing to people like Taylor Swift when it comes to profits. Books are a much more subtle art than songwriting, because when it comes to music, the image of the artist is almost just as important. A writer however, can be disconnected from their audience, thus allowing the book to be judged on its own merits.
Like any high paying figure in society, Patterson has many critics. The iconic Stephen King said that Patterson is a, “terrible writer.” In fact, there seems to be a unanimous agreement amongst critics that Patterson’s work is just plain bad. With all of the outpouring of negative comments, one begins to wonder how Patterson is able to make as much money as he does.
The answer is: he is giving people what they want. If people want to read pop literature that doesn’t force them to contemplate the nature of reality, who are we to judge them. All of us have an elitist sense that we should only be spending time reading the most intellectually stimulating literature possible. This is simply not true, and probably an expression of arrogance.
Let people read what they want to read, let people listen to the music they want to listen to. The profits speak for themselves. In the words of Dave Chappelle, “haters gunna hate.”
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