Brother, can you spare a bookstore?

Patterson to Acquire Joseph-Beth Booksellers


Author James Patterson is in “late stage negotiations” to purchase Joseph-Beth Booksellers, which operates five bookstores in Kentucky and Ohio. A source with direct knowledge of the talks told Shelf Awareness that Patterson, who has donated millions of dollars in recent years to independent bookstores, frontline booksellers and libraries, “caught the bookselling fever” and decided to become more actively involved in the retail side of the book trade. He plans to change the name to James-Beth Booksellers, honoring both its old and new incarnations.

James Patterson may soon be among a select number of authors who own a bookstore.

James Patterson may soon be among a select number of authors who own a bookstore.

According to the source, Patterson’s decision was in part inspired by other writers who have made the successful transition from bestselling author to indie bookstore owner–and gotten excellent press attention–including Jeff Kinney of An Unlikely Story in Plainville, Mass.; Ann Patchett of Parnassus Books in Nashville, Tenn.; Louise Erdrich of Birchbark Books in Minneapolis, Minn.; and Garrison Keillor of Common Good Books in St. Paul.

Patterson’s move into retail may also be influenced by his own personal book inventory, which includes more than 150 titles (most with co-writers), as well as the children’s imprint JIMMY Patterson and the recently announced BookShots, “a new line of short novels that cost less than $5 and can be read in a single sitting.” A James Patterson aisle is not out of the realm of possibility.

–Robert Gray

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Filed under 2016, author, bookstore

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