Lesson 18 Book Titles and Covers James Patterson’s MasterClass.com


James Patterson’s  MASTERCLASS.COM

Lesson 18 Book Titles and Covers

“No book has ever been bought, that wasn’t picked up! Okay! And, to some extent, what makes you pick it up is the cover. It needs to immediately tell people that that’s the genre that they love! Oh, I love mystery! Oh, I love a Noir mystery! It looks like a Noir mystery. But then it needs to look like a unique Noir mystery…..” ~James Patterson

Whoa, hold on here….I need to know, what is a Noir Mystery? Well, according to Wikipedia: “It is ‘closely related to a hardboiled genre with a distinction that the protagonist is not a detective, but instead either a victim, a suspect or a perpetrator.

Do I hear someone asking, ‘How many types of Mystery Genres are there?   Well, what I found on my skip-and-jump around the net was that there are so many that that bucket is overflowing. (see below        I listed some of them)

Back  to James Patterson

Favorite Titles and Covers

He used nursery rhyme titles. Mr. Patterson is holding his book ‘Along Came A Spider’ .  On the back cover, he has quotes from known authors. If your reader likes those authors they may buy the book.

His novel, ‘Zoo’  has a photo taken of Paris. We see the  Eiffel tower in the background.  Along with the title, it states “Something Bad Is Happening Over There’ which gives you the idea this is a mystery.

Bet you are asking, what’s your point?  In order to sell ‘your’ book, ‘your novel’ needs to be seen.  Just tossing it at your reader won’t get their attention. Well, maybe for a second while  they duck. But, you want them to hold your book and read it.  This lesson is how to get the attention of your reader or potential reader, so they buy your book. It is filled with good advice.

Now, I  need to go back to Masterclass.com and listen to the short question and answer videos. This is where you can ask James Patterson a question and he will respond by posting a video.

Q & A
Q & A

Happy reading. And writing.

Here is a partial list of Mystery Genres that I searched out:

  1. Noir
  2. Cozy
  3. Amateur Sleuth
  4. Professional Sleuth
  5. Police Procedural
  6. Legal/Medical
  7. Suspense
  8. Romantic Suspense
  9. Historical
  10. Mixed Genre
  11. Private Eye –woman or men
  12. Crime
  13. Caper
  14. Bumbling Detective
  15. Child in Peril
  16. Woman in Peril
  17. Culinary
  18. Doctor Detective
  19. Furry Sleuth
  20. Handicapped
  21. Historical
  22. Inverted or Howdunit
  23. Whodunit
  24. Locked room or Puzzle
  25. Supernatural
  26. Third World
  27. Series

If you plan on writing mysteries I found this great, free book on poisons. The encyclopedia of poisons and antidotes ~  {{GRIN}]

Writer’s Village University an online community of writers helping writers

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I belong to an online community of writers that hail from all over the world.   Some are just beginning to come into who they are. Many are published authors or soon will be.     We are all learning.

Why did I join this site? I wanted to find my muse; she wandered off as my life got in the way. I wanted to interact with writers, authors, bloggers, and poets. I wanted to learn. Most of all I wanted to become a published author. I had taken a few classes from a local online college. Each class came with a cost around one hundred dollars. For eight weeks I was allowed to access the class, participate in the lessons, then after that, I lost the connection.

I joined James Patterson’s Masterclass.com. Luckily, I will never lose access to that class and its twenty-two video lessons and information.  I can watch them over and over. If I wanted to take a different class, I would need to pay again.


I wanted more…

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Then, I found Writer’s Village University. I could sign up for a one-month trial membership, a one-year, a three-year or a lifetime membership, all dependent on my budget. Check out prices HERE and see some of the upcoming classes.

The creator of Writer’s Village University is RJ Hembree .

“I’ve developed many courses since 1995, covering both conventional and artistic approaches to writing fiction, nonfiction, and poetry. My joy is research and discovery, and even more, watching our members grow into fine writers. Many have published, won awards and write professionally. We have a wide variety of experience levels in our membership. My job is to explore ways of bringing out the best in them.”

Click on the links at the top of, Writer’s Village University’s page  and you will find information on their MFA program. They have a short story MFA and a Creative Writing Certificate program, plus a lot more.

Click on WRITING COURSES, you will see a list of features courses. Click on the screenwriting course and it will open up to give you details and a list of classes.

How does this site work? When I first joined, I was confused, elated and a little nervous. I pulled up a class and read the instructions, did the readings and wrote a paper then posted it. Well, that class wasn’t activated. I did know that. I was testing the waters, sticking in my big toe to see if anyone would bite it off. They didn’t. I got a ‘like’ for my efforts. It felt good. No haters allowed here.

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I found another class. This one had a moderator, a teacher running it. I signed up by clicking the front-page link and when the class opened. I walked in, read the instructions and said, Hello.

If you missed the start date of a class, don’t fret; you can try again when the class opens again. Or you can politely ask if you can join.

If you are like me and you are wondering how this community came into being, it started in the mind of Bob Hembree he tells us his..

“initial motivation was to connect with others interested in postmodern literature, authors like Italo Calvino, Jorge Luis Borges, John Barth, Salman Rushdie and Gabriel Garcia Marquez” He said, “what I found were like-minded writer’s, so began to share what I was learning about writing.”

Bob will decide when to schedule a class. You can see open classes on the Calendar link at the top of the page. A moderator posts the lessons; you are given instructions on how to post your assignment: with a tile that includes your name, lesson # (WC 350).

You will learn how to comment on your classmate’s lessons. Commenting on your fellow student’s posts will help you learn even more. How is that possible? You will read the lesson and post your assignments. Then, as you read your classmate’s postings you will see things from a different point of view. You will learn and see the written word in a way you never thought possible. You will have many ‘Ah-ha’ moments that will help in your own writing.

This site has an unbelievable selection of online classes. So far I have taken thirty-two classes. At this moment, I am working in a class titled, Writing for Online and Print Markets. We are using a book by Naveed Saleh, called, The Complete Guide to Article Writing. Some classes have reading material available. On other’s you will need to buy the book. Don’t stop reading, this gets even easier. You can look to the Book Exchange in the Forums.  I have gotten great prices on Ebay and Amazon. Your local library may even be able to find the books you need. Don’t disregard coupons for places like Barnes & Noble

I just finished a class, where were discussing  Loren Eiseley’s ‘The Immense Journey’. I love this line from Eiseley’s essay, Little Men, and Flying Saucers.

“In a universe whose size is beyond human imagining, where our worlds floats like a dust mote in the void of night, men have grown inconceivably lonely.”

Writers don’t have to float like a dust mote; we have a place at Writer’s Village University

Hurry on over. F2K is starting on September 7th, 2016.


Bob tells us: “F2K is a beginning creative writing course, though experienced writers often repeat the course as a refresher and for inspiration. The classes are facilitated by experienced volunteers from Writers’ Village University.”

If you sign up and I hope you do, you can take classes that are aimed at beginners to published authors. Once you sign up look around. Check out the forums. Yes, there is even on more on the site, more than just classes.

Writer’s Village University is an online community of writers helping writers. Come by and take a look.


Lesson 17 James Patterson Masterclass.com Getting Published

James Patterson Masterclass Lesson 17 Getting Published

James Patterson's Masterclass.com Lesson 17
James Patterson’s Masterclass.com Lesson 17

James Patterson starts this lesson saying,

“I’ve been through the -pain of trying to get an agent. Trying to get a publisher. Trying to get a good editor. So I know what you’re going through. And the best thing I can tell you, it’s one word- it’s persistence. Just be prepared and don’t take it personally. My first book turned down my 31 publishers. You’re going to get a lot of rejection here, and a lot of it may have nothing to do with your book.”


Okay, Okay! Hold the presses! Here James said, ’31 publishers’ I found a YouTube video where he said, ‘37’.   Is this a big deal? No…not really, I just thought I would mention it.  🙂


James Patterson tells us, you need to get your book noticed by an agent or publisher first. And that starts with the query letter. Here are a few sites to check out on how to write a query letter. I found these through a Google search.

Agentquery.com has a very simple easy to read an explanation of a query letter.

PoeWar.com check out the very end of their article, a nice, neat list of what not to put in a query letter.

WritersDigest.com has an example of a qouery letter showing eight steps in its creation.

Back to James Patterson at Masterclass.com 🙂

James Patterson’s  first novel was the ‘Thomas Berryman Novel’. James tells us how he kept sending  out query letters, and for the most part, no one responded.  He didn’t even get an obligatory letter saying, ‘Thank You, No Thank You’. Now you know, it isn’t just you.

Well, maybe it is, but not here.

Finally, James tells us that the publisher asked for editing changes. So he had to get an editor. James Patterson talks about finding an agent. A publisher. He tells us to network. Talk to other writers, and hope they will toss you a bone or a publisher that-may-just-might-want-to read your book.

The peak of this lesson, For Me! Was when Mr. Patterson said to “Enjoy the victories.” Even the small ones where your spouse tells you your writing is fantastic. The point is,  take those compliments and eat them up. Writing is hard work!

I love this quote. I want it on a coffee mug 🙂

Cup of joy
Cup of joy

“Take the cup of joy! Enjoy it!”~ James Patterson