An Open Letter to the Kellermans from a Bookshop Owner

Dear Jonathan and Faye Kellerman:

IMG_3621Please, for the love of God, stop. Have mercy. Have pity. Have some personal pride. Stop.

We get it. You’re brilliant thrillerists. Yes. Fine. You’ve thrilled and titillated us–accent on tit–for years. Thank you.

Don’t you think now is a good time to rest on your laurels, before you actually have to come up with a second plot device?

That day could be coming. Once you pass 100 uses of the same stock characters, readers start noticing. And no matter how much they love you, readers may pick up on other subtle clues as well. Like the assumptive arrogance of publishing a book that doesn’t have a title on it.IMG_3623 Or any printing on the back. Or front. But with a lot of back on the front. That’s kind of a giveaway that you think you’re stronger than market forces. Or your readers’ minds.

But hey, what do I know? I’m just the bookslinger who keeps taking your books in trade. And taking, and taking, and taking. Selling, umm … not so much. Which is where the problem lies. Martha Stewart has this really nice pattern for paving a driveway with hardbacks. We’re thinking of naming it “Kellerman Lane.”

Now don’t get mad, Mr. and Mrs. K; we appreciate all you’ve contributed to the literary world. What is the key to your success? The titles below? Which, if they happen to spell out anything, is completely accidental.


No no, I’m certain there is IMG_3625Justice in the world. And that your legacy will live forever. More’s the pity. But couldn’t you accept that you have left a great–okay, vast–body of work behind, and retire to some island you could buy with pocket change? And leave us poor bookslingers to get on with finding shelf space–or floor space, or space bag compactors–enough to hold your many fine contributions? Without, oh, say, involving your children? Because of all the scary stories you’ve ever cop–er, devised, this is the scariest: IMG_3629

We don’t wish you ill, dear, kind Kellermans. You’re probably in real life very nice people who plant flower gardens and take the neighbors soup when they’re sick. Please, please, show the same consideration for bookshops. We need just a little shelf space for other authors. There’s that King fellow, and the Clancy lad; they seem to be crowding in. So couldn’t you, wouldn’t you, take a little breather, and give us some breathing room?

Thank you, on behalf of second-hand book shops everywhere.

Sincerely, A Desperate Bookslinger


Filed under book reviews, bookstore management, humor, publishing, Uncategorized

14 responses to “An Open Letter to the Kellermans from a Bookshop Owner

  1. Elizabeth Cooperstein

    But, whatever would people do at the beach??

  2. Janice Brooks-Headrick

    Why not just flat out refuse to take what you already have two or more of in stock? If you file by category, then author, then title, you’ll be able to see quickly when you already have five copies. This works best when you get drop offs, or a customer who is browsing. Yep, it’ll tick off a few, but what options do you have? Expand? to where?

  3. Ok – now I know – if I read a Kellerman (which I often do – I like the characters and their families, lol) when finished donate to my church thriftshop or Goodwill!

  4. Tamra Igo

    I’ve never read a Kellerman – is that a good thing?

  5. So funny! On Pinterest you can find lots of crafty things to do with book pages. Then you could sell them as specialty “Kellerman Crafts.” And NO, do not change the “C” in craft to a “K”. thanks.

    • ‘Kourse not! That would be further proof of the Kellerman erosion effect on humanity’s slow slide into oblivion.

      • And what about You-Know-Who Patterson? Too much of a “good” thing?

        We have a local used bookstore in Midlothian, which shall remain nameless and they are very particular about what they will and will not take. They probably also have had more than their fill/full of Kellerman, Woods, Clancy, and You-Know-Who Patterson.

        Not an amusing problem. Those “prolific” authors a problem at the library also.

        How about a lane paved all the way to the dumpster with these “tomes”? Or a bag sale ?

  6. afterwordsbooks

    Sing it loud and clear! As part of our moving transition, we just donated 4,000 books to our local church for their upcoming book sale and not surprisingly, there were many, many Kellerman, Patterson, and weirdly, V.C Andrews titles.

    • We’ve started marking the bottoms with Bs, so we can donate them and not have them come back to us. Some authors you want to clear out, and some you just want to thin, y’know?

      I loved hearing how the community rallied to help you move!

  7. Kathy

    You may want to consider bagging the extra copy and find a Foster Care Home to donate the books to so children will learn to appreciate a good book and get use to holding a book in their hands.

  8. Tamra

    I don’t think I’ve ever read a Patterson either…

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