James Patterson Jumps on Nordic Noir Bandwagon

Can we just call James Patterson the most successful book packager working in publishing right now? (Yes, I would argue his sales trump those of Alloy Entertainment, not to mention his brand is more firmly established and wide-ranging than the teen girl crowd Alloy targets again and again.) To wit, his latest example of collaboration, a most unusual one, comes by way of Publishers Lunch today:

James Patterson is reaching across the ocean for his latest writing
partner, working on a new thriller set primarily in Stockholm with
Scandinavian crime writer Liza Marklund, best known for her Annika
Bengtzon series. The book will be published in Sweden in 2010 with
Marklund's regular publisher Piratförlaget (of which she is a part
owner), but that is the only territory sold so far.

Barnett at Williams & Connolly is representing rights for the US
and the UK and has "a great deal of interest" from Patterson's existing
publishers in both territories. Linda Michaels, who was the "driving
force in brokering the collaboration," represents rights for the rest
of the world for Barnett, except for Sweden where The Salomonsson
Agency represented Marklund.

Barnett sees it as "another example
of Jim being innovative" as well as "an opportunity to introduce him to
a whole new area of fans [internationally[ who might not be aware of
him" while doing the same for Marklund.

  The Swedish media are all over the news, with articles in <a href="http://www.kvp.se/noje/bocker/1.1481928/marklund-och-patterson-i-samarbete">Noje</a>, <a href="http://www.realtid.se/ArticlePages/200902/27/20090227211543_Realtid757/20090227211543_Realtid757.dbp.asp">Realtid</a>, <a href="http://www.ystadsallehanda.se/article/20090228/TTKULTUR/190792486/2160/ABONNERA/&/Marklund-skriver-bok-med-Patterson">Ystads Allehanda</a> and <a href="http://www.aftonbladet.se/debatt/article4522691.ab">Aftonbladet</a>. What's especially interesting is that Marklund hasn't really been published properly in the US to date &#8211; THE BOMBER and STUDIO SEX came out in 2001 and 2002, respectively, published by S&S/Atria in hardcover and Pocket in paperback &#8211; even though she's sold more than 7.5 million copies of her novels worldwide, making her one of the few authors not to capitalize on the Scandinvian crime boom <a href="http://www.guardian.co.uk/books/2009/jan/23/scandinavian-crime-fiction">that's finally hit the mainstream media</a>. As to whether it will work to introduce Marklund's earlier work to American readers &#8211; well, no one's really rushing to reissue Michael Ledwidge's first few novels since <a href="http://www.sarahweinman.com/confessions/2006/07/sometimes_where.html">he hooked up with Patterson</a>&#8230;