When Pat Patterson writes his memoirs, he wants to call it The World Went Digital and I Went Along for the Ride.
The ride for Patterson got a little faster a month ago when the author and his Promagic Digital Media publishing company was signed to a five-year deal with Audible Inc., the audio book division of Amazon.com.
Patterson was a long-time educator and taught at Roosevelt High School in the Atlanta Public Schools system before becoming the APS’ coordinator of mathematics and computer science. He wrote Preparing for the Georgia High School Graduation Mathematics Test in 2000, which was still being used in 70 percent of Georgia’s High Schools five years later.
After that, Patterson retired and devoted his time to writing novels. He is working on his eighth book.
Patterson’s books are printed on-demand at his Web site, www.lulu.com, and his e-books are available at Amazon’s Kindle. The alliance with Audible makes Patterson’s audio books available for download to MP3 players and cell phones.
Patterson said he originally began writing scripts, but turned his scripts into novels.
“I started out writing paperbacks and doing CDs on the side,” Patterson said. “There’s so much money involved in getting CDs to customers – it took me 10 CDs to do a story. Now, I upload the story to Audible, and they put it on the Web site.”
Patterson always has been interested in ways to better market his materials.
“I went to a librarian conference, and they told me they don’t buy CDs any more,” Patterson said. “They gave me the 411 on audio books.”
Patterson had read that Amazon bought Audible in 2007 and sent a sample of Freaknic (his first novel) to the company in an e-mail. He got turned down, but one of the company executives saw his submission and contacted him.
Patterson’s contract with Audible calls for him to produce two novels a year, which come out first in audio book form and then as a paperback, he said.
With his books now on Amazon.com, Patterson said he has developed a worldwide fan base. Freaknic is a suspense thriller about a group of college students who uncover a plot to bomb Atlanta during the annual event.
“The kids in London got hold of the book and won’t let go,” Patterson said. “It’s a paradigm shift in the way books are viewed.”
Patterson’s latest book is The Long Way Home, a novel about the Vietnam War, which came out last month. He also has written novels on sports and other subjects.
“I won’t let them box me in,” Patterson said. “I write about what I know. I’m a 40-year educator so I’m an expert on teenagers. I also have grandkids so I know a lot about what kids like.”
His diverse subject matter is just another reason the ride has been a nice one so far for Patterson.