According to Guinness World Records, L. Ron Hubbard is credited with having the most published works by one author (1,084). But the man who once said, “You don’t get rich writing science fiction. If you want to get rich, you start a religion,” and promptly did so, (Hubbard founded the loony Church of Scientology), doesn’t hold a candle to Philip M. Parker. Parker, who has developed a way of generating books from templates that are filled with data from internet searches and databases, reckons his programs have written over 200,000 books!
But if titles like “The 2009-2014 World Outlook for 60-milligram Containers of Fromage Frais”, (which won a prize for Oddest Title of the Year in 2008), don’t grab you, plenty of other authors have turned out an astonishing number of books.
Still with Guinness World Records, R. L. Stine is reckoned to be the “Most prolific author of children’s horror fiction novels“. Frankly, that sounds more like a title made to fit a writer. (Where’s the record for “Most prolific author of children’s horror non-fiction novels” for example? And who came second?). Still, Stine has written over 300 novels including the Fear Street, Goosebumps, Rotten School, Mostly Ghostly, and Nightmare Room series,
Still with living authors, Nora Roberts has written more than 200 novels under at least four pseudonyms since 1981.
The late Isaac Asimov wrote 506 books, many of them non-fiction. He published books in nine of the ten Dewey Decimal System categories.
Jacob M. Appel wrote more than 200 books and reportedly received around 21,000 rejection letters — which averages out at 105 rejection letters per novel.
Enid Blyton produced around 600 books.
Barbara Cartland wrote 722 books and also holds the record for the most novels produced in one year (23).
John Creasy wrote more than 600 books under his own and ten pseudonyms.
Terrance Dicks is credited with 666 books, including around 75 based on the Doctor Who TV series.
But they all pale against Charles Hamilton who is reckoned to have written more than 100 million words in his lifetime — the equivalent of more than 1,200 80,000-word novels. Hamilton specialised in writing long-running series for weekly magazines and is perhaps most famous for the Billy Bunter books and stories, written under the pen name “Frank Richards”.
Hamilton died in 1961 at the age of 85. His first story was published in 1895. when he was 19. Over the following 66 years, he turned out the equivalent of 4,151 words a day, every day.
So, how much have you written today …?