10 of the Most Prolific Authors of All Time
If you had to choose between quality versus quantity, which would you choose? What if we told you that you could have both! At least, that is the case for those in the literature world. Over the years, authors of all genres put their creative minds to the test by seeing how many books they could write. Before computers, these prolific authors managed to publish as many as over 500 novels, novellas, short stories, and indeed any piece of writing! Keep reading to see what authors have written the most books in history.
“I had a period where I thought I might not be good enough to publish.” – Stephen King
It is no surprise to see Stephen King as one of the most published authors. He once said that he writes 2,000 words a day, which accounts for how quickly you see his books on shelves (and on the big screen). Records say that King has published 60 full-length works and over 200 short stories. King also has essays, screenplays, and comics. You have to wonder how one author could write something as horrific as Carrie then create a heart-warming story like The Green Mile. King is definitely a writer of all trades.
“Science fiction writers foresee the inevitable, and although problems and catastrophes may be inevitable, solutions are not.” Isaac Asimov
Science-fiction enthusiasts all know who Isaac Asimov is. A legend of the genre, Asimov wrote or edited more than 500 books and hundreds of short stories. He wrote a few series of publications, including the Foundation Series, Galactic Empire, and Robot Series. Most of Asimov’s books explain the history of science in great detail. These books came with reference guides to explain the terminology in his books. Books about books, who knew!
Kathleen Mary Lindsay
“The logic behind the magic is that we create what we are imagining.” – Mary Faulkner, Complete Idiot’s Guide to Women’s Spirituality
Kathleen Mary Lindsay held the world record for most published books for many years. Lindsay wrote under 11 pseudonyms: Mary Faulkner, Margaret Cameron, Mary Richmond, Molly Waring, Betty Manvers, Elizabeth Fenton, Nigel Mackenzie, and Hugh Desmond. The Guinness Book of World Records reports that Faulkner has a total of 904 books.
Jozef Ignacy Kraszewski
“I’m not a writer nor an artist. Although I write a lot and I love all the beauty – I am a man of my age, a child of my nation.” – Jozef Ignacy Kraszewski
Jozef Ignacy Kraszewski, also known as Kleofas Fakund Pasternak, published his first book in 1830. That book was one of many in Kraszewski’s collection. The author, activist, and historian published 600 books in his lifetime. He is most well-known for his work on historical Poland. There are 29 novels in the series in 79 parts.
“Ann was thirty-five. What was worse, she looked thirty-five.” – Ursula Bloom, Wonder Cruise
Ursula Bloom was a British romance novelist who wrote over 500 books. She, like many others on this list, wrote under pseudonyms. Bloom said Charles Dickens influenced her to become an author. She was an avid reader as a kid and read all of his works before she was ten. In the 1920s and 30s, it wasn’t common to have a female journalist, but Bloom fought back and wrote for various newspapers and magazines.
“Yarooh!” – Frank Richards, Billy Bunter of Greyfriars School
The Billy Bunter series is the humorous children’s fiction novel written by Charles Hamilton’s pseudonym, Frank Richards. The stories were initially published in a boy’s weekly story paper. Before his passing at the age of 85, he wrote about 100 million words making him one of the most prolific authors in history. His stories were easy for kids to read, and all had a moral message; don’t smoke or gamble, be honest, and respect other races. The BBC eventually made a TV show based on the series which Hamilton wrote the scripts for.
“I’ll keep going till my face falls off.” – Barbara Cartland
Well, Barbara, it turns out you kept writing even after that! Barbara Cartland was one of the most published authors and continued publishing after her death in 2000. Cartland holds the Guinness Book of World records for the most written novels in one year. She wrote roughly 23 novels each year and had a total of 723 published pieces. After she passed, they found manuscripts of a book and released it as the Barbara Cartland Pink Collection.
“Abandon inertia.” – Ryoki Inoue
Brazilian author Ryoki Inoue holds the Guinness World Record for being the most prolific author with 1,075 books published under many pseudonyms. Inoue would write all day and all night until he finished a book. He wrote Sequesreo Fast Food in one night. According to Ryoki.com, they write, “In his opinion, the secret of the creative process is in 98% of sweat, 1% of talent, and 1%of luck. Moreover, discipline and application are the motive that make him to be sit in front of his computer and don’t leave until the end of his new job.” If you ever need the motivation to finish a book or project, think about Inoue’s philosophy.
R.L Stine was once asked in a Goodreads forum, “On a scale of one to ten, how much do you enjoy traumatizing young children?”
R.L. Stine cooly replied, “I enjoy getting children to read. Traumatizing them is just a bonus.”
The infamous author of the Goosebumps series and Fear Street series, Stine has 157 books posted on his website. At one point, it was said that Stine wrote one book every two weeks. Stine is still at it and has a writing program for aspiring young authors. Visit his website for more information.
“Some months, the censors rejected four novels. I told things clearly. Censorship taught me to imply things.” – Corín Tellado
Romance author Corín Tellado from Spain held the world record for having sold the most books written in Spanish. Tellado published over 5,000 titles selling more than 400 million books. Tellado stood out amongst all other romance novelists because she didn’t fall into the trap of happy endings with all of her books. In the 70s, her novels raised a few eyebrows as they tackled tough subjects amid the women’s rights movement.
WOW! That’s a lot of books to add to your 2020 reading goal. Don’t think you can do it? Well, you can with the skill of speed reading. Learning to speed read can increase your productivity skills too. Enjoy all these books, all while becoming a more productive professional. Check out all of our courses to learn more.
Did we miss anyone? Let us know in the comments!