As a new author, I know that writing can be hard. Sometimes it’s difficult to imagine finishing my current novel, much less an entire series.
Today, instead of writing, I decided to check out how many books each of Amazon’s best-selling romance authors have produced. Because, you know, I was curious. (And maaaaaybe procrastinating). So: how many books can one person write? Do the most prolific writers also sell the most books?
In short, the answer is: no.
In fact, when I ranked the top-50 authors by number of books produced, the results were uplifting Here’s what I discovered:
- Some authors who published the fewest books still had high author rankings: What I learned from this is that basically, pumping out more books won’t necessarily get me more readers. I can focus on what I love doing: writing steamy books. Yay!
- Everyone in the top-10 was a woman: Not saying that men can’t write romance novels, but this bodes well for me :)
- Nora Roberts has written a lot of books: If i write 3 books a year, it'll still take me 134 years to catch up... at which point Nora will likely have written approximately 9 million more books.
- Romance novelists write a lot of books compared to other genres: The average number of books that the top-50 romance authors wrote was 50 (For you math nerds out there, the median was 27. Nora Roberts helped drive up the average with her crazy production). For reference, Shakespeare only had 37 plays.
Some things to keep in mind:
Author Rank: Amazon ranks its authors based on total sales. For the purpose of this post, I only looked at authors that Amazon categorizes in “Romance” (Yes, I know that The Girl on the Train isn’t necessarily a classic romance, but Amazon it in the same category). I only looked at the top-50 authors. Also, Author Rank is updated hourly. The ranking below is from September 15, 2016 at 1:30 pm.
Kindle edition: When looking at an author’s presence, I looked at the number of Kindle-edition books. I didn’t account for paperback or audio books.
Without further delay, here’s are the top-10 most prolific romance writers:
1. Nora Roberts:
Number of books: 400
No big surprise here. Nora Roberts is pretty much synonymous with romance. Even though she is #1 in terms of kindle-edition book produced, she is #10 in terms of author rank.
2. Debbie Macomber:
Number of books: 231
Debbie Macomber has been writing since 1983, so she’s got quite a few years on production on me.
3. Danielle Steel:
Number of books: 130
Danielle Steel is much much more prolific than this ranking suggests. Although she has 130 kindle-edition books, she has 400+ books overall.
4. M.S. Parker:
Number of books: 113
Oddly enough, I’ve never read any of M.S. Parker’s stuff? What do you guys think? Should I get started?
5. Janet Evanovich:
Number of books: 96
I’ve read the Wicked series and thought it was pretty good. Haven’t read her other stuff.
6. J.D. Robb:
Number of books: 94
This is actually another Nora Roberts pen name for suspense and thrillers. Can you believe it? How does she find the time??
7. Carolyn Brown:
Number of books: 93
If I want some cowboy loving, I know where to turn. And I guess there is a never-ending supply of cowboy storylines :)
8. Claire Adams:
Number of books: 92
So you like cowboys? And you like billionaires? Then I Think Claire Adams might be your gal...
9. Celia Kyle:
Number of books: 87
Okay, I’m not normally into paranormal stuff. But have you read Celia Kyle’s Ridgeville series? Sooo good.
10. Bella Forrest:
Number of books: 82
Have to admit that I haven’t read Bella Forrest’s stuff even though she’s the bestselling romance author on Amazon. Where should I start?
Here’s the full list of romance’s most prolific authors:
|Rank||Author||Author Rank||Number of kindle-edition books|
|4||M. S. Parker||31||113|
|15||T. S. Joyce||4||54|
|36||E. L. James||47||17|