Alexandra Alter at the Wall Street Journal profiles Russell Blake, a novelist who writes more in one day than many literary novelists write in six months:
Some novelists are obsessed by plot pacing and character development, others by a literary turn of phrase. For Mr. Blake, it is about speed, and volume. Mr. Blake, who self-publishes his books, has released 25 books in the last 30 months.
He wrote one of his best-selling books, the 229-page thriller "JET," in just 16 days. He churns out 7,000 to 10,000 words a day and often works from eight in the morning until midnight. He spends many of those hours on a treadmill desk, clocking eight to 10 miles.
This is not a new idea. Back in the pulp era, it wasn't uncommon to find writers (like L. Ron Hubbard) churning out at least a novel a month, often more. What is new is that Blake is gaming Amazon's system by being so prolific. Amazon's algorithm for new releases is set up in such a way that when a new book comes out, Amazon promotes that author's most recent releases. This consistent release schedule basically keeps all of Blake's books sitting in places of pride on the site, which provides him with free promotion all year long. Blake makes tens of thousands of dollars this way, Alter writes: "He says he has sold more than 435,000 copies of his books, at around $5 to $6 each, and under Amazon's self-publishing program, he keeps 70%." Looks like the old pulp fiction mill is back.