I'm not asking for an exact figure, but I just want a rough idea of how well the people here have done. (I know the definition of successful varies, so I'm just going to use successful as a term for someone who's written something which has sold at least a thousand copies).

  • 2
    Your first question might be answered here: writing.meta.stackexchange.com/questions/1364/…. Your second question is, as you suspect, too broad (and the part about writer's block has also already been asked: writing.stackexchange.com/questions/2100/…)
    – F1Krazy
    Mar 12, 2018 at 17:33
  • 2
    Really successful authors I'm afraid you won't find any here on Writing SE, and even if you do, it's unlikely that they would speak up here. What we have here are people with a good technical knowledge about writing. Just as it's very difficult to find any writing professor that made any significant success with their writing.
    – Yuuza
    Mar 12, 2018 at 22:01
  • For your second questions I recalled something i asked last year: writing.stackexchange.com/questions/30256/… And, FWIW, I'd add 'Include a moral dimension that the protagonist adheres to throughout; a moral dilemma that defines his journey or decision.; That's the single one thing I wish I had done up front and will always do from here on out. (More broadly, new writers use shortcuts - This is what tropes are, cliches, adverbs, telling-not-showing ... All these are shortcuts. Lazy shortcuts. It's why they're the mark of inexperience.)
    – SFWriter
    Mar 13, 2018 at 0:17
  • 3
    You are right, this question is too broad, but apparently I can't vote to close it while there is an open bounty. I've sold more than 1000 copies of a book. There is no such thing as writer's block. There is such a thing as not having anything to say. If you have something to say, start writing it down. When you get stuck, ask a specific questions about the thing you are stuck on. If you are stuck on basic structure, read a book on story structure such as McKee's Story or Vogler's Writer's Journey.
    – user16226
    Apr 18, 2018 at 10:01
  • 1
    I'm voting to close this question as off-topic because it's about the site's users rather than the topic of writing. (I decided to let the bounty finish since it was almost over when I came across the question.) Apr 25, 2018 at 1:07

1 Answer 1


Since we don't have sales figures for our published members, I define (probable) "success" as:

  1. having two or more books non-self-published

    Publishers usually don't publish a second book by an author unless the first was a financial success, so a second non-self-published book is at least an indicator for probable success.

  2. having one book non-self-published

    No matter the eventual sales of a book, if an author has convinced a publisher to sign a contract with them, that author has managed something that the majority of aspiring writers never achieve, and has therefore at least had partial success.

  3. having self-published a number of books

    Few writers continue self-publishing if their first one or two books find no readers. So a number of self-published books suggest that some of them must at least have had some moderate success.

Given this definition of three levels of success, I went over the site and looked for it. Below is what I found.

Users (that I could find) who have stated either in posts or in their profile that they have published two or more books through a publisher:

One book through a publisher:

Users who have self-published multiple works (number of sales unknown):

It is interesting to note that almost all of the self-published authors write fiction, while the vast majority of the non-self-published authors write non-fiction, specifically software-related ("programming").

We also have a few users each who have professionally published short fiction, poems, journalism, and scientific papers, a few technical writers (who don't "publish", or not "books"), and a few professional editors (who do not publish their own writing), but you asked about "books", so I didn't include them in the list.

There may be a few more professional authors on this site who have chosen to remain anonymous (or who haven't given their credentials in their profiles), but compared to the total number of members (currently 22,583) it is clear that this is largely an amateur community.


If you want on the list above or if I have filed you under the wrong category, post a comment and tell me which of the three categories you belong to. You don't have to provide proof, but if you want you can let us know what kind of book(s) you have published.

"Programming" here means anything from using Wordpress to System Administration.


This list is what I gleaned from how people represent themselves on this site or on their websites. That information may be incomplete or I may have made a mistake. This list is not meant to represent anyone's ability as a writer or otherwise, merely as an indirect indicator for our level of communal knowledge. The order of names on the list has no meaning and is merely a result of my search strategy.

I have moved my answer to Adi219's second question (now edited out) to this new question:

  • Thanks for the answer! It is actually quite helpful 😁 so I'll accept this tomorrow unless another answer is posted which I like more
    – Adi219
    Apr 23, 2018 at 14:55
  • It's worth noting that many of the high rep answers are from a small subset of the users, and that many of those people do in fact have professional experience, as detailed above. Apr 23, 2018 at 16:30

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