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).
Since we don't have sales figures for our published members, I define (probable) "success" as:
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.
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.
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:
- Ralph Gallagher (fiction)
- Duncan McKenzie (fiction, tv screenplays)
- Kate S. (fiction) – self-published or non-self-published?
- Ray Salemi (fiction)
- Zachary K (programming)
- Jim Kyle (electronics)
- Mark Baker (non-fiction/technical)
- mlanger (technical)
- Ryan Bigg (programming)
- TomOnTime (system administration)
- robertc (programming)
- jimbojw (programming)
- Mike McCallister (programming)
- Michael J. Tobias (non-fiction)
- Michael Kay (programming)
- Thomas Hunt (non-fiction)
- Negrino (programmming)
- Lynn Beighley (programming)
- Magnus Lie Hetland (programming)
- Bob Aiello (programming)
- Dryle Tatum (business)
- ForEachLoop (programming)
- anthonygore (programming)
One book through a publisher:
- Zan700 (fiction)
- Tom Au (investing)
- Alasdair McAndrew (mathematics)
- mitatur (history)
- Chad Cooper (geographic information systems)
- Chris Sunami (fiction)
- JonDiPietro (technology)
- SQLRockstar (programming)
- keithjgrant (programming)
- Lou Franco (programming)
- Tone Milazzo (fiction)
- reden (programming)
- Ed Guiness (programming)
- jonesy (programming)
- Brian Rasmussen (programming)
- tugberk (programming)
- DyZ (programming)
- Steven Lemmens (programming)
- geerlingguy (programming)
- sm4 (programming)
- Adam Lynch (programming)
- ottodidakt (programming)
- Gregory Brown (programming)
- Raghav Sood (programming)
Users who have self-published multiple works (number of sales unknown):
- Steven Drennon (fiction)
- Dale Hartley Emery (fiction)
- Strozykowski (fiction)
- Norah Deay (fiction and non-fiction)
- Neil D'Silva (fiction)
- Danielle Ackley-McPhail (fiction)
- Rob Bignell (non-fiction)
- Leonie Mateer (fiction and non-fiction)
- John Chapman (fiction)
- Reshwity (fiction)
- Thaddeus Howze (fiction)
- Virginia Llorca (fiction)
- Scott Marlowe (fiction)
- Yvonne Aburrow (non-fiction)
- EJF (fiction)
- Adam Dreece (fiction)
- B. Clay Shannon (fiction)
- Lee Carlon (fiction)
- phoe47nix (fiction)
- Lance Kind (fiction)
- Justin Jackson (marketing)
- Jane Smith (fiction)
- Raymond M Rose (fiction)
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: