Challenge,  publishing

A Look Back

To Another Challenge I Finished…

70@70 Challenge. I wanted to publish 70 major books in my 70th year on the planet. Basically from the middle of November, 2020 to the middle of November, 2021.

And with the fantastic help of the crew at WMG Publishing Inc, I somehow managed it. Yeah, I know… I am that crazy.

I considered a major book as any novel or novella or something I edited like a magazine or collection, or any major novel or book that had to be redone from scratch. It had to have my name big on the front cover. It had to be my book, in other words.

I also published about 55 original short stories stand alone during that time, but those did not count.

Only 70 major books counted. And note, this was done through the pandemic. Just a point of interest.

In the last six months I have published 18 more books.

Below is an image of all 70 covers from the challenge. One year.

I finished that challenge just over six months ago and the fact that I managed it is just sinking in. Have I said how much I love this new world of publishing?

You can get all 70 of the books and the series they are in and a bunch more of my books at 

Plus the 18 books from the last six months as well.


    • dwsmith

      Yeah, got that right. (grin) And even now there are a lot of writers who believe those “rules” (sadly).

      • Nathan Haines

        Whenever I suggest on Reddit that a thousand words per hour is a standard writing speed for professional fiction writing, people go *nuts*. “There’s nothing standard in writing!” “It’s impossible for anybody to write that fast, how fast do you type?!” (I type 90-110 words per minute, and a thousand words an hour is 17 words per minute.)

        If I have the audacity to suggest that no matter what one’s writing speed is, it’s a fruitful exercise to calculate their writing speed and then do the math and think about how much time they spend writing every day, and what it would mean if they spent twice that, or an extra hour every day.

        Nobody seems to like that either. My comments usually get downvoted. A lot. But every so often I can’t help myself.

        You should see the chaos that ensues when I say that words don’t matter whatsoever, or perfect grammar, but that the most important part of a book is a good story. People *hate* that.

        • dwsmith

          Why are you even trying? The myths are very, very powerful and not much fun to go up against, trust me. (grin) Find groups of other professional writers.

          • Nathan Haines

            Oh, I just drop in from time to time, share some knowledge, and then disappear. I don’t usually waste my time sticking around to fight about it, although I do answer honest questions that come up. You never know who might see something that validates the early success they had before they started leaning into the myths.

            I certainly wish someone had let me know in college. I always used to write a couple chapters into the dark to discover my characters and setting, then I’d stop and write a book outline so I could do the book “right” and… never, ever finished a single chapter after that. Ever. Sound familiar? 😉

            Oh, and occasionaly I save someone from a vanity publishing scam. But luckily the regulars are all on the same page about that.

            As for professional forums (I rather like Writer Sanctum, although I’m rarely ever over there), there are plenty of professionals just working away and talking shop which is good if I ever need to know some vaguary about KDP or something. Haven’t found a pro writing group yet. Not sure where to start.

  • tony

    “Basically from the middle of November, 1970 to the middle of November, 1971.”
    So, I’m confused. I don’t think you’re 120 years old (though I’d understand if you felt that way, off and on) but I can’t wrangle any reasonable typo into what I think are the correct dates>

    But I read most evry day and hopefully some of the wisdom sticks!

    • dwsmith

      Yeah, not sure where that typo came from. Fixed. Weird, brain was going one way, fingers another. I sold my first short stories in 1974, but in 1970 and 1971, I was a professional skier.

  • djmills

    That is so impressive. Congratulations.
    And the image of your books is also a wonderful lesson in creating covers for genres and series branding.

  • Mark Kuhn

    I’ve read all the Cold Poker Gang books. I know you’re probably tired of hearing me say this, but they would make for a damn good TV series. Like an idiot, I didn’t jump in on the Crimes Collide Kickstarter so buying those are next on my list.

    • dwsmith

      Yeah, especially with the retired detectives. Talk about roles for some great actors. And combine that with the fun, lights, and underside of Vegas, it is ready-made for a television mystery show. I agree. Some sniffing around, but no one has grabbed the rights yet.

  • Roger Weston

    I plan to write a mere ten novelettes in the next ten months, but I’ll be doing it while working three jobs, meaning I’m distracted day and night. This channel is an inspiration to me!