70 Book Challenge,  Challenge

Something Big!

Trying to Figure Out What Big Thing to Do!

I am in my 50th year since selling my first two short stories. And this fall I turn 74 and I would really like to challenge myself in that year before I turn 75. It has been a hard few years for me and I want to come out of them screaming forward. (grin)

I keep coming up with all sorts of really fun (for me) ideas. And really crazy. I mean really, really off the beam when it comes to writing and publishing.

Asimov is known for doing a lot of books in his lifetime. A vast number of them were with Martin Greenberg of Teknobooks. Marty would put the anthology together, Asimov would write the introduction, and his name would be on the cover as co-editing the book and thus he counted it as one of his 650-700 published books.

Now, if I edited an anthology myself (such as Pulphouse or something else) and had my name on the cover, I count it. For example, this year, by July I will have 24 major books out. Not kidding… Even with all the crap going on.

I have gone by 850 books published some time ago. (I need to do a count at some point to see the number now published over the last 50 years. I want to know when I hit 1,000 books published.)

In 2020, during my 70th year on the planet when I still had all my own bones and one good eye, I published 70 major books. Image is below of those 70.

So I am playing with a combination of two really nuts ideas and this will take a lot of planning ahead by me with WMG Publishing to see if it will even be possible.

First, from my 74th birthday to my 75th birthday, to honor the fifty years since I sold my first two short stories, I am thinking of doing 50 different 6-story collections (without a story repeating). Basically a collection a week. And yes, that is 300 stories.

I will do all my own covers and my gut sense is the collections will come out in batches of four or five a month. Electronic and trade paper. (Coming up with 50 titles might be fun.) All this will need a lot of planning over the late summer and early fall. A Ton!!

Then, in that same year, using the 50 collections as a base, I would like to publish 75 major books from my 74th birthday to my 75th birthday. (November to November.)

So the math goes like this… 50 collections + 12 Issues of Pulphouse + 12 Issues of Smith’s Monthly = 74 major books. Got a hunch I will write a few novels along the way as well to make up the extra one needed. Or edit some Pulphouse special books. I could make a run at 100 pretty easily, but won’t focus on that.

So at the moment we are too crazy at WMG to give this much thought, but later in the summer and early fall, if I still like this idea, I will report back on how the planning is going.

Honestly, just writing about it out in the open here gets my writing blood pumping again. A totally different level of challenge for me. And everyone can follow along right here through the wins and the snags and the fun and the problems.

Stay tuned. I really just might be this crazy.

Image of the 70 titles from my 70th year on the planet.



  • Ken Tallwy

    So…, does that mean we can look forward to the resumption of Smith’s Monthly (in paper)? If so, hooray!!

    • dwsmith

      Way, way, way over… (grin) But can’t let this age thing (and eyes and new shoulder) slow me down.

  • Kate Pavelle

    I see you are doing your mid-year eval! The plan described above is feasible, but definitely not easy. Aside from being really good at writing short stories, you still have a stash from the previous challenges, right? As I see it, the big job will be to dig up and classify the already written stories. That might include reading a significant portion of them.
    Also, that’s a lot of book covers if you release the short stories individually.
    Now, branding. Tying them somehow together is another challenge yet! Quarterly kickstarters, maybe? Or seasonal ones?
    I can’t wait to see what you come up with! Either way, it will be awesome.

    • dwsmith

      Not so much more than normal. A lot of novels in the process of keeping Smith’s Monthly going.

  • Glyn

    There is no way I can keep your speed up, but at nearly the same age as your good self, I set myself a challenge at the beginning of this year. A lot simpler than yours, but hey ho. 100 items up on kindle by the end of the year. Good luck with yours and, as ever, I will be watching and cheering you on.

    • Kate Pavelle

      Glyn, that’s a cool challenge! I should do something like that, I am in writing mode now and find it so hard to switch hats. I will do some publishing tasks, like book covers or compile collections, but actually getting things out seems as though I had to get a fourth ball in the air, while I can juggle only a simple 3-ball cascade. A challenge to think about for next year! (When you say on Kindle, do you mean just Amazon or do you cover other outlets as well? Because that’s extra time and so on. Asking for a friend…;-)

  • John Meaney

    Little nerdy maths note: 75 would be a good (and awesome) number to use as a total, because your 74th birthday marks the start of your 75th year of existence. We are born on our zeroth birthday…

    Me, I turned 67 last month, so this is my 68th year, and I can’t imagine publishing 68 books, so total respect from me.

  • Sheila

    Whew! That’s a load of work to get done, but I’m confident you’ve got this.

    I’m halfway pretty much through age 66. I’m inspired to come up with a small challenge for myself. Have to work on it, see what won’t be too overwhelming. 😀