Which writer wrote the most books?

Given how difficult it is to write a book, Philip Parker somehow seems to get the hang of it. More than 200,000 titles have been published under the name of his publisher Icon Group - almost 86,000 of them name him as the author. The staggering number smells like a world record. The New York Times even recently wrote that Parker called himself "the most published author in world history". An allegation that annoys the author: An Amazon manager called him that, he said sueddeutsche.de - the self-praise had therefore been ascribed to him. "I'm Phil - I've never been interested in titles," he says humbly.

Parker's concern is not restraint either. Once on the move, he speaks without periods and commas to explain his extremely fruitful work. And explanations are necessary if someone has written tens of thousands of books with titles such as: "The import and export market for domestic refrigerators in the Czech Republic" ($ 104), "Noonan's syndrome - a bibliography for doctors, patients and Genome Researchers "($ 28.95) or something like" The Outlook for Global Iron Ore Mining 2007 to 2012 "($ 795).


How does one manage to write something so ultra-specific in such a large amount? The 47-year-old, who also works as a professor of corporate management at the renowned INSEAD business school near Paris, explains it this way: "I invented industrial mass production for book writing." No aesthetic thing is to be expected in this way. Rather, Parker's authorship is in most cases based on pure mathematics, database systems and computers - he immediately admits that.

He explains exactly what this looks like with a title: "The prospects for ballpoint pens in China from 2007 to 2012." The book is nothing more than an extrapolation based on the data currently available for ballpoint pens in China, "he explains:" I only need very little specific information to then use a suitable probability function to predict the future for Chinese ballpoint pens. "

Columns of numbers and graphics

There is not much space for words, as a look at the 139-page booklet shows: With the exception of the title page, the table of contents and the foreword, it only consists of columns of numbers and graphics.

With 60 to 70 computers, six or seven programs and six employees, Parker's Icon Group in San Diego, California, produces books fully automatically. The spectrum of topics ranges from economic figures for the most exotic goods in all corners of the world, rare diseases, English dictionaries for languages ​​from Afrikaans to Zarma (spoken in southwest Niger) as well as rare crossword puzzles, for example from Arabic to English.

Manageable circulation numbers

The circulation figures for such works are manageable: only the most coveted titles have been sold a few hundred times, and the circulation is usually in the range of a handful of books, often at zero.

On the second page you can read how Parker still makes money and what goals he pursues.