My Other Writing Career
Ten years ago, if you had asked how many books I’d written, I would have said two or three hundred. If you ask today, I would say fourteen.
What happened? Did I unwrite some books? Did I give them back? Am I a time traveler?
The answer can be given in three words: work for hire.
I have in fact written two or three hundred books, but just fourteen of them are mine, and these days they are the only ones I count. The rest belong to a dozen or more publishing companies that paid me to write them. The payment was in the form of a one-time fee, not a royalty—the type of employment known as work for hire.
Today I don’t often think about those books, but there were many years when the fees made a difference. Plus, I enjoyed writing them. To show you why, I’ll take you on a quick tour of my bookshelf.