Great Expectations. Oliver Twist. A Christmas Carol. Charles Dickens was clearly an incredible author, and everyone can name one or two of his books because people are still reading them. But here’s a little secret about old Chucky the Brit: he wrote 20 novels. With the possible exception of Jeopardy champ Ken Jennings, I’m pretty sure no one can name them all -- and even more certain that only a handful of people have actually read them all. Charles Dickens wrote lots of other books besides David Copperfield.
In the days of Charles Dickens, there was no automatic spell checker. The typewriter wasn’t invented until the very end of his life, which means he was writing out his novels by hand. That makes his 20 novels highly impressive indeed, though not all of them have been big hits. Charles Dickens tried a technique that’s used in advertising all the time: saturation.
Dickens wrote a lot of books, and managed to sell a lot of them, too. He’s famous to this day, and he’s actually still selling books. Saturation is a trick that still works for authors, but writing 20 books these days probably won’t be enough.
Some of the most successful indie authors have conquered the book market by offering lots of new content all the time. They are constantly publishing new books to keep their audience engaged, and it works. In the self-publishing game, the more you publish the more you’re likely to sell.
So start borrowing from Charles Dickens, and saturate the market. Maybe you’ll write 15 books that no one has really heard of 50 years from now...but it’s the other 5 that make all the difference, anyway.