Do you think you’re too old to publish a book? I’m unwilling to guess your age, but it’s simply not true that writing and publishing is a young person’s game. Older people have life experiences they can draw on to bring vitality, accuracy, and relevance to their writing.
Here are nine famous writers who got their start publishing books when they were 50 or older. You may be surprised at who is on the list.
Laura Ingalls Wilder
In 1932, when she was 65, Wilder published her first book, Little House in the Big Woods, the first of her Little House series that inspired the popular TV show Little House on the Prairie. She finished her last book when she was 76.
Stoker published his novel Dracula when he was 50 years old, still one of the most popular novels in the vampire genre.
Sewell published her children’s classic Black Beauty when she was 57, and she lived just long enough to see its success. The book is now considered one of the top 10 best-selling novels for children ever written, although she intended it for adults.
Chandler introduced the world to Philip Marlow—his hardboiled LA detective—in his debut novel, The Big Sleep. Published in 1939 when Chandler was 51, The Big Sleep is considered one of the greatest detective novels in Anglo-American literature.
Page’s first novel, A Dangerous Weakness, was published when she was 93 years old.
Adams published his now-classic novel Watership Down when he was 52 years old. It has continued to scare (and sadden) children, including Adams’ own children when they were young, ever since. Though some considered it an allegory related to religion or politics, Adams insisted it was “just a story about rabbits.”
Blixen, who wrote under the pen name Isak Dinesen, published her blockbuster book, Out of Africa, when she was 52.
McCourt began writing in his retirement, and his debut memoir, Angela’s Ashes, was published when he was 60 years old.
Chaudhuri published his first book, The Autobiography of an Unknown Indian, when he was 54 years old, its sequel was published when he was 90, and his final book, Three Horsemen of the New Apocalypse, was published when he was 100.
It’s never too late to publish your book. Easily over half of the writers we work with at Infusionmedia are in their 40s, 50s, 60s, or later. They have the life experience to write amazing books, whether fiction or nonfiction.
(In the photo collage top to bottom, left to right: Frank McCourt, Laura Ingalls Wilder, Karen Blixen, Bram Stoker in the center, Raymond Chandler, Anna Sewell, Richard Adams. The larger, square image has a slightly different placement but the same authors.)
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