21 Best Selling Books of all Time

Many writers wonder how many copies of their book they have to sell to reach superstar status.  If this list shows anything, it shows that selling hundreds of millions of copies of a book has more to do with it gaining a rabid fan club than anything.  In this list the top five, being religious texts, have artificially high numbers due to mass printings and huge numbers given away for free.

1. The Bible 5,000 – 6,000
2. Quotations from Chairman Mao Zedong by Mao Zedong 900
3. The Qur’an 800
4. Xinhua Zidian 400
5. The Book of Mormon by Joseph Smith, Jr. 120
6. Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone by J. K. Rowling 107
7. And Then There Were None by Agatha Christie 100
8. The Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien 100
9. Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince by J. K. Rowling 65
10. The Da Vinci Code by Dan Brown 65
11. Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets by J. K. Rowling 60
12. The Catcher in the Rye by J. D. Salinger 60
13. Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire by J. K. Rowling 55
14. Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix by J. K. Rowling 55
15. Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban by J. K. Rowling 55
16. Ben Hur: A Tale of the Christ by Lew Wallace 50
17. Heidi’s Years of Wandering and Learning by Johanna Spyri 50
18. The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho 50
19. The Common Sense Book of Baby and Child Care by Dr. Benjamin Spock 50
20. The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry 50
21. The Mark of Zorro by Johnston McCulley 50

This list was created by the lovely people at HowStuffWorks, click the link to see the original.


About Jodi

Jodi L. Milner is a writer, mandala enthusiast, and educator. Her epic fantasy novel, Stonebearer’s Betrayal, will be published November 2018 by Immortal Works Press. She has been published in several anthologies. When not writing, she can be found folding children and feeding the laundry, occasionally in that order.
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9 Responses to 21 Best Selling Books of all Time

  1. nrhatch says:

    Fascinating list, Jo.

    Glad to see J.K.Rowling on there 5x and Twilight not at all. 😛

  2. oldancestor says:

    They’d better save a spot for your novel, Jodi.

    • tsuchigari says:

      I think we all secretly wish to enter the upper echelons of high book sales. Check back in a few decades, I’m sure there will be a few new additions to the list. Who knows? Maybe it will be one of us!

  3. cassim says:

    you can make the list w/your sensible imagination and constant practice. i am proud of you.

  4. Chazz Byron says:

    I don’t think I’ve liked any of the books on this list (but I havent read many of them)

  5. tsuchigari says:

    I’ve read more than half and most were fun, but not earthshattering. A few, like The LIttle Prince and The Alchemist, are favorites.

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