Famous writers · Writing

The bestselling books of all time

It is now 6 weeks since I sent my children’s book manuscripts to a publisher and I am thinking that their rather lackadaisical response is not a good sign (I had to look that word up – anyone else want to spell it like this: ‘lacksidaisical’?).

In the meantime, here is a list of the top bestselling books of all time (hint: I’m not on there)…

  1. A Tale of Two Cities, Charles Dickens (copies sold = 200 million)
  2. The Little Prince, Antoine de Saint-Exupery (200 million)
  3. The Lord of the Rings, J R Tolkien (150 million)
  4. The Hobbit, J R Tolkien (100 million)
  5. Dreams of the Red Chamber, Cao Xueqin (100 million)
  6. And Then There Were None, Agatha Christie (100 million)
  7. The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, C S Lewis (85 million)
  8. She, H Rider Haggard (83 million)
  9. The Da Vinci Code, Dan Brown (80 million)
  10. Think and Grow Rich, Napoleon Hill (70 million)
  11. The Catcher in the Rye, J D Salinger (65 million)
  12. The Alchemist, Paulo Coelho (65 million)
  13. Steps to Christ, Ellen G White (60 million)
  14. Lolita, Vladimir Nabokov (50 million)
  15. Heidi’s Years of Wandering & Learning, Johanna Spyri (50 million)
  16. The Common Sense Book of Baby and Child Care, Dr Benjamin Spock (50 million)
  17. Anne of Green Gables, Lucy Maud Montgomery (50 million)
  18. Black Beauty, Anne Sewell (50 million)
  19. The Name of the Rose, Umberto Eco (50 million)
  20. The Eagle Has Landed, Jack Higgins (50 million)
  21. Watership Down, Richard Adams (50 million)

In case you’re wondering where Harry Potter is in all of this, Wikipedia says books such as Don Quixote, The Three Musketeers, The Adventures of Pinocchio, Alices’ Adventures in Wonderland, and the individual Harry Potter books are commonly cited as “best-selling books” yet have no reliable sales figures. Harry Potter appears in the list of ‘bestselling book series’ which I will post soon.

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5 thoughts on “The bestselling books of all time

  1. If you’ve not heard anything maybe drop them a line or call…. Not sure what etiquette is around these type of things?

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  2. Thanks, I have been wondering whether to do that. It says on their website that they take up to three months to get back to submissions so I’ll wait a few more weeks and then think about phoning them and possibly also approach some different publishers and agents?? Will keep you posted!

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