This page provides lists of best-selling single-volume books and book series to date and in any language. "Best-selling" refers to the estimated number of copies sold of each book, rather than the number of books printed or currently owned. Comics and textbooks are not included in this list. The books are listed according to the highest sales estimate as reported in reliable, independent sources. This list is incomplete, since there are many books such as Don Quixote, The Three Musketeers, The Adventures of Pinocchio, Alice's Adventures in Wonderland, and the individual Harry Potter books which are commonly cited as "best-selling books" yet have no reliable sales figures. There is a separate section on this page for books known to have sold over 10 million copies, yet do not have figures for their final sales data.
The Bible, the Qur'an, the Gita, The Communist Manifesto and Quotations from Chairman Mao are widely reported as the most-printed and most-distributed books in the world, with hundreds of millions of copies of each of them believed to be in existence. Exact print figures for some such books may also be missing or unreliable since these kinds of books may be produced by many different and unrelated publishers, in some cases over many centuries. All such books[vague] have been excluded from this List of best-selling books for these reasons.
The Perry Rhodan series has sold more than 1 billion copies, but is not listed because that figure includes magazine sales, not novels alone. Similarly, the Jerry Cotton series has sold over 300 million copies, but most of these were in magazine format.
The Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien is included in the list as a single entry because it was written by Tolkien as a single book.
List of best-selling regularly updated books
^Some confusion and controversy is commonly attached to the publication data for The Little Prince and its French companion Le Petit Prince. Saint-Exupéry, its author, spoke almost no English and wrote exclusively in French. His handwritten (and almost illegible) French manuscript was converted by his secretary into a French typescript, which he submitted to his New York City publisher Reynal & Hitchcock in late 1942, which was then translated to English by their own translator. The story was first published in New York in English in April 1943, followed a week later by its French counterpart, Le Petit Prince. It was also licensed for publication in other countries by Reynal & Hitchcock before being published by Saint-Exupéry's normal publisher in France after the end of the Second World War. Le Petit Prince would not be published in France until its liberation, with Gallimard's first French printing in November 1945, which they say they did not release for sale until 1946. In approximately 1947 Gallimard sued Reynal & Hitchcock claiming it had an 'exclusive' publishing agreement with Saint-Exupéry (who was killed during the war), and later reached a rights agreement with them.
^Mitchell, David. (8 May 2010) "David Mitchell on Historical Fiction", The Telegraph: "Charles Dickens’ second stab at a historical novel, A Tale of Two Cities, has sold more than 200 million copies to date, making it the bestselling novel — in any genre — of all time...."
^The Lord of the Rings is considered by most people to be a single book, because it was written and planned by the author to be such. Some people consider it to instead be a trilogy or series of three books, because it was originally published as a series of three volumes: The Fellowship of the Ring, The Two Towers, and The Return of the King. Lord of the Rings, Waterstones.com: This move by the publishing house was due largely to post-war paper shortages as well as to minimize the price of the first volume to aid sales.
Wagner, Vit. "Tolkien proves he's still the king", The Toronto Star, 16 April 2007: In subsequent printings the book has sometimes appeared as a single volume, and in at least one case was split into seven. The figure of 150 million is a 2007 estimate of copies of the full story sold, whether published as one volume, three, or some other configuration.
^Davies, Helen; Marjorie Dorfman, Mary Fons, Deborah Hawkins, Martin Hintz, Linnea Lundgren, David Priess, Julia Clark Robinson, Paul Seaburn, Heidi Stevens, and Steve Theunissen (14 September 2007). "21 Best-Selling Books of All Time". Editors of Publications International, Ltd. Retrieved 2009-03-25.
^The Telegraphy on The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe: "This classic story has sold more than 85 million copies in 29 different languages since its publication in 1950." (3 April 2010)
^Time on She: "Since then it has sold 83 million copies in 44 languages." (17 September 1965)
^San José Mercury News on The Da Vinci Code: "That earlier book has sold more than 80 million copies worldwide, was adapted into a movie and made hits out of Brown's previous novels, including "Angels & Demons," whose film version is now in theaters." (5 June 2009)
^Forbes on Think and Grow Rich: "It has sold more than 70 million copies since its publication in 1937 and continues to sell robustly today." (March 2011)
^AFP on The Alchemist: "Film mogul Harvey Weinstein on Sunday announced the screen adaptation of the novel, written 20 years ago and translated into 56 languages, with more than 65 million copies sold." (19 May 2008)
^ABC Australia on Heidi: "Johanna Spyri's story has been translated into fifty languages and sold fifty million copies, but the marketing juggernaut shows no signs of slowing down - fat from it. Heidi now has her own theme park." (5 August 2002)
^ abcdeThe Top 10 of Everything 2002 by Russell Ash
^Reuters on Anne of Green Gables: ""Anne of Green Gables" has sold more than 50 million copies and been translated into 20 languages, according to Penguin." (19 March 2008)
^The Times on Black Beauty: "Fifty million copies of Black Beauty have been sold in the years since Anna Sewell's publisher paid her £20 for the story." (29 February 2008)
^The Telegraph on The Ginger Man: "The book was considered so risqué when it was published in 1955 that it was initially banned in Ireland and the US, but went on to sell 45 million copies worldwide. " (16 August 2011)
^An early press report claimed that more than 72 million copies of "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows" had been sold within the first 48 hours of publication ("New 'Potter' sells 72 mil copies worldwide". Hollywoodreporter.com. 2007-07-24. Retrieved 2009-08-31.[dead link]). However, there has never been any evidence provided for this claim beyond the original source and it is almost certainly an error. All follow-up sales figures (for instance, those discussed on the separate entry for "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows") are consistent with total sales figures well below 30 million during the first month of publication. For example, according to Scholastic publishers, there are only 14 million copies of the American edition currently in print, and not all have been sold. At the same time, sales of the American edition were originally reported to be comparable to or greater than the number of copies sold of the British edition. As of 18 September 2007, fewer than 4 million copies of the British edition had been sold in the UK along with a comparable number sold in other countries (Allen, Katie (19 September 2007). "Sprechen Sie Potter? How Harry is spreading the English language". London: Guardian. Retrieved 2009-08-31.). Thus the total number of copies sold as of September 2007 appears to have been approximately 20-25 million. Translations into other languages began appearing in late September 2007, substantially increasing the estimated number of copies sold worldwide. In June 2008, Forbes magazine reported sales had reached 44 million.
^The Celebrity 100 #9: J. K. Rowling "The final one, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, has sold 44 million since it was published last July, including 15 million in the first 24 hours."
^Repubblica Italiana on Le Avventure di pinocchio: "“The Adventures of Pinocchio” translated in more of 260 languages." (1 July 2001)
^The New York Times on You Can Heal Your Life: "“You Can Heal Your Life” immediately landed on the New York Times best-seller list. More than 35 million copies are now in print around the world." (4 May 2008)
^The Guardian on Kane and Abel: "Kane and Abel, first published in 1979, is Archer's bestselling novel – Pan says it has sold around 34m copies worldwide." (15 June 2009)
^The Orlando Sentinel on To Kill a Mockingbird: "Thirty million copies of To Kill a Mockingbird have been sold since that coming-of-age novel, about a Southern lawyer who believed that no man should be denied justice because of the color of his skin, was first published in 1960 to critical acclaim." (11 June 2006)
^The Daily Mail on Gone with the Wind: "The book has sold more than 30 million copies in the decades since the publication of Margaret Mitchell's gripping tale of the Old South gasping its last breath, as the U.S. was torn apart by Civil War and its bitter aftermath." (4 April 2008)
^Fox News on Het Achterhuis: "Thirty million copies of her diary have been sold, and it has been translated into 65 languages. " (29 March 2007)
^ABC News on The Purpose-Driven Life: "His book, "The Purpose Driven Life," has been translated into 56 languages and has sold 30 million copies." (7 March 2007)
^Wales Online on The Thorn Birds: "Her original novel, published in 1977 following a battle between two publishing houses that both wanted the manuscript, has sold around 30 million copies worldwide." (11 April 2009)]
^The Columbus Dispatch on The Wind in the Willows: "More than 25 million copies of the book have been sold in 70 countries since 1908, according to the Copyrights Group, which is presently promoting a new edition." (4 May 2008)
^The Philadelphia Inquirer on Nineteen Eighty-Four: "Nineteen Eighty-Four has sold 25 million copies, is still read in high school and college, and remains the best-known example of anti-utopian literature." (22 June 2009)
^Forbes on Covey: "Stephen Covey will be remembered most as the author of The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People, which sold over 25 million copies." (16 July 2012)
^The Age on The Celestine Prophecy: "it has sold in the vicinity of 23 million copies since its publication in 1993" (22 March 2008
^The Toronto Star on Mario Puzo: "According to the Official Mario Puzo Library website, the book sold 21 million copies in hardback and paper by 1997." (21 July 2007)
^Playbill on Love Story: "Erich Segal's best-selling novel, which has sold 21 million copies worldwide in 33 languages[...]" (23 July 2010)
^The Financial Times on Wolf Totem: "Since it first appeared in 2004, Jiang Rong’s Wolf Totem has sold as many as 20 million copies." (15 March 2008)
^The Philadelphia Inquirer on The Happy Hooker: "He said he found it fascinating that her book, which has sold 20 million copies to date, is still being picked up today." (26 June 2008)
^The Times on Jaws: "Jaws stayed for 40 weeks in the bestseller charts of The New York Times, eventually selling 20 million copies [...]" (13 February 2006)
^The Huntsville Forester on Love You Forever: "The children’s classic Love You Forever has sold over 20 million copies worldwide and is in its 65th printing." (29 October 2008)
^CBC on The Women's Room: "It sold 20 million copies and was widely translated, despite poor reviews." (5 May 2009)
^The Australian on What to Expect When You're Expecting: "What to Expect When You're Expecting, in its fourth edition, was first published in 1984 and has sold more than 20 million copies." (27 October 2010)
^New York Times Upfront on The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn: "This year marks the 125th anniversary of the publication of Huckleberry Finn in the U.S., and the book is still selling—more than 20 million copies worldwide to date—and still generating controversy." (10 March 2010)
^John J. Miller on Thor Heyerdahl on National Review Online on Kon-Tiki: Across the Pacific in a Raft: ""Our intention was to test the performance and quality of the Inca raft, its seaworthiness and loading capacity, and to ascertain whether the elements would really propel it across the sea to Polynesia with its crew still on board," he wrote in Kon-Tiki, a book that has sold 20 million copies." (April 19, 2002)
^The Irish Independent on Where the Wild Things are: "Although consisting of just 10 lines of text in total, the book has endured (with some 19 million copies sold) as a -- if not the -- definitive story about the power of a child's imagination." (4 December 2009)
^The Hindustan Times on The Secret: "The book became an international best-seller, with a reported 19 million copies in print and translations in 46 languages, and continued to hold spots on best-seller lists through 2009." (16 July 2010)
^The New Yorker on Erica Jong: "Erica Jong, the novelist, essayist, and poet, has long lamented that “Fear of Flying,” which has sold more than eighteen million copies worldwide since it was published, in 1973, has overshadowed the remainder of her sizable oeuvre." (14 April 2008, online 7 April 2008)
^The Christian Post on The Shack: "William Paul Young, best-selling author of The Shack with 18 million copies sold[...]" (15 November 2012)
^OBITUARY: Michael Ende - People - News - The Independent on The Neverending Story: "Translated into 30 languages and selling over 16 million copies, it starts when 10-year-old Bastian, overweight and undervalued, decides he will read a fantastic book rather than endure another day's bullying at school." (Friday 01 September 1995)
^CBS on Ken Follett: "But since it was published in 1989, "The Pillars of the Earth" has become an international sensation, selling 15 million copies worldwide." (7 October 2007)
^The Financial Post on Dale Carnegie: "Dale Carnegie's How to Win Friends and Influence People, the gold standard of the genre, has sold more than 15 million copies since it was first published in 1937." (5 April 2008)
^The Patriot Ledger on Perfume: "Yet the scene, like the movie, is so daring, so challenging, you cannot help but respect Tykwer’s unerring desire to remain true to the source novel, a book that has sold 15 million copies and has been credited with inspiring Kurt Cobain to write the Nirvana classic ‘‘Scentless Apprentice.’’" (5 January 2007)
^The Forres Gazette on The Horse Whisperer: "Mr Evans is the author of "The Horse Whisperer", which sold 15 million copies worldwide and was made into a Hollywood film in 1998 directed by and starring Robert Redford." (10 September 2008)
^Irish Times on The Shadow of the Wind: "[...]his novel The Shadow of the Wind has sold more than 15 million copies worldwide, writes Arminta Wallace" (13 June 2009)
^The International Herald Tribune on Follow Your Heart: "But Susanna Tamaro's "Follow Your Heart," the biggest selling Italian postwar novel, with more than 14 million copies sold, according to its publisher, Baldini Castoldi, as it was known then, sold barely 25,000 copies in the United States." (3 August 2008)
^Fox News on The Outsiders: "According to Viking, a division of Penguin Group USA, "The Outsiders" has sold more than 13 million copies and still sells more than 500,000 a year." (29 September 2007)
^Associated Press on Norwegian Wood: "More than 10 million copies of the book have been sold in Japan alone, with 2.6 million more sold in another 33 languages." (2 September 2010)
^The Toronto Star on Grace Metalious: "It sold 100,000 copies in its first month and went on to sell another 12 million copies, was made into a film and eventually into a prime-time television series that made the young Mia Farrow a star." (21 July 2007)
^Britannica on Dune: "the epic Dune (1965; filmed by David Lynch in 1984), which was translated into 14 languages and sold some 12 million copies, more than any other science-fiction book in history;" (24 November 2007)
^China View on La Peste: "Translated into 28 languages, the book has sold more than 12 million copies around the world." (9 April 2008)
^The Wall Street Journal on The Exorcist: "Back in the 1970s, those smaller, rack-sized paperbacks were the blockbusters of the business, led by such best sellers as William Peter Blatty's "The Exorcist" (11 million copies sold); Peter Benchley's "Jaws" (more than nine million copies), and Sidney Sheldon's "The Other Side of Midnight" (six million copies plus)." (14 September 2007)
^The Telegraph on The Gruffalo: "The Gruffalo has sold more than 10.5 million copies, been adapted for stage in both the West End and Broadway, and in 2009 was made into a 30-minute animated film" (3April 2010)
^The Telegraph on Stephen Hawking: "Prof Hawking is the author of A Brief History of Time — which has sold 10 million copies — and is currently writing two books." (27 April 2007)
^The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel on The Cat in the Hat: "There are more than 10 million copies in print today in more than a dozen languages, including the Latin, "Cattus Petasatus."" (14 April 2007)
^TVNZ on The Lovely Bones: "Published in 2002, Lovely Bones is the second novel by Alice Sebold, and has sold over 10 million copies worldwide, remaining on the New York Times hardback bestseller list for over a year." (5 May 2007)
^The Telegraph on Wild Swans: "Selling more than 10 million copies and topping the "most borrowed historical biography" chart in British libraries year after year, it proved a publishing phenomenon" (21 July 2007)
^Britannica on Santa Evita: "Martínez was best known as the author of two classics of Argentine and Latin American literature: La novela de Perón (1985, The Perón Novel, 1988) and Santa Evita (1995, Eng. trans., 1995); the latter was translated into 30 languages and sold more than 10 million copies." (22 November 2007)
^The New York Times on Night: "Indeed, since it appeared in 1960, “Night” has sold an estimated 10 million copies — three million of them since Winfrey chose the book in January 2006 (and traveled with Wiesel to Auschwitz)." (20 January 2008)
^The Times on The Kite Runner: "His first novel, The Kite Runner, sold 10 million copies." (11 April 2008)
^ABC News on The Total Woman: "One of the first books to address the issue was Marabel Morgan's "The Total Woman," which sold more than 10 million copies to women of all religious persuasions, making it the best-selling nonfiction book of 1974." (15 April 2008)
^U.S. News and World Report on What Color is Your Parachute: "Today, Parachute is one of the all-time bestselling careers books, with more than 10 million copies of 37 editions snapped up since 1970. " (1 October 2008)
^The Toronto Star on The Dukan Diet: "The book has sold 10 million copies worldwide, but didn’t really make an impression on North America until [...]" (18 April 2011)
^BBC Magazine on The Joy of Sex: "The Joy of Sex ended up selling more than 10 million copies around the world - more than five million in the United States alone, where it stayed in the New York Times best-seller list for a decade." (26 October 2011).
^ on The Gospel according to Peanuts: "The Gospel according to Peanuts ended up selling more than 10 million copies around the world."
^Calculated for the period 1935-1997 — cf. "Simenon's Maigret 1935-1997" sales stats: "Simenon lived in Switzerland for many years, and the statistics office wanted to know what his fortune was estimated to be. He sold around 1.4 billion books from 1935 to 1997. Now 25% of his works have passed into the public domain. His total earnings were around 600 million Swiss francs." (22 March 1999). The total sales figures would increase noticeably if calculated to the present time (2013). Some old statistical records here and here.
^The BBC on Harry Potter: "The Harry Potter novels have sold more than 450 million copies through Bloomsbury in Britain, and Scholastic in the United States." (23 June 2011)
^Reuters on Goosebumps: "Stine is the author of "Goosebumps" and other series for young readers that have sold more than 300 million copies in 32 languages [...]" (2 August 2012)
^Variety on the Berenstain Bears: "The company also is offering a new animated series based on the Berenstain Bears, the hugely popular children's brand that has sold more than 260 million books worldwide." (7 April 2002)
^The Globe and Mail on Choose Your Own Adventure: "The Choose Your Own Adventure DVD movies are adaptations of the original books, which sold more than 250 million copies. " (22 August 2006)
^Forbes on Sweet Valley High: "But despite 250 million copies in print, in 25 languages, Sweet Valley's sugar rush has been on the decline. " (28 October 2002)
^The Los AngelesDaily News on OSS 117: "Jean Bruce wrote 265 OSS 117 novels, selling some 75 million copies and spawning seven movies between 1956 and 1970." (1 August 2008)
^Staff (June 29, 2012). "Gross-Out Gags AND Life Lessons In 'Wimpy Kid'". National Public Radio (NPR). Retrieved June 29, 2012. "How popular are these books? Consider the numbers: There are six books, and a seventh is on the way. They've been translated into 40 languages and there are 75 million copies in print worldwide."
^Lexington Herald-Leader on the Magic Tree House series: "The series has sold 70 million copies in North America and has been translated into 28 different languages in 31 countries." (25 November 2010)
^Jerry B. Jenkins and Tim LaHaye (2001-09-11). "Home". Left Behind. Retrieved 2009-08-31.
^The Globe and Mail on A Series of Unfortunate Events: "whose 13 “A Series of Unfortunate Events” books for children have sold an astonishing 65 million copies." (10 January 2012)
^The Green Bay Press Gazette on Little House on the Prairie: "If there was any doubt that a love for "Little House is an everlasting one, consider not only that 60 million copies of the Wisconsin-born Wilder's books have been sold since 1932[...]" (24 July 2010)
^The Belfast Telegraph on the Jack Reacher books: "2012 marks a landmark year for Lee Child, whose Jack Reacher thrillers have now sold in excess of 60 million copies worldwide." (7 September 2012)
^AFP on Terry Pratchett: "The 59-year-old author -- whose Discworld books have sold 55 million copies worldwide and have been translated into some 27 languages -- announced in December that he had been diagnosed with posterior cortical atrophy, a rare form of the degenerative brain disease." (13 March 2008)
^Variety on Where's Waldo: "The books have sold more than 55 million copies in more than 38 countries and been translated into more than 30 languages" (7 November 2011)
^Bloomberg on the Millennium Trilogy: "Stieg Larsson -- the late Swedish author whose “Millennium Trilogy” has sold 53 million copies around the world --" (15 March 2011)
^The Star on the Mars Venus series: " You must be from another planet if you have not heard of Gray and his Mars Venus universe. Fifty million of his books have been sold in 40 different languages." (24 February 2008)
^The Alameda Sun on Junie B. Jones: "The series, launched in 1992, offers 27 books and an interactive journal, and has sold 44 million copies around the world." (27 June 2008)
^The Coventry Telegraph on The Wheel of Time: "The Wheel of Time series has sold 44 million copies worldwide and spawned computer, trading-card and role-playing games; a soundtrack; comicbooks; and numerous fan sites." (18 August 2008)
^The Irish Independent on Harry Bosch: "Crime writer Michael Connelly's Hieronymous 'Harry' Bosch thrillers have sold 42 million copies, [...]" (5 November 2011)
^The Anniston Star on Harry Hole: "The series has been translated into 40 languages and has sold more than 40 million copies worldwide." (29 July 2011)
^However further 'Foundation' books were written by Asimov from 1982, extending the direct series to seven books, however these four further novels tell two largely independent stories. Ultimately many of Asimov's works join to form a single time line encompassing 20,000 years of future-history. To further add the extent of the series, a 'Second Foundation Trilogy' of books by contemporary Sci-Fi writers also explicitly join with the series.
^The Stage on Horrible Histories: "[...] based on the hugely successful (20 million copies sold worldwide) series of children’s books by Terry Deary, who also wrote this adaptation." (1 October 2008)
^Brandeton.com on Rainbow Magic: "A publishing phenomenon, “Rainbow Magic” has sold 20+ million copies in 31 languages worldwide, including over 6 million books in print in the U.S." (23 November 2010)
^BBC on Alexander McCall Smith: "His books, featuring the unconventional No.1 Ladies Detective Agency, have sold 15 million copies in English, not counting the 42 languages they've been published in elsewhere." 7 March 2008
^The New York Times on His Dark Materials: "His Dark Materials, Philip Pullman's trilogy inspired by Paradise Lost, has sold 15 million copies worldwide, while the film version of the first volume, The Golden Compass, has earned more than $150 million." (13 January 2008)
^Extrapolation for global range of other language publications, and related to the number of Scouts, make a realistic estimate of 100 to 150 million books.Jeal, Tim. Baden-Powell. London: Hutchinson. ISBN0-09-170670-X.
^Federer, William Joseph (1996), "William Holmes McGuffey", America's God and Country: Encyclopedia of Quotations, p. 439, "As of 1963, 125 million copies had been sold".
^"Guinness World Records earmarks licensing growth", Licensing, 26 October 2010, "The Guinness Book of World Records has been published in 30 languages in more than 100 countries and has sold in excess of 115 million copies, becoming the biggest selling copyright book of all time.".
^The Telegraph on the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary: "Thirty million copies of the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary have been sold since it was first published in 1948. " (3 June 2005)
^Akron Beacon Journal on The Alcoholics Anonymous Big Book: While the title of the book is actually Alcoholics Anonymous, the members of AA refer to it as the Big Book. This is the basic text of Alcoholics Anonymous, AA's text on how to stay sober. "And this year is also the 70th anniversary of the publication of A.A.'s Big Book, which has sold nearly 30 million copies since 1939." (11 June 2009)
^Twelve Step Programs Worldwide about "Alcoholics Anonymous", the book affectionately known as "The Big Book". The 25 millionth copy of the Big Book was published in 2005, and about 1 million copies are sold each year. This means that as at 2010 there have been about 30 million copies sold, ranking it high on the list of best-selling books ever. More impressive still, it has sold this many copies even though it is available free online in English, Spanish and French - links provided."