According to Guinness World Records as of 1995, the Bible is the best selling book of all time with an estimated 5billion copies sold and distributed. Sales estimates for other printed religious texts include at least 800 million copies for the Qur'an and 190 million copies for the Book of Mormon. Also, a single publisher has produced more than 140 million copies of the Bhagavad Gita. The total number could be much higher. Among non-religious texts, the Quotations from Chairman Mao Tse-tung, also known as the Little Red Book, has produced a wide array of sales and distribution figures—with estimates ranging from 800million to over 6.5 billion printed volumes. Some claim the distribution ran into the "billions" and some cite "over a billion" official volumes between 1966 and 1969 alone as well as "untold numbers of unofficial local reprints and unofficial translations". Exact print figures for these and other 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 books of a religious, ideological, philosophical or political nature have thus been excluded from the lists of best-selling books below for these reasons.
Having sold more than 600 million copies worldwide,Harry Potter by J. K. Rowling is the best-selling book series in history. The first novel in the series, Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone, has sold in excess of 120 million copies, making it one of the best-selling books of all time. As of June 2017, the series has been translated into 85 languages, placing Harry Potter among history's most translated literary works. The last four books in the series consecutively set records as the fastest-selling books of all time, where the final installment, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, sold roughly fifteen million copies worldwide within twenty-four hours of its release. With twelve million books printed in the first US run, it also holds the record for the highest initial print run for any book in history.
^Forbes on Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: "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." (19 December 2008)
^World Record Academy on Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – the seventh and last novel in the series – sold around 15 million copies worldwide in its first day and set the new world record for the fastest selling book." (23 July 2007)
^BBCArchived 2008-11-28 at the Wayback Machine on Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: "The book had a print run of 12 million in the US, compared with 10.8 million for the last book, according to Lisa Holton of the book's US publisher Scholastic." (23 July 2007)
^Inshorts on Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: "The final instalment of the Harry Potter series, 'The Deathly Hallows' is recognised by Guinness World Records as 'the fastest selling book of fiction in 24 hours' with a total of 15 million books sold. With 12 million books printed in the first run, it also holds a record for the 'highest initial print run for a fiction book'." (4 July 2016)
"Discover The 20 Best Selling Books of All Time". September 16, 2023. Published in the 1600s, Don Quixote has sold over 500 million copies by modern estimates. Though it is difficult to track this completely due to the book's age, it remains one of the top best-selling books of all time.
"A Tale of Two Cities". broadway.com. Archived from the original on April 5, 2008. Retrieved April 24, 2008. Since its inaugural publication on August 30, 1859, A Tale of Two Cities has sold over 200 million copies in several languages, making it one of the most famous books in the history of fictional literature.
"A Tale of Two Cities, King's Head, review". September 28, 2013. According to Adam Spreadbury-Maher, the artistic director of the King's Head Theatre, the prize goes to Charles Dickens's A Tale of Two Cities, with sales of more than 200 million copies since its publication in 1859.
^Inman, William H. (March 21, 2011). "Hotelier Saint-Exupéry's Princely Instincts". institutionalinvestor.com. Euromoney Institutional Investor. Archived from the original on November 12, 2020. Retrieved May 12, 2022. The Prince remains a king among books, with more than 200 million copies sold in more than 190 languages, making it one of the bestselling volumes of any kind.
Lowne, Cathy. "The Little Prince". britannica.com. Archived from the original on October 31, 2017. Retrieved April 27, 2022. Translated into hundreds of languages, some 150 million copies of the novella have sold worldwide, making it one of the best-selling books in publishing history.
Lohnes, Kate; Lowne, Cathy (December 27, 2018). "The Little Prince". britannica.com. Archived from the original on January 22, 2019. Retrieved March 24, 2022. The novella has been translated into hundreds of languages and has sold some 200 million copies worldwide, making it one of the best-selling books in publishing history.
^"Betting on The Red Mansions". china.org.cn. China Internet Information Center. December 14, 2005. Archived from the original on October 17, 2007. Retrieved April 26, 2022. Sun Yuming, the vice director of A Dream of Red Mansions Research Institute...said that the book has sold over 100 million copies worldwide so far.
^The TelegraphArchived 2010-04-06 at the Wayback Machine 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)
^San José Mercury NewsArchived 2012-01-13 at the Wayback Machine 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)
^HypableArchived 2013-10-15 at archive.today on Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets: "As of 2012, the book has sold 77 million copies worldwide and been translated into 72 languages." (April 2012)
^ abcdeFanSidedArchived 2017-08-24 at the Wayback Machine on Harry Potter: "The success of the books — every one of which has sold over 65 million copies — and the films — which have done billions of dollars worth of box office sales worldwide — is perhaps the easiest way to demonstrate the sheer size of the Harry Potter fandom." (November 2016)
^"Film to be made of Coelho's 'The Alchemist'". AFP. May 19, 2008. Archived from the original on February 12, 2009. Retrieved May 12, 2022. 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.
^ABC AustraliaArchived 2014-04-26 at the Wayback Machine 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)
^ReutersArchived 2010-01-13 at the Wayback Machine 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 TimesArchived 2008-07-18 at the Wayback Machine 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)
^Pocono RecordArchived 2014-01-21 at the Wayback Machine on Charlotte's Web: " It has sold over 50 million copies, been translated into 23 languages, and shown in three major movie versions." (06 July 2007)
^Sunday WorldArchived 2014-01-18 at archive.today on The Ginger Man: "Donleavy, who lives near Mullingar, has previously rejected repeated attempts by Hollywood to make a film version of his book, which has sold 50 million copies worldwide and been translated into 18 languages." (5 August 2008)
^"Carlo Collodi, il papà del burattino più conformista della letteratura". artspecialday (in Italian). October 26, 2017. Archived from the original on April 3, 2018. Retrieved April 3, 2018. Il resto, è storia nota: allo stato attuale delle cose, è inutile elencare le lingue in cui è stato tradotto Pinocchio ed è praticamente impossibile calcolare il numero delle copie vendute nel mondo – alcune fonti riportano 35 milioni, altre 80, ma è soltanto un modo, anche abbastanza ozioso, di quantificare un successo inquantificabile.
^"Le avventure di Pinocchio". la Repubblica Letteraria Italiana (in Italian). July 1, 2001. Archived from the original on January 27, 2006. Retrieved February 4, 2010. Con i suoi trentacinque milioni di copie, Le Avventure di Pinocchio è il nostro romanzo più letto e più tradotto, dopo I promessi sposi.
^Akron Beacon JournalArchived 2011-06-15 at the Wayback Machine 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 WorldwideArchived 2011-08-10 at the Wayback Machine 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."
^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)
^ForbesArchived 2017-03-29 at the Wayback Machine 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 AgeArchived 2008-12-05 at the Wayback Machine on The Celestine Prophecy: "it has sold in the vicinity of 23 million copies since its publication in 1993" (22 March 2008)
^The Toronto StarArchived 2012-11-05 at the Wayback Machine 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)
^PlaybillArchived 2010-07-26 at the Wayback Machine on Love Story: "Erich Segal's best-selling novel, which has sold 21 million copies worldwide in 33 languages[...]" (23 July 2010)
^The TimesArchived 2007-03-09 at the Wayback Machine 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)
^CBCArchived 2009-05-08 at the Wayback Machine on The Women's Room: "It sold 20 million copies and was widely translated, despite poor reviews." (5 May 2009)
^The AustralianArchived 2012-01-09 at the Wayback Machine 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 UpfrontArchived 2013-11-05 at the Wayback Machine 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)
^"The Guardian view on Jane Austen: pride not prejudice". The Guardian. August 13, 2017. Retrieved November 21, 2018. Pride and Prejudice is the novel that simply will not die. Twenty million copies on, Mr Darcy has become so synonymous with the romantic hero that when researchers found a pheromone in male mouse urine irresistible to female mice, they named it "darcin".
^John J. Miller on Thor Heyerdahl on National Review OnlineArchived 2013-06-15 at the Wayback Machine 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 New York TimesArchived 2017-08-03 at the Wayback Machine on The Power of Positive Thinking: "Ruth Stafford Peale, the author's widow (he died last Christmas Eve) feels that the book is as viable today as it was 20 million copies ago." (May 31, 1994)
^Belfast Telegraph on The Secret: "Publishers Simon & Schuster expect sales to be on a par with – if not bigger than – 'The Secret', which has so far notched up 20 million copies in 46 languages." (19 August 2010)
^Washington PostArchived 2014-04-26 at the Wayback Machine on Fear of Flying: "It has been 40 years since "Fear" and its glamorous author landed like feminist blonde bombshells on American culture, selling 20 million copies here and abroad." (7 October 2013)
^"Frank Herbert". Archived from the original on 2016-01-12. Retrieved 2015-02-06.Macmillan on Dune: "Today the novel is more popular than ever, with new readers continually discovering it and telling their friends to pick up a copy. It has been translated into dozens of languages and has sold almost 20 million copies;"
^CBSArchived 2008-04-13 at the Wayback Machine 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 Patriot Ledger[permanent dead link] 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)
^Irish TimesArchived 2012-01-05 at the Wayback Machine 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)
^USA TodayArchived 2012-01-05 at the Wayback Machine on Tuesdays with Morrie: "The book has sold more than 14 million copies worldwide since 1997 and became an Oprah Winfrey-produced TV movie. " (8 April 2008)
^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)
^The Toronto StarArchived 2012-11-05 at the Wayback Machine 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)
^Associated PressArchived 2010-09-06 at the Wayback Machine 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)
^China ViewArchived 2009-01-10 at the Wayback Machine on La Peste: "Translated into 28 languages, the book has sold more than 12 million copies around the world." (9 April 2008)
^The AustralianArchived 2012-01-09 at the Wayback Machine on Man's Search for Meaning: "It's the 75th edition of a book that has sold 12 million copies and is one of the most read Holocaust texts." (14 May 2011)
^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 TelegraphArchived 2010-04-06 at the Wayback Machine 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" (3 April 2010)
^TVNZArchived 2009-09-25 at the Wayback Machine 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)
^BritannicaArchived 2007-08-31 at the Wayback Machine 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 TimesArchived 2017-09-04 at the Wayback Machine 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)
^ABC NewsArchived 2008-04-16 at the Wayback Machine 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 & World ReportArchived 2009-05-08 at the Wayback Machine 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 StarArchived 2012-10-24 at the Wayback Machine 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 MagazineArchived 2011-10-26 at the Wayback Machine 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).
^Author Examines Gay AthletesArchived 2016-02-16 at the Wayback Machine on The Front Runner: "The Front Runner long ago leapt from the shelves of so-called 'gay fiction' to become one of the best-selling novels of recent times, selling 10 million copies in eight languages."
^Books ApartArchived 2017-08-19 at the Wayback Machine on The Goal: "The Goal is one of the best selling business novels. It has sold around 10 million copies and has been translated in over 35 languages."
^VarietyArchived 2008-04-13 at the Wayback Machine 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)
^ForbesArchived 2017-08-12 at the Wayback Machine 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)
^"Stephenie Meyer". Archived from the original on 2017-08-16. Retrieved 2017-07-18. on Twilight: "Stephanie Meyer dwarfed the success of Brown's work with the Twilight series, selling over 120 million copies in less than seven years." (26 April 2012)
^The Wall Street Journal on the Star Wars books: "According to a Random House spokesman, the publisher has more than 160 million copies of "Star Wars" books in print." (1 April 2005)
^Mercer Mayer, HarperCollins, archived from the original on 24 October 2014, retrieved 24 October 2014, His most recognized character, the lovable and charismatic Little Critter®, was born in 1975 in the book Just for You. Mercer's Little Critter has since starred in more than two hundred books, which have sold over one hundred and fifty million copies.
^RTBFArchived 2011-01-24 at the Wayback Machine on Martine: "Soixante albums de "Martine" ont été publiés dans la collection "Farandole" et 100 millions d'exemplaires vendus dans le monde." (21 January 2011)
^USA TodayArchived 2016-06-10 at the Wayback Machine on James Patterson's Alex Cross by the numbers: "81 million: Copies sold of series, starting with Along Came a Spider in 1993.""with Alex, it just seems to come together so naturally that I've kept him for myself. I suppose you could say Alex is the co-author." (27 November 2013)
^Lexington Herald-Leader[dead link] 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. Archived from the original on 2009-08-30. Retrieved 2009-08-31.
^The Globe and Mail[dead link] 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[permanent dead link] 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 Irish Times on the All Creatures Great and Small series: "...in the evenings, writing under the pen name James Herriot, he [Alf Wight] chronicled his experiences, both past and present. The resulting eight books have sold more than 60 million copies worldwide and inspired multiple film and television adaptations" (1 March 2021)
^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)
^VarietyArchived 2011-11-09 at the Wayback Machine 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)
^The StarArchived 2011-05-21 at the Wayback Machine 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 SunArchived 2008-09-18 at the Wayback Machine 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 Irish Independent on Harry Bosch: "Crime writer Michael Connelly's Hieronymous 'Harry' Bosch thrillers have sold 42 million copies, [...]" (5 November 2011)
^ABC NewsArchived 2010-09-15 at the Wayback Machine on Ramona: "The film is adapted from Beverly Cleary's series of "Ramona" books, which go back more than 50 years and have sold 30 million copies." (23 July 2010)
^ Library of Congress, 2018 National Book Festival. "Rachel Renee Russell has sold over 30 million copies of the New York Times best selling series, Dork Diaries," Monica Valentine. (10 October 2018)
^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 StageArchived 2011-06-12 at the Wayback Machine 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[permanent dead link] 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)
^The New York TimesArchived 2017-09-04 at the Wayback Machine 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)
^BBCArchived 2008-03-13 at the Wayback Machine 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
^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 (1989). Baden-Powell. London: Hutchinson. ISBN0-09-170670-X.
^"Guinness World Records earmarks licensing growth", Licensing, 26 October 2010, archived from the original on 2010-10-29, retrieved 2010-10-29, 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[dead link] 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)