which books have sold the most copies

Answers to which books have sold the most copies

The Top 10 Bestselling Books of All Time:
  1. The Bible
     "No one really knows how many copies of the Bible have been printed, sold, or distributed. The Bible Society’s attempt to calculate the number printed between 1816 and 1975 produced the figure of 2,458,000,000. A more recent survey, for the years up to 1992, put it closer to 6,000,000,000 in more than 2,000 languages and dialects. Whatever the precise figure, the Bible is by far the bestselling book of all time."

  2. Quotations from Chairman Mao Tse-tung (Little Red Book)
     "Chairman Mao’s Little Red Book could scarcely fail to become a bestseller: between the years 1966 and 1971 it was compulsory for every Chinese adult to own a copy."

  3. American Spelling Book by Noah Webster
     "First published in 1783, this reference book by the American man of letters Noah Webster (1758-1843) remained a bestseller in the U.S. throughout the 19th century."

  4. The Guinness Book of Records
     "First published in 1955, The Guinness Book of Records stands out as the greatest contemporary publishing achievement. There have now been 37 editions in the UK alone (it was not published annually until 1964), as well as numerous foreign-language editions."

  5. The McGuffey Readers by William Holmes McGuffey
     "Published in numerous editions from 1853, some authorities have put the total sales of these educational textbooks, originally compiled by American anthologist William Holmes McGuffey (1800-73), as high as 122,000,000. It has also been claimed that 60,000,000 copies of the 1879 edition were printed, but - since this is some 10,000,000 more than the entire population of the U.S. at that time - the publishers must have been extremely optimistic about its success."

  6. A Message to Garcia by Elbert Hubbard
     "Now forgotten, Hubbard’s polemic on the subject of labor relations was published in 1899 and within a few years had achieved these phenomenal sales, largely because many American employers purchased bulk supplies to distribute to their employees."

  7. The Common Sense Book of Baby and Child Care by Dr. Benjamin Spock
     "Dr. Spock’s 1946 manual became the bible of infant care for subsequent generations of parents. Most of the sales have been of the paperback edition of the book."

  8. World Almanac
     "Having been published annually since 1868 (with a break from 1876 to 1886), this wide-ranging reference book has remained a constant bestseller ever since."

  9. The Valley of the Dolls by Jacqueline Susann
     "This tale of sex, violence, and drugs by Jacqueline Susann (1921-74), first published in 1966, is perhaps surprisingly the world’s bestselling novel. Margaret Mitchell’s Gone With the Wind, which has achieved sales approaching 28,000,000, is its closest rival."

 10. In His Steps: "What Would Jesus Do?" by Rev. Charles Monroe Sheldon
     "Although virtually unknown today, American clergyman Charles Sheldon (1857-1946) achieved fame and fortune with this 1896 instructive religious treatise on moral dilemnas."

World’s Bestselling Fiction
Ash notes in his preface to this list that "Although only Jacqueline Susann’s The Valley of the Dolls appears in the all-time list, and publishers’ precise sales data remain tantalizingly elusive (it has been said that the most widely published fiction is publishers’ own sales figures), there are many other contenders for this list. It seems certain that all the titles in this list have sold in excess of 10,000,000 copies in the hardback and paperback worldwide."

   * Bach, Richard. Jonathan Livingstone Seagull
   * Blatty, William. The Exorcist
   * Benchley, Peter. Jaws
   * Caldwell, Erskine. God’s Little Acre
   * Heller, Joseph. Catch-22
   * Lee, Harper. To Kill a Mockingbird
   * McCullough, Colleen. The Thorn Birds
   * Metalious, Grace. Peyton Place
   * Mitchell, Margaret. Gone With the Wind
   * Orwell, George. 1984, Animal Farm
   * Puzo, Mario. The Godfather
   * Robbins, Harold. The Carepetbaggers
   * Salinger, J.D. Catcher in the Rye

Bestselling Children’s Authors in the World
Ash notes that "based on total sales of their entire output", the following authors "have produced titles that have been bestsellers - especially those in numerous translations - over a long period."

   * René Goscinny and Albert Uderzo
     "René Goscinny (1926-77) and Albert Uderzo (b. 1927) created the comic strip character Astérix the Gaul in 1959. They produced 30 books with total sales of some 250,000,000 copies."

   * Hergé
     "Georges Rémi (1907-83), the Belgian author-illustrator who wrote under the pen name Hergé, created the comic strip character Tintin in 1929. Tintin appeared in book form from 1948 onward. He achieved worldwide popularity, and the books have been translated into about 45 languages and dialects. Total sales are believed to be at least 160,000,000."

   * Enid Blyton
     "With sales of her Noddy books exceeding 60,000,000 copies, and with more than 700 children’s books to her name (UNESCO calculated that there were 974 translations of her works in the 1960s alone), total sales of her works are believed to be over 100,000,000, making her the best-selling English-language author of the 20th century."

   * Dr. Seuss
     "His books in the U.S. Top 10 alone total about 30,000,000 copies: to this must be added those titles that have sold fewer than 5,000,000 in the U.S. and all foreign editions of his books, suggesting total sales of more than 100,000,000."

   * Beatrix Potter
     "The Tale of Peter Rabbit (1902) was one of a series of books, the cumulative total sales of which probably exceed 50,000,000."

   * Lewis Carroll
     "Total world sales of all editions of Carroll’s two classic children’s books, Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland and Alice Through the Looking Glass, are incalculable. However, just these two books probably place Lewis Carroll among the 20 bestselling children’s authors of all time."

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