Literature
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The Best Selling Fiction Authors of all Time

Updated November 7, 2018 78.0k views82 items

A list of the most popular best selling fiction authors of all time ranked by how well their books have sold. Obviously, many of those books have gone on to become classics. With the introduction of the Nook, Kindle, and iPad with iBooks, reading is hot again. The writers on this list wrote everything from pulp fiction novels to literature still revered to this day. This list is intended to help long-time readers, and newcomers alike with discovering (and rediscovering) some of the best selling novelists the world has ever seen.

Also, please note that this list only includes fiction writers with sales figures that could at least be estimated.
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  • 1
    William Shakespeare

    William Shakespeare

    Othello, Romeo and Juliet
    Estimated Sales: 4 Billion
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  • 2
    Agatha Christie

    Agatha Christie

    The A.B.C. Murders, The Murder of Roger Ackroyd
    Estimated Sales: 4 Billion
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  • 3
    Barbara Cartland

    Barbara Cartland

    Love in the ruins, As eagles fly
    Estimated Sales: 1 Billion
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  • 4
    Harold Robbins

    Harold Robbins

    The Dream Merchants, The Carpetbaggers
    Estimated Sales: 750 Million
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  • 5
    Georges Simenon

    Georges Simenon

    La Premiere enquete de Maigret, La Marie Du Port
    Estimated Sales: 700 Million
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  • 6
    Sidney Sheldon

    Sidney Sheldon

    Bloodline, Rage of Angels
    Estimated Sales: 600 Million
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  • 7
    Enid Blyton

    Enid Blyton

    Fifth Formers of St. Clare's, Third Year at Malory Towers
    Estimated Sales: 600 Million
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  • 8
    Danielle Steel

    Danielle Steel

    The Long Road Home, Mirror Image
    Estimated Sales: 600 Million
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  • 9
    Dr. Seuss

    Dr. Seuss

    The Cat in the Hat, Green Eggs and Ham
    Estimated Sales: 500 Million
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  • 10
    Gilbert Patten

    Gilbert Patten

    Frank Merriwell at Yale, Frank Merriwell
    Estimated Sales: 500 Million
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  • 11
    J. K. Rowling

    J. K. Rowling

    Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone
    Estimated Sales: 450 Million
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  • 12
    Leo Tolstoy

    Leo Tolstoy

    War and Peace, Anna Karenina
    Estimated Sales: 413 Million
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  • 13
    Jackie Collins

    Jackie Collins

    Hollywood Husbands, Hollywood Wives
    Estimated Sales: 400 Million
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  • 14
    Horatio Alger, Jr.

    Horatio Alger, Jr.

    Ragged Dick, Ragged Dick
    Estimated Sales: 400 Million
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  • 15
    R. L. Stine

    R. L. Stine

    Goosebumps, The Barking Ghost
    Estimated Sales: 400 Million
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  • 16
    Corín Tellado

    Corín Tellado

    Los amigos, Confundí tu cobardía
    Estimated Sales: 400 Million
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  • 17
    Dean Koontz

    Dean Koontz

    Watchers, Intensity
    Estimated Sales: 400 Million
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  • 18
    Aleksandr Sergeyevich Pushkin
    Estimated Sales: 357 Million
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  • 19
    Stephen King

    Stephen King

    Needful Things, The Stand
    Estimated Sales: 350 Million
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  • 20
    Louis L'Amour

    Louis L'Amour

    Bendigo Shafter, Yondering
    Estimated Sales: 330 Million
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  • 21
    Erle Stanley Gardner

    Erle Stanley Gardner

    Bedrooms have windows, Gold Comes in Bricks
    Estimated Sales: 325 Million
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  • 22
    Jin Yong
    Estimated Sales: 300 Million
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  • 23
    Jirō Akagawa
    Estimated Sales: 300 Million
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  • 24
    Janet Dailey

    Janet Dailey

    Calder pride, Lone Calder star
    Estimated Sales: 300 Million
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  • 25
    Nora Roberts

    Nora Roberts

    Portrait in Death, Vengeance in Death
    Estimated Sales: 300 Million
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