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The SFF All-Time Sales List


220 replies to this topic

#1 Werthead

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Posted 29 August 2013 - 05:46 AM

Full details here, but the quick version is as follows:

If an author is not present, that's likely because official sales figures have not been released yet. Brandon Sanderson and Patrick Rothfuss, for example, should definitely be on here but as they have no official figures, I can't place them. That's also true for older authors like Arthur C. Clarke and Philip K. Dick.

1) J.K. Rowling (c. 450 million)
2) Stephen King (c. 350 million)
3) JRR Tolkien (c. 300 million)
[Dean Koontz (c. 200 million)]
[Michael Crichton (200 million)]
4) Anne Rice (136 million)
5) CS Lewis (120 million+)
6) Stephanie Meyer (116 million)

7) Edgar Rice Burroughs (100 million+)
8) Sir Arthur C. Clarke (100 million+)
9) Andre Norton (90 million+)
10) Sir Terry Pratchett (85 million+)
11) Robert Jordan (80 million+)

[John Saul (60 million+)]

12) James Herbert (54 million+)
13) Richard Adams (50 million+)
14) Suzanne Collins (50 million+)
[Dennis Wheatley (50 million)]
[Jean M. Auel (45 million)]
[Morgan Llywelyn (40 million)]
15) Christopher Paolini (39 million)
16) Michael Ende (35 million)
17) Charlaine Harris (32.5 million)
18) Stanislaw Lem (30 million+)
19) R.A. Salvatore (30 million+)
20) Sherrilyn Kenyon (30 million+)
21) Robert Heinelin (30 million+)
22) George R.R. Martin (28 million+)
23) Kaoru Kurimoto (28 million)
24) Terry Brooks (26.5 million)
25) George Orwell (25 million+)
26) Marion Zimmer Bradley (25 million+)
27) Darren Shan (25 million+)
28) Terry Goodkind (25 million+)
29) Diana Gabaldon (25 million)
30) Cassandra Clare (24 million)
31) Kevin J. Anderson (23 million)
32) Eoin Colfer (21 million)
33) Isaac Asimov (20 million+)
34) Margaret Weis (c. 20 million)
35) Tracy Hickman (c. 20 million)
36) Brian Jacques (c. 20 million)
37) Kazumasa Hirai (c. 20 million)
38) Raymond E. Feist (20 million+)
39) Michael Moorcock (20 million)
40) Mercedes Lackey (20 million)

41) David Eddings (18 million+)
42) Frank Herbert (18 million)
43) Hideyuki Kikuchi (18 million)
44) Anne McCaffrey (18 million+)
45) Tad Williams (17 million)
46) Larry Niven (17 million)
47) Douglas Adams (16 million)
48) Brandon Sanderson (15 million+) (12 million WoT)
49) Rick Riordan (15 million)
50) Philip Pullman (15 million)
51) Yoshiki Tanaka (15 million)
52) Timothy Zahn (15 million)
53) Diana Wynne Jones (10 million+)
54) Robert E. Howard (10 million+)
55) Stephen Donaldson (10 million)
56) Neil Gaiman (10 million + )
57) Alice Sebold (10 million+)
58) Madeline L'Engle (10 million+)
59) Jerry Pournell (10 million+)
60) Chris Bunch (10 million+)
61) Allan Cole (10 million+)
62) Peter Straub (10 million+)
63) Frederik Pohl (10 million+)
64) Cyril M. Kornbluth (10 million+)

65) Gordon R. Dickson (10 million+)

66) Ray Bradbury (8 million+)
67) Christopher Golden (8 million+)

68) F. Paul Wilson (8 million+)

[Bernard Cornwell (7 million+)]
69) David Weber (7 million)
70) Orson Scott Card (7 million+)

71) Roger Zelazny (6.5 million+)
72) William Gibson (6.5 million+)
73) Peter S. Beagle (6 million+)

74) Gregory Maguire (6 million+)

74) Laurell K. Hamilton (6 million+)
76) Jim Butcher (6 million+)

77) Jonathan Stroud (6 million+)

78) Barbara Hambly (6 million+)

79) L. Frank Baum (5 million+)
80) Daniel Keyes (5 million+)
81) Garth Nix (5 million)
82) Robert R. McCammon (5 million+)

83) Vonda N. McIntyre (5 million+)

84) Audrey Niffenegger (5 million+)

85) Sergei Lukyanenko (5 million+)

86) Frank Schatzing (4.2 million+)
87) Fritz Leiber (4 million+)
88) Lian Hearn (4 million)
89) David Drake (4 million)
90) Veronica Roth (4 million)

91) Tamora Pierce (4 million+)

92) Aaron Allston (3.3. million+)
93) Robert Harris (3 million+) (SF only)
94) Alan Dean Foster (3 million+)
95) Ursula K. Le Guin (3 million+)
96) Guy Gavriel Kay (3 million)
97) Lloyd Alexander (3 million)
98) Dan Abnett (3 million+)
99) John Ringo (3 million)
100) Joe Abercrombie (3 million)
101) Margaret Atwood (3 million+) (SF only)
102) Robert Silverberg (3 million+)
103) Eric Flint (3 million)
104) Scott Westerfield (3 million+)
105) Robert Asprin (3 million)
106) Rick Hautala (3 million+)
107) Brian Lumley (3 million+)

108) Neal Stephenson (3 million+)

109) Simon R. Green (2.7 million)

110) Kim Stanley Robinson (2.5 million+)

111) Harry Turtledove (2.5 million)
112) S.M. Stirling (2.5 million)
113) Michelle Paver (2.5 million+)
114) Max Brooks (2.4 million+)
115) James Dashner (2.3 million+)
116) Susan Cooper (2 million+)
117) Hans Dominik (2 million+)
118) Peter F. Hamilton (2 million+)
119) Brent Weeks (2 million)
120) Andrzej Sapkowski (2 million+)
121) Lois McMaster Bujold (2 million)
122) Katherine Kurtz (2 million)
123) Trudi Canavan (2 million+)
124) Stephen Lawhead (2 million+)
125) Robert Rankin (2 million+)
126) Maggie Stiefvater (2 million+)
127) Gregory Benford (2 million+)
128) Greg Bear (2 million+)
129) Jacqueline Carey (2 million+)
130) Piers Anthony (2 million+)

131) L.E. Modesitt, Jr. (2 million+)

132) David Gemmell (2 million+)

133) Justin Cronin (2 million+)

134) Kevin Crossley-Holland (2 million+)

135) Melanie Rawn (1.8 million+)
136) Jennifer Roberson (1.7 million)
137) Elizabeth Moon (1.5 million+)
138) Deborah Harkness (1.5 million+)
139) Susanna Clarke (1.5 million+)
140) Markus Heitz (1.5 million+)

141) Libba Bray (1.5 million+)

142) Seth Grahame-Smith (1.4 million+)
143) Dan Simmons (1.25 million+)
144) Stan Nicholls (1.25 million+)
145) Naomi Novik (1.2 million+)
146) Jack Campbell (1.2 million+)

147) Tanya Huff (1.2 million+)

148) Iain M. Banks (1.1 million+) (SF only)
149) Kelley Armstrong (1 million+)
150) Samuel R. Delany (1 million+)
151) Ed Greenwood (1 million+)
152) Paul S. Kemp (1 million+)
153) Connie Willis (1 million)
154) Sara Douglass (1 million)
155) Robin Hobb (1 million+)
156) Steven Erikson (1 million+)
157) Alastair Reynolds (1 million+)

158) Jasper Fforde (1 million+)

159) Ian Irvine (1 million+)
160) Richard A. Knaak (1 million+)
161) Katherine Kerr (1 million+)
162) Dave Duncan (1 million+)
163) A.C. Crispin (1 million+)
164) Hugh Howey (1 million+)
165) Joe Haldeman (1 million+)
166) Glen Cook (1 million+)
167) David Brin (1 million+)
168) Henry N. Beard (1 million+)
169) Douglas C. Kenney (1 million+)
170) Alexey Pehov (1 million+)

171) John Gregory Betancourt (1 million+)

172) Jo Clayton (1 million+)

173) Christie Golden (1 million+)

174) Drew Karpyshyn (1 million+)

175) David Mitchell (1 million+)

176) Ransom Riggs (1 million+)

177) Elizabeth Haydon (1 million+)

178) Peter V. Brett (925,000)

179) Chris Wooding (750,000+)

180) William King (750,000+)

181) Erin Morgenstern (650,000+)
182) Janny Wurts (500,000+)
183) Kevin Hearne (500,000+)
184) Alison Croggon (500,000+)
185) Michael Gerber (500,000+)

186) Hugh Cook (500,000+)

187) Gail Carriger (400,000+)

188) Gail Z. Martin (400,000+)

189) Lawrence Watt Evans aka Nathan Archer (400,000+)

190) Ben Aaronovitch (400,000+)

191) Lynn Flewelling (350,000)
192) Kate Elliott (300,000+)
193) Ernest Cline (300,000)

194) Mark Smith aka Jonathan Wylie aka Julia Gray (300,000+)

195) Julia Smith aka Jonathan Wylie aka Julia Gray (300,000+)

196) Scott Lynch (300,000+)

197) J.V. Jones (250,000+)
198) Mark Lawrence (250,000+)
199) Michael J. Sullivan (250,000+)
200) Karen Miller (250,000+)
201) Sharon Lee (250,000+)
202) Steve Miller (250,000+)

203) Karen Russell (210,000+)

204) James Barclay (200,000+)

205) R. Scott Bakker (200,000+)
206) Paolo Bacigalupi (200,000+)
207) Jaye Wells (200,000+)
208) David Dalglish (175,000+)
209) Daniel H. Wilson (160,000+)
210) Adam Roberts (150,000+)
211) Glen Duncan (150,000+)
212) Glenda Larke (120,000+)
213) James Lovegrove (100,000+)

214) Tom Lloyd (70,000+)

215) Russell Kirkpatrick (70,000+)

216) Hannu Rajaniemi (40,000+)


Edited by Werthead, 11 October 2013 - 11:32 AM.


#2 Seli

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Posted 29 August 2013 - 05:59 AM

Nice list, thanks for the work.

#3 Jussi

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Posted 29 August 2013 - 06:10 AM

19) George R.R. Martin (20 million+)


If you count eBooks this should be 25 million+

There are over 20 million copies of A Song of Ice and Fire in print, plus close to 5.5 million in eBook sales—and growing daily!


http://edelweiss.abo...?sku=0553582011

#4 red snow

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Posted 29 August 2013 - 06:17 AM

What's impressive about that list is how well some authors have done with only a handful of books (I'm guessing Orwell only has 2 that qualify) while I'm guessing King and Pratchett have far more titles that qualify.

Looks like Goodkind can make his boasts about selling millions.

#5 Jussi

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Posted 29 August 2013 - 06:24 AM

8) Sir Terry Pratchett (65 million+)


75 million+

Pratchett’s books have been translated into 38 languages and have sold more than 75 million copies worldwide.

In the UK, Pratchett’s novels are routinely the #1 or #2 best-selling hardcover novel of the year, selling about 250,000 copies each year.


http://edelweiss.abo...?sku=038553826X

BTW, great work with the list!

#6 Werthead

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Posted 29 August 2013 - 06:27 AM

Excellent. I was hoping some people would find more info and allow the list to be updated.

#7 Seli

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Posted 29 August 2013 - 06:57 AM

I assume "Le Petit Prince" does not fit the genre definitions you are using.

Neverending Story apparently did well (with an unsourced 16 million here http://www.bestelite...n-aller-tijden/ ), which could put Michael Ende on the list.

Edited by Seli, 29 August 2013 - 06:57 AM.


#8 Jussi

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Posted 29 August 2013 - 07:02 AM

You are welcome. Raymond E. Feist should be higher on the list:

More than 20 million copies of Feist's books have been sold worldwide.

http://edelweiss.abo...?sku=0061468436

There are figures for Brent Weeks:

The Night Angel trilogy has already sold well over two million copies worldwide.

http://edelweiss.abo...?sku=0316068144

and Peter V. Brett:

The series so far has more than 220,000 copies in print and almost 90,000 in eBook sales.

http://edelweiss.abo...?sku=0345524152

Edited by Jussi, 29 August 2013 - 07:19 AM.


#9 Werthead

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Posted 29 August 2013 - 07:09 AM

It occurs to me I should have published the list on the blog and maybe here before anywhere else, thus having only two lists to change and not seven. Oh well /smile.png' class='bbc_emoticon' alt=':)' />

Edited by Werthead, 29 August 2013 - 07:09 AM.


#10 Werthead

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Posted 29 August 2013 - 07:30 AM

Feist and Martin moved up (a shame Goodkind's probably sold rather more than 25m by now, as otherwise GRRM would be about to overtake him), Brent, Weeks and Alison Croggon added.

#11 3CityApache

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Posted 29 August 2013 - 07:37 AM

As far as I know Andrzej Sapkowski has sold about 2 million copies of his books only in Poland (and these figures were published here in 2009), and he was translated into 15 languages. So I guess the current number should be around or more than 3 million, not counting ebooks.

Edited by 3CityApache, 29 August 2013 - 07:38 AM.


#12 polishgenius

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Posted 29 August 2013 - 07:44 AM

I'm quite surprised that Banks is nowhere on the list, though I guess he's a lot more popular in the UK than elsewhere - though the US seems to be slowly waking up to his work.

#13 Werthead

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Posted 29 August 2013 - 07:47 AM

I have never seen any figures for Banks at all, aside from his own comment that his mainstream work massively outsold his SF stuff.

#14 David Selig

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Posted 29 August 2013 - 07:51 AM

Great job.

Stanislaw Lem should be included. His sales, according to his official site's FAQ, are over 30 mln. in total - http://english.lem.pl/faq#print-run

In his obituary there, the figure listed was 27 mln. - http://english.lem.p...uary-by-rob-jan

#15 polishgenius

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Posted 29 August 2013 - 07:54 AM

I have never seen any figures for Banks at all, aside from his own comment that his mainstream work massively outsold his SF stuff.


Interestingly, that isn't true in the US, where Transition was published with the 'M' as his SF outsells his regular stuff.. And if I recall my timings correctly, that interview wouldn't have been very long after Orbit started their US wing and giving M Banks a bit of a transatlantic push - before then he seemed virtually unknown, judging by some conversations I had back then trying to get people to read him.


But yeah, just judging vaguely by public profile, it wouldn't overly surprise me if The Wasp Factory and The Crow Road had sold more than all the Culture books put together in the UK.

#16 Sansa_Stark

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Posted 29 August 2013 - 08:01 AM

Surprised Gaiman is so low.

#17 Jussi

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Posted 29 August 2013 - 08:07 AM

This is probably the final update from me... Terry Brooks' all-time sales are higher than Martin's:

MORE THAN 26 MILLION COPIES of Terry Brooks’s books in Del Rey print alone, as well as more than 500,000 electronic copies sold!


http://edelweiss.abo...?sku=0345540700

#18 MisterOJ

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Posted 29 August 2013 - 08:11 AM

So does this list not include ebooks?

Because if it did, I'm pretty sure Hugh Howey would be on there.

#19 Werthead

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Posted 29 August 2013 - 08:20 AM

Brooks moved up, Howey added. No additional sales data for Gaiman is available, but I agree he's likely a lot higher than that.

#20 Maithanet

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Posted 29 August 2013 - 08:46 AM

Kevin J Anderson has twice as many as Timothy Zahn? Aren't both of them primarily getting thier sales from Star Wars EU books (of which Zahn's are far more popular?) Or am I simply not aware or Anderson's doubtless outstanding work in other areas?

According to a semi-dubious "A Brief Guide to Star Wars: the Unauthorised Inside Story of George Lucas's Epic", the Heir to the Empire trilogy has sold over fifteen million copies. That's not counting the less popular Hand of Thrawn books and the Conqueror's trilogy.