Notes from An Alien

~ Explorations In Reading, Writing & Publishing ~

Bestsellers . . .

That title up there has a definition that rather surprised me. I typed it in and used the handy highlight-and-look-up-dictionary I have to check the spelling ( it’s very late and I worked very hard today :-)

I’d spelled it right but the definition wasn’t just something like: books that sell a lot of copies.

Here’s my dictionary’s entry ~ “A book that has had a large and rapid sale”

So, slightly taken aback by that “rapid” part, I’ll forge ahead and recommend an exercise for Readers, Writers, and Publishers.

Whether you read books, write books, and/or publish books, it might be of some aid if you could familiarize yourself with books that fall into these categories I plucked from Wikipedia:

I’m sitting here trying to grasp the concept of 100 million copies of the same book and being hindered by being just as incapable of comprehending 20 million copies

In case your not the type of person who clicks all the links in a blog post, I’ll list the top three books in each of the three 100 million-catagories:

Best-selling single-volume books ~ More than 100 million copies

A Tale of Two Cities

The Lord of the Rings

The Hobbit

Best-selling book series ~ More than 100 million copies

Harry Potter


Perry Mason

Best-selling regularly updated books ~ More than 100 million copies

Xinhua Zidian / Xinhua Dictionary

Scouting for Boys

The McGuffey Readers

Have any surprises?

Think they got the numbers wrong??

Wish other books had been in the top three???

Before you answer those questions, I’m compelled to put their disclaimer about why certain books were not included. I’ll make it small in case you don’t care about disclaimers:

“Religious books, especially the Bible and the Qur’an, are probably the most-printed books, but it is nearly impossible to find reliable figures about them. Many copies of the Bible and the Qur’an are printed and given away free, instead of being sold. The same goes for some political books, like the works of Mao Zedong or Adolf Hitler. All such books have been excluded from this list for those reasons.”
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5 responses to “Bestsellers . . .

  1. Pingback: The Best Books? ~ Whose Opinion Do You Trust? « Notes from An Alien

  2. Pingback: How To Make A Book A Bestseller | Notes from An Alien

  3. Pingback: What Is a #Bestseller, Really? And, Should an Author Try to Write One? | Notes from An Alien

  4. Pingback: Bestsellers of 1986 | Notes from An Alien

  5. Pingback: The Best Books? ~ Whose Opinion Do You Trust? | Notes from An Alien

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