When books are described as best-selling, it is usually referring to the number of copies of that book that were sold and not the number that was printed or the number that is owned. The list is compiled based on the highest number sold as identified by dependable sources.
Best-Selling Book Series
Harry Potter by J.K. Rowling is the most sold book series in the world. These fantasy novels track the life of a young sorcerer, Harry Potter. The first book in the series was first released in June of 1997. The series has expanded to 7 novels, a play script, and multiple supplimentary books. These books have a widespread audience stretching from the young to the old. It is interesting to note that by May of 2013, the books had sold half a billion copies worldwide thus rising to be the best-selling book sequence. The last four books of the series have set a record as the fastest-selling books ever. The last book sold more 11 million copies in the US in about 24 hours.
Goosebumps is a series of a children’s horror fiction stories that were penned by the American writer R.L. Stine. The Goosebumps books were written between 1992 and 1997 with a total of 62 books being released. Since the release of the first book, 350 million books have been sold throughout the world, translated into 32 languages.
Perry Mason is a collection of novels and short stories that were written by Erle Stanley Gardner. The books were published between 1933 to 1973. His works were mostly published in magazines like the Toronto Star weekly and the Saturday Evening Post. An estimated 300 million copies of the books have been sold.
The Berenstain Bears is a children’s book series that tells of the Berenstain Bear family, who learn a lesson by the end of the story. The books were written by Stan and Jan Berenstain and later taken up by their son Mike Berenstain. Since the release of the first book in 1962, the series has sold more than 300 titles. More than 300 million books have been sold, and have been translated into 23 languages.
Choose Your Own Adventure
The Choose Your Own Adventure books are the fifth on the bestselling book series. The concept behind these children’s gamebook was created by Edward Packard. These books were very popular among children in the years 1980 to 1998, selling a whopping 250 million copies. The books were written in the English language.
Sweet Valley High
Sweet Valley High, the sixth on this list, is a young people fantasy story that was created by Francine Pascal. These books, which was written by ghostwriters under Pascal's supervision, were first released in 1983. They were written over a span of 20 years, managing to produces 603 titles under the name. The series has sold approximately 250 million books worldwide.
It is important to note that this list is inconclusive due to the insufficiency of materials or lack of credibility of sources. Many books that have been cited as bestselling books have no proper sales records since they are released after the intellectual copyright property rights have expired. This is practical with books like A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens.
Best Selling Book Series
|Rank||Book Series||Author(s)||Original Language||No. of installments||First Published||Approximate Sales|
|1||Harry Potter||J. K. Rowling||English||7 + 8 supplements||1997–present||510 million|
|2||Goosebumps||R. L. Stine||English||62 + spin-off series||1992–present||350 million|
|3||Perry Mason||Erle Stanley Gardner||English||82 + 4 short stories||1933–1973||300 million|
|4||Berenstain Bears||Stan and Jan Berenstain||English||over 300||1962–present||260 million|
|5||Sweet Valley High||Francine Pascal and ghostwriters||English||400||1983–2003||250 million|
|6||Robert Langdon||Dan Brown||English||5||2000–present||200 million|
|7||San-Antonio||Frédéric Dard||French||173||1949–2001||200 million|
|8||The Railway Series||Rev. W. Awdry, Christopher Awdry||English||41||1945–2011||200 million|
|9||Nancy Drew||various authors as Carolyn Keene||English||175||1930–present||200 million|
|10||Noddy||Enid Blyton||English||24||1949–present||200 million|
|11||Diary of a Wimpy Kid||Jeff Kinney||English||11||2007–present||194 million|
|12||The Baby-sitters Club||Ann Martin||English||335||1986–present||172 million|
|13||Star Wars||various authors||English||over 300||1977–present||160 million|
|14||Peter Rabbit||Beatrix Potter||English||6||1902–1930||150 million|
|15||Little Critter||Mercer Mayer||English||over 200||1975–present||150 million|
|16||Geronimo Stilton||Elisabetta Dami||Italian||over 200||2000–present||140 million|
|17||Chicken Soup for the Soul||Jack Canfield, Mark Victor Hansen||English||105||1997–present||130 million|
|18||Clifford the Big Red Dog||Norman Bridwell||English||over 80||1963–2014||129 million|
|19||Fifty Shades of Grey||E. L. James||English||4||2011–2015||125 million|
|20||Frank Merriwell||Gilbert Patten||English||209||1896–1930||125 million|
|21||Twilight||Stephenie Meyer||English||5 + 1 Novella + 1 Guide||2005–2015||120 million|
|22||Mr. Men||Roger Hargreaves, Adam Hargreaves||English||43||1971–present||120 million|
|23||The Chronicles of Narnia||C. S. Lewis||English||7||1949–1954||120 million|
|24||宮本武蔵 (Musashi)||Eiji Yoshikawa||Japanese||7||1935–1939||120 million|
|25||Dirk Pitt||Clive Cussler||English||24||1973–present||120 million|
|26||Martine||Gilbert Delahaye, Marcel Marlier||French||60||1954–present||100 million|
|27||James Bond||Ian Fleming||English||14||1953–1966||100 million|