Top 10 Best Selling Authors in Fiction Writing

By Ozzy Mirza
In Writer's Corner
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For some, being in the company of a dog or another pet does the trick. But then, there are those who would rather find more comfort and reprieve in the company of a book. Yes, books do the trick for millions and millions of people every day. And similar to dogs (or any other pet for that matter), books also have “breeds” within them; one of the more popular being fiction. Yes, the world of fiction; the inscriptions that transport is into a whole different realm of emotions, sounds, voices, surroundings, touches. And just as every pet within the same breed is not the same, and one is better than the other, the genre of fiction writings also has its particular list of best sellers. We will now take a look at the best sellers in fiction writing; taking authors into account.

Best Selling Authors in Fiction Writing

Best Selling Authors Fiction WritingWhile this particular list could be (almost) be endless, we are going to highlight the top 10 authors of fiction writing with regards to the number of books sold. This list in no way undermines or intends disrespect for the prowess or capabilities of other renowned writers; it is merely a quantitative measure of best sellers in fiction writing. And it should not be surprising for the reader that the top 10 slots are occupied by English language writers from both the US and Britain; English, after all, is the most commonly spoken language in the world.

William Shakespeare

Shocker eh! Not really. We all know this man who needs no introduction for his (just about) celestial plays and poems. Even after decades and decades, nearly every child relates the intensity of his or her first love with that of Romeo and Juliet’s. This British writer is credited for sales of 4 billion; now that’s colossal. Notable works attributed to William Shakespeare include Hamlet, A Lover’s Complaint, The Birth of Merlin, Macbeth, and Romeo and Juliet.

Agatha Christie

Once again, another British writer. The seasoned Agatha is best remembered for her abilities as a crime, mystery, romance and thriller writer. A very strong contender to beat Shakespeare on the list of best sellers in fiction writing, sales of Agatha’s writings have been estimated to be between 2 to 4 million copies. She wrote 85 books during her tenure.

Barbara Cartland

Yes, one more writer of British origin. It doesn’t remain very surprising when you take into account the fact that writings from European writers have been in circulation and print for longer than any other region. But Barbara outweighs her comrades Shakespeare and Agatha with regards to her social standing & media presence. Her romance inscriptions have said to have sold a billion copies and amount to 723. Although she also came under fire from a fellow writer for plagiarism and replicating plots, Barbara Cartland survived all that. She was also a very vocal critique of Princess Diana’s divorce; the latter being her step-grand-daughter.

Read about “How To Become A Successful Author”

Danielle Steele

Alright, our first American on the list of best sellers in fiction writing! With 120 titles under her belt, Danielle Steel has sold 800 million copies worldwide and enjoys the privilege of not just witnessing 22 of her writings being adapted for TV, but also having her work translated into 28 languages. Steele’s forte is romance, and the commonly reoccurring themes revolve around high class society and the tragedies that befall her characters. Few of her renowned inscriptions include Once in a Lifetime (1982), A Gift of Hope (2012), Toxic Bachelors (2005),    Irresistible Forces (1999), A Perfect Stranger (1983), so on and so forth.

Harold Robbins

Yes, another American writer; and that too to have hailed from the Big Apple i.e. New York City. A hedonist in lifestyle, Robbins is said to not just have recorded sales of 750 million copies but is also known for his lavish expenses; his personal spending near in on the 50 million US dollars mark. With adventure and sexuality as his forte, Harold Robbins was an active element of the sexual revolution wave to rush through America. His renowned works come inclusive of The Dream Merchants, The Carpetbaggers, and Where Love Has Gone.

Georges Simenon

Well, here, with due respect and no offense intended, is a black sheep; a non-British European writer who utilized French as the medium for his work; Simenon was Belgian. With 570 books making up his portfolio, Simenon’s sales figures hit the 700 million copies mark. Simenon is an icon in the realm of mystery (detective story) writing and is also acknowledge for the conception of the story bound Detective Jules Maigret. His travels took him far and wide across the globe and the influences become obvious in his writings. Some titles that Simenon became more known for incorporate Three Bedrooms in Manhattan, Tropic Moon, The Strangers in the House, and The Cat.

Sidney Sheldon

Oh yes, now we’re talking; the genius who enslaved the pen. Sidney Sheldon; my definite (and probably first) pick among best sellers in fiction writing, and I am thoroughly humored when people assume him to be a woman just because of the first name; it’s hilarious (with due respect). The best part I like about Sidney Sheldon as an author is that he wrote only 21 books but made them so-beyond-this-world fiction pieces that he registered 600 million sales with them; imagine what this guy could do had he had written more. New age Shakespeare perhaps? High-flying inscriptions of his comprise A Stranger in the Mirror, Master of the Game, Nothing Lasts Forever, and Are You Afraid of the Dark?

Enid Blyton

And ranked on number 8 we have Enid Blyton, another prolific writer of British heritage. With 600 million copies sold, she is deservingly one of the most well-known writers of children’s literature. While 800 pieces of her work got published, Enid Blyton remains most renowned for her character Noddy. And despite the many professional hostilities and hurdles she faced during her career, Blyton’s popularity continues to thrive till today; more than 4 decades after her death.

Dr. Seuss 

And how could this writer not make it to the top 10; his books continue to fancy and adaptations of his work continue to entertain the young mind’s imagination. Bearing somewhat similarity to Sidney Sheldon when it comes to recording high gains with few titles, Dr. Seuss was also a very gifted cartoonist; his works have sold 500 million copies to-date. With children’s literature being his specialty, popular titles that Dr. Seuss became more renowned for consist of Horton Hears a Who!, The Cat in the Hat, The Lorax, and The Shape of Me and Other Stuff.

Gilbert Patten  

I admire Gilbert Patten for his dedication and passion as a writer. And I felt that after learning that while he wrote a story each week for 2 decades, his publishers never paid him any royalty; Patten got paid only for his time. Through his Frank Merriwell series, Gilbert Patten conceived the most popular sports icon in American History. His work as an adolescent adventurer have recorded sales of 500 million copies and earned him 10th place among best sellers in fiction writing.

Once again, as iterated at the beginning of this piece, these best sellers in fiction writing are ONLY in accordance with sales figures and do not undermine any writer’s flair or prowess. I am very well aware of and pay homage to others the like of J. K. Rowling, Stephen King, Charles Dickens, John Grisham, Anne Rice and so many writers from other parts of the globe. But either some of the writer’s sales do not make it to the top 10 or never got recorded. Thus, this piece is in-line with recorded number of sales for best sellers in fiction writing.

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