The top 50 best selling books of all time
the top 50 best selling books of all time
The top 100 bestselling books of all time: how does Fifty Shades of Grey compare?
Fifty Shades of Grey has become the fastest ever selling paperback in the UK – but how does it compare? Photo: Jeff Blackler/Rex Features
Publisher Cornerstone (part of Random House) announced this week that the erotic novel has sold in excess of 5.3m copies in print and ebook – more than The Highway Code or Dan Brown ‘s The Da Vinci Code .
The book has remained in the top slot in the UK bestseller lists for the 16th week running. The second and third books, Fifty Shades Darker and Fifty Shades Freed, are also selling fast, with UK sales of 3.6m and 3.2m respectively. Combined UK sales for the trilogy are in excess of 12m copies, with rights to the book sold around the world and published in languages including Albanian, Chinese, Russian, Serbian and Vietnamese.
But is it right? Proving sales across platforms independently is very difficult as there are so many outlets. Nielsen Bookscan. which collects the retail sales information from point of sale systems in more than 31,500 bookshops around the world, does not provide collated sales across e-books and physical books, which means we’ are reliant on publishers.
So, bearing that in mind, Nielsen have given us their top 100 list of all-time Uk book sales. It shows volumes of each book, its publisher and genre. So, how does Fifty Shades compare?
It’s not top on this list: that’s got Dan Brown’s Da Vinci Code at number one, followed by the Harry Potter novels.
First thing to say is that the Highway Code dominates everything – but because it has been around for so long it artificially jumps near the top of the list with the many versions since 1998 selling over 4.8m copies. So we’ve removed it from this list although it’s easy to compare.
But considering the Fifty Shades books have only just been published, they are already a powerful force. Fifty Shades itself has sold 3,758,936 copies, with the two follow-ups, Fifty Shades Darker and Fifty Shades Freed selling over two million copies each. This is how the big series compare:
The list is fascinating in its own right, even without the dominance of the big writers. Just for these other top books:
• Top children’s book: The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle, with 1,783,535 sales. Julia Donaldson’s The Gruffalo is right behind with 1,781,269 sales
• Top cookery book: Jamie’s 30-Minute Meals. by Jamie Oliver with 1,743,266 sales
• Top non-fiction humour: The World According to Clarkson by Jeremy Clarkson with 1,489,403 sales
The full data is below. What can you do with it?
Top 100 best selling books of all time
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