Tuesday, December 10, 2013

The Age of Mega-Authors: over one hundred million book sales by Sara Niles

There are best sellers in books, and there are epic, mega-bestsellers: books that have sold over one hundred million copies.  The authors who have had the distinction of being included among this very elite group, as mega-authors, are few.

The  book by author Agatha Christie that was published in 1939,  And Then There Were None reportedly sold over one hundred million copies worldwide;  which is no small feat considering the fact the prolific Christie has reportedly sold over four billion books worldwide, making Agatha Christie one of the  most prolific authors of all time.

Books that have sold over one hundred million copies include The Lord of the Rings, by J.R.R. Tolkien and A Tale of Two Cites by Charles Dickens;  both English authors whose long running sales dated back to  the nineteenth century, which of course, gave them both a good head start.

Since the dawn of the second millennium, there have been noteworthy authors who may eventually eclipse the former prolific champions for the prize of mega-authors; to name a few:

Barbara Cartland (1 billion), Danielle Steele (800,000,000), and JK Rowling (450,000,000)
Followed by Dean Koontz, Stephen King (350,000,000), and Louis L’Amour (330,000,000), with a pretty long list of authors who have sold over one hundred million books per volumes of work http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_best-selling_fiction_authors; however, there remain two distinct authors who are set far apart from the crowd: Suzanne Collins and E.L. James.

E.L. James’s Fifty Shades of Grey and Suzanne Collins’s Hunger Games topped the list in 2012 of book sales:  http://www.publishersweekly.com/pw/by-topic/industry-news/bookselling/article/55383-the-bestselling-books-of-2012.html

AS of 2012 the Hunger Games reportedly outsold JK Rowling’s Harry Potter series with over fifty million copies sold worldwide. http://www.publishersweekly.com/pw/by-topic/industry-news/bookselling/article/55383-the-bestselling-books-of-2012.html

Wow! Now that is a lot of book sales…but wait, Fifty Shades of Grey by Suzanne Collins has sold over seventy million copies, according to the Wall Street Journal in its March 26, 2013 issue: http://online.wsj.com/news/articles/SB10001424127887323466204578384743129294104

The latter two authors, American author Suzanne Collins and English author E.L. James, are epic mega-authors whose names will live long in the annals of literature.