Best-selling Book Series Of All Time
- As of 2023, the best-selling book series of all time is Harry Potter by J. K. Rowling, with 600 million copies sold since 1997.
- On average this amounts to 23.08 million copies of the Harry Potter series sold per year since its initial publication.
- Over the course of the 7 book series, 85.71 million copies of each book were sold on average.
- The second best-selling book series of all time is Chicken Soup for the Soul, originally by Jack Canfield and Mark Victor Hansen, with 500 million copies sold.
- On average this amounts to 16.67 million copies of the Chicken Soup for the Soul series sold per year since its initial publication.
- The third best-selling book selling book series is Goosebumps by R. L. Stine, with 400 million copies sold since 1992.
- On average this amounts to 12.90 million copies of the Goosebumps series sold per year since its initial publication.
- Children’s books have the highest representation (9 titles) amongst the top 20 best-selling book series.
- This is followed by Young Adult (5 titles) and Mystery/Thriller (4 titles).
- The top 20 best-selling book series have initial publication years that range from 1930 to 2011.
- However, 45% of the titles in the list were first published from 1990 onwards.
Best-selling book series by number of copies sold
- The top 20 best-selling book series titles by total copies sold include the following genres:
- Children’s (9 titles)
- Young Adult (5 titles)
- Mystery/Thriller (4 titles)
- Self-Help (1 title)
- Erotic (1 title)
- Children’s book series dominate the best-selling book series list, making up 45% of the top 20 titles.
- Young Adult titles make up 25% of the top 20 titles.
- Mystery/Thriller titles make up 20% of the top 20 titles.
- The oldest title in the list is Nancy Drew by Carolyn Keene (a collective pseudonym), which was first published in 1930.
- The newest title in the list is Fifty Shades by E. L. James, which was first published in 2011.
- By decade, the 90’s (4 titles) and the 00’s (4 titles) had the greatest representation in the list.
(Excludes the Star Wars and American Girl book series that cross over with comics and magazines)
|#||Initial year published||Series title||Original author(s)||Genre||Copies sold|
|1||1997||Harry Potter||J. K. Rowling||Young Adult||600 million|
|2||1993||Chicken Soup for the Soul||Jack Canfield, Mark Victor Hansen||Self-Help||500 million|
|3||1992||Goosebumps||R. L. Stine||Young Adult||400 million|
|4||1933||Perry Mason||Erle Stanley Gardner||Mystery/Thriller||300 million|
|–||1962||Berenstain Bears||Stan and Jan Berenstain||Children’s||300 million|
|6||2007||Diary of a Wimpy Kid||Jeff Kinney||Children’s||275 million|
|7||1979||Choose Your Own Adventure||Various authors||Children’s||270 million|
|8||1983||Sweet Valley High||Francine Pascal and ghostwriters||Young Adult||250 million|
|–||1971||Mr. Men||Roger Hargreaves||Children’s||250 million|
|10||2000||Robert Langdon||Dan Brown||Mystery/Thriller||200 million|
|–||1949||Noddy||Enid Blyton||Children’s||200 million|
|–||1945||The Railway Series||Rev. W. Awdry, Christopher Awdry||Children’s||200 million|
|–||1930||Nancy Drew||Carolyn Keene (collective pseudonym)||Mystery/Thriller||200 million|
|–||1975||Little Critter||Mercer Mayer||Children’s||200 million|
|–||1949||San-Antonio||Frédéric Dard||Mystery/Thriller||200 million|
|16||1997||Geronimo Stilton||Elisabetta Dami||Children’s||180 million|
|–||2005||Percy Jackson & The Olympians||Rick Riordan||Young Adult||180 million|
|18||1986||The Baby-Sitters Club||Ann Martin||Children’s||176 million|
|19||2011||Fifty Shades||E. L. James||Erotic||165 million|
|20||2005||Twilight||Stephenie Meyer||Young Adult||160 million|
Best-selling book series of all time FAQ
What is a book series?
- A book series is a collection of books that can be grouped together based on certain characteristics, for example, a storyline that spans multiple books.
- Each book series can be organized/ordered in different ways based on the desires of an author or publisher.
What is the most popular book series?
- According to the list of best-selling book series of all time, Harry Potter by J. K. Rowling is the most popular book series.
- As of 2023, the series has sold over 600 million copies.
What is the best mystery book series?
- According to the list of best-selling book series of all time, Perry Mason by Erle Stanley Gardner is the most popular mystery book series.
- As of 2023, the series has sold over 300 million copies.