Delia Owens Statistics

Delia Owens sales statistics

  • Delia Owens’ first Novel Where the Crawdads Sing has sold more than 12 million copies globally.
  • Where the Crawdads Sing has crossed the $100 million benchmark.
  • In December 2019, her novel sold more print copies than any other adult fiction or nonfiction title.
  • Where the Crawdads Sing was No. 1 for 2019 on’s list of Most Sold Books in fiction.
  • It topped The New York Times Fiction Best Sellers of 2019 and 2020. 
  • The New York Times also listed it at #6 in Hardcover Bestseller in December 2020.
  • In 2022, Publishers Weekly ranked Where the Crawdads Sing as the 14th bestselling book of 2021, with copies reaching 625,599, in sales and had sold over 15 million copies by July 2022, making it one of the best-selling books of all time.
  • The feature adaptation of Delia Owens’ novel now sits at $78.8M in domestic and $21.5M in the international box office.

How many books has Delia Owens written?

  • Delia Owens’ work consists of three Co-Written internationally bestselling nonfiction books and one bestselling novel.
  • Cry of the Kalahari was the first book she wrote, which was released in 1984.
  • Her Second Book The Eye of the Elephant, released in 1992.
  • Delia Owens’ Secrets of the Savanna published in 2006.
  • All three books were co-written alongside her husband Mark Owens.
  • Best known for her most recent novel Where the Crawdads Sing, which was released in 2018.

Delia Owens books in order

TitlePublishedPage CountAudio Length
Cry of the Kalahari198441214 hrs 25 mins
The Eye of the Elephant199232011 hrs 30 mins
Secrets of the Savanna20062727 hrs 7 mins
Where the Crawdads Sing201830012 hrs 12 mins

Who is Delia Owens?

  • Born Delia Dykes in southern Georgia on April 4th, 1949.
  • Her mother encouraged Delia to explore, often saying “Go way out yonder where the Crawdads sing”.
  • Delia went on to spend most of her life in or near wilderness.
  • At a young age Delia loved to write and in sixth grade won first place in a writing competition.
  • Her summers were spent in the North Carolina Mountains, in which her novel Where the Crawdads Sing is based.
  • When she started university she pursued a career in science, receiving a Bachelor of Science degree in Zoology from the University of Georgia and a Ph.D. in Animal Behavior from the University of California.

Delia Owens’ work

  • In early 1974, Delia and her then husband Mark Owens travelled into the Central Kalahari of Botswana.
  • The Owens radio collared and studied six lion prides, as well as brown Hyena’s, for more than seven years.
  • The Owens then ventured to the North Luangwa Valley of Zambia and conducted research on endangered species in Africa for twenty-three years.
  • The project they began in Zambia continues to this day, partially funded by the Owens Foundation for Wildlife Conservation.


  • During Delia and Marks conservation work in Zambia in 1995, an unfortunate tragedy took place. 
  • The ABC film crew originally had been following the Owenses in order to document the couple’s conservationist efforts. 
  • Unfortunately for Delia and Mark this documentary became a special known as The Deadly Game: The Mark and Delia Owens Story, in which a suspected poacher was shot and killed.
  • In 1996 Zambian Police opened an investigation into the incident, the body of said poacher was never found.
  • Delia now distances herself from the case and rarely speaks about it to the press.
  • Neither Delia or Mark had any charges put against them.

Delia Owen’s writing

  • Based on their research and study of brown Hyenas in the Kalahari, she co-authored Cry of the Kalahari.
  • She contributed her writing to professional journals, including Nature, Journal of Mammalogy, Animal Behaviour, Natural History, and the African Journal of Ecology.

What awards does Delia Owens have?

  • Delia Owens’ research and conservation work earned her a number of Awards.
  • In 1981, along with former husband Mark Owens, she was awarded the Rolex Award for Enterprise for the Kalahari Research Project.
  • In 1985 she and her former husband received the John Burroughs Award.
  • In 1993 Delia herself was presented with the University of California Outstanding Alumnus Award.
  • In 1994 earned her award in the Golden Ark award from Prince Bernhard of the Netherlands