Fantasy Book Sales Statistics [2023]

Fantasy Book Sales Statistics [2023]

  • Fantasy books, along with science fiction, generate $590.2 million in sales each year in the United States.
  • Fantasy book sales grew by 45.3% in 2021 compared to 2020, which was the largest increase among all genres aside from graphic novels.
  • Only in Q1 of 2021, fantasy sales were up 48.4% compared to the same period in 2020.
  • In the UK, sales of fantasy books increased by 23% in 2021 compared to pre-pandemic years.
  • In Australia, science fiction and fantasy books recorded the largest sales growth within the adult fiction category.
  • Within the comic books genre, fantasy sales were up 43% in 2021 compared to 2020.
  • Fantasy ranks no.8 on the list of the most competitive book categories on Amazon.
  • Fantasy audiobooks, combined with science fiction, hold the largest share of sales among all audiobook categories, which generated $1.6 billion in revenue in 2021.

What are the best-selling fantasy books of all time?

  • J.K. Rowling‘s most popular Harry Potter series sold over 500 million copies worldwide, making it the best-selling fantasy book series of all time.
  • Lord of the Rings is in second place, as the series sold over 150 million copies.
  • Tolkien‘s other book series, The Hobbit, stands in third place with 142 million copies sold.
  • 3 other fantasy books and book series sold over 100 million copies worldwide.
TitleAuthorCopies sold*
1Harry Potter SeriesJ.K. Rowling500 million
2The Lord of the RingsJ. R. R. Tolkien150 million
3The HobbitJ. R. R. Tolkien142 million
4The Little Prince (Le Petit Prince)Antoine de Saint-Exupéry140 million
5The Chronicles of NarniaC. S. Lewis100 million
6TwilightStephenie Meyer100 million
7The Vampire ChroniclesAnn Rice80 million
8The Wheel of TimeRobert Jordan and Brandon Sanderson80 million
9DiscworldTerry Pratchett70 million
10A Song of Ice and FireGeorge R. R. Martin60 million
(*Other titles may be excluded due to sales reporting differences.)

How much do fantasy authors make?

Depending on the type of deal the authors arranged for publishing and the format of the book, royalties for fantasy authors can vary from 8% to 60% for every sold copy:

  • Fantasy authors who work with traditional publishers earn around 15% from every hardcover copy sold.
  • Additionally, fantasy authors usually receive around 8% off every ebook copy sold.
  • For fantasy authors who decide to go with self-publishing, royalties for printed copies range from 40% to 60%.
  • Ebook royalties for self-published authors go as high as 25% for every sold copy.