Science Fiction Book Sales Statistics [2023]

Science Fiction Book Sales Statistics [2023]

  • Science fiction books, combined with fantasy, generated $590.2 million in revenue in the United States.
  • Within comic books, science fiction sales grew by 8.3% in 2021 compared to 2020.
  • In the United Kingdom, science fiction sales in 2021 were 23% higher compared to 2020.
  • Science fiction books in Australia sold 9% more copies in 2021 than in 2020.
  • During the first half of 2018, the science fiction genre sold 2,679,000 copies, 18% higher than in 2017, with “Ready Player One” by Ernest Chile selling 430,000 copies alone.
  • In the juvenile category, the science fiction genre combined with fantasy sold over 20.3 million copies during the first half of 2018.
  • Along with fantasy, the science fiction genre ranks no.8 on Amazon’s most competitive categories list.
  • In audiobooks, science fiction with fantasy holds the largest share of sales among all audiobook categories, generating over $1.6 billion in revenue in 2021.

What are the best-selling science fiction books of all time?

Known for exploring new concepts, addressing complex issues and challenging conventional thinking, science fiction titles make up some of the best-selling audiobooks of all time.

Title (Year)AuthorCopies sold*
11984 (1949)George OrwellOver 30 million
2Dune (1966)Frank HerbertOver 20 million
3The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy (1979)Douglas Adams15 million copies worldwide
4Foundation Series (1942-1993)Isaac Asimov
5Ender’s Game (1985)Orson Scott Card7 million
6The Time Machine (1895)H. G. WellsSeveral million copies have been sold to date
7Cat’s Cradle (1963)Kurt Vonnegut
8The Martian (2011)Andy Weir3 million
92001: A Space Odyssey (1968)Arthur C. Clarke3 million
10Ready Player One (2011)Ernest Cline1.7 million printed copies sold
(*Other titles may be excluded due to sales reporting differences.)

Who are the best-selling science fiction and fantasy authors of all time?

RankAuthorCopies sold
1J.K RowlingOver 600 million
2Stephen KingOver 400 million
3J.R.R. TolkienOver 350 million
4Stephenie Meyer250 million
5Dean KoontzOver 200 million
6Michael Crichton200 million
7Anne Rice136 million
8CS Lewis120 million
9Edgar Rice BurroughsOver 100 million
10Arthur C. ClarkeOver 100 million

How much do science fiction authors make?

  • Up to 75% of science fiction authors earn under $2,000 in a year from publishing.
  • 90% of sci-fi authors earn under $15,000 per year from publishing.
  • 95% of science fiction authors earn around a minimum wage per year.
  • 5% of science fiction authors can make a living from the wiring.