Best-Selling Fiction Writers During the Past Decade 2

I saw this list recently and posted it in my Newsletter, and I’m curious if most folks, even if they follow the industry closely, would have selected each of these same names. My surprise is Nicholas Sparks, and I didn’t think Dr. Seuss’s material would still sell in these numbers. Let me know what you think of this list.

In order, the top-ten best-selling authors during the past ten or so years are:

1. James Patterson
2. J.K. Rowling
3. Nora Roberts
4. Dr. Seuss
5. John Grisham
6. Stephenie Meyer
7. Dan Brown
8. Nicholas Sparks
9. Janet Evanovich
10. Jeff Kinney

Stephen King just missed at number 11, but the biggest surprise for me, as I wrote in the lead, was that Nicholas Sparks made this list, as his material is more literary and historically this category doesn’t translate to ginormous sales. However, I’m saying this solely as it relates to contemporary works, as THE CATCHER IN THE RYE, TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD, TOBACCO ROAD, and a plethora of material we refer to as classics have indeed sold tens of millions of copies.

I imagine the GREY trilogy will nudge into the top ten at some point, as the sales numbers continue to increase. The top-selling single book is THE DA VINCI CODE, which the last time I saw numbers had surpassed 81 million copies. Write something that creates religious controversy and fasten your seat belt. Oh, it also helps to craft the best-paced book of all-time (in my opinion, of course).

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2 thoughts on “Best-Selling Fiction Writers During the Past Decade

  • Martha Moffett

    I don’t know what it says about us as readers, but none of these books/writers would make a list of BEST books–of the year, the decade, the past quarter-century, or the past 100 years. It’s interesting to see what people buy, but I’d say, don’t use a bestseller list as a reading guide–you’d be mostly wasting your time.


      Martha, I couldn’t agree with you more. The rationale behind placement on most lists is right up there with deciphering the Dead Sea Scrolls. I lost faith in all lists when I saw a Random House listing with two of L. Ron Hubbard’s books in the top 100 fiction works of all time. Of course, guess who was his publisher?