11 Best Selling Fantasy Books Update 05/2022

Wikipedia has a list of the best-selling books. As I scrolled through the list, which is based on the estimated number of copies sold, it dawned on me that many of the titles, including the top 4, are fantasy novels. If you want to read fantasy books, you’re not just going to read Harry Potter or Lord of the Rings. There are also other books in this genre. It made me wonder, which fantasy books and series have sold the most copies over the years. I thought I’d use the list to answer this question by putting together the fantasies that are thought to have sold 50 million copies or more:

It’s important to remember that the Wikipedia list I’m drawing from will likely change in the future. This is a snapshot as of June 2016. A footnote at the bottom of this post says that some books have also been left out.

Harry Potter Series byJ.K. Rowling, first book published 1997

When it comes to best-selling single volumes, Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone only comes in fourth place with an estimated 107 million copies sold. The Harry Potter series as a whole, on the other hand, is the best-selling book series of all time. In second place is the children’s horror series Goosebumps, which has sold about 350 million copies of its 62 books.

Harry Potter books 2 through 7 also sell well, with each estimated to have sold between 50 and 65 million copies. This puts them between 11 and 18.

The Lord of the Rings byJ. R. R. Tolkien, first published 1954–1955

The Lord of the Rings trilogy, which is on the Wikipedia list as one book rather than a series because “it was written by Tolkien as a single book,” is at the top of the list of the best-selling single volumes. It has sold about 150 million copies. There aren’t any surprises here, given how popular it was when it first came out, how long it has been popular, and how recently it has become popular again because of the Peter Jackson movies.

Even though it’s at the top of the list of the best-selling single volumes, some older books and religious texts have been left out because of unreliable sales figures, so it doesn’t mean it’s the best-selling book ever written. Also, many people would call it a series rather than a single book because that’s the way it’s sold.

The Hobbit by J. R. R. Tolkien, first published 1937

The Hobbits is in second place for the best-selling single volume with an estimated number of copies sold of 142 million. For a single book, that’s pretty impressive. Less than 20 book series have sold more than that, and some of those series have hundreds of books in them.

Le Petit Prince (The Little Prince) by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, first published1943

I think this French novella is a fantasy, though it’s a little absurd, magical realist, and philosophical. The Little Prince clocks in at 140 million, which isn’t bad at all for a single book.

The Chronicles of Narnia by C. S. Lewis, first book published 1950

CS Lewis’s fantasy series The Chronicles of Narnia is said to have sold 120 million copies. It’s 23rd on the list of best-selling series, behind other children’s book series and book series from other genres.

However, the first book in the series, TheLion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe, is in 7th place on the list of the best-selling single volumes. An estimated 85 million copies of this book have been sold, making it on the list.

Twilight by Stephenie Meyer, first book published 2005

No single Twilight books made the list of best-selling single volumes. The series came in 25th place on the best-selling series list with 120 million copies sold. It’s a big deal because the first book came out a little over 10 years ago, and it’s the youngest series on this list.

The Vampire Chronicles by Anne Rice, first book published 1976

As a whole, the 13 books in this series have sold an estimated 80 million copies, making it one of the best-selling horror/gothic fantasy series of all time. The first book in the series, Interview with the Vampire, isn’t on the list of best-selling single volumes.

The Wheel of Time by Robert Jordan and Brandon Sanderson, first book published 1990

The Wheel of Time, a well-known fantasy series, came in at a solid 80 million viewers. Once again, the first book, The Eye of the World, doesn’t make the list of the best single volumes. But the 15-book series is one of the most popular fantasy series ever written.

Discworld by Terry Pratchett, first book published1983

Terry Pratchett’s 41-book comedic fantasy series, which is set on the amusing, absurd, and magical Discworld, is thought to have sold 70 million copies around the world. Because his books have stayed with us for a long time and sold a lot, Pratchett has been named one of the best fantasy authors ever, even though he is no longer alive.

A Song of Ice and Fire by George R. R. Martin, first published 1996 

Wasn’t it? This series hasn’t been as popular as some people think it should be right now, but it has still sold an estimated 60 million copies, which is a lot for a series that isn’t yet finished.

I think that because of the TV show and the upcoming books, that sales figure will only go up.

Watership Down by Richard Adams, first published 1972

Even though this is often called an adventure book, it’s also called a fantasy. Because it’s about a group of talking rabbits going on an epic quest in an invented society, I’m going to call it that. It’s at 50 million.

What About Alice in Wonderland?

The classic Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll isn’t on this list of the best books about the world. The Wikipedia entry says that this is one of many books for which there are no reliable sales figures, so this is why this is the case. If it is called a best-seller, there is no way to know how many copies have been sold.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.