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Top 10 Best-Selling Fiction Authors of All Time

10. J.K Rowling

    * 400 million copies

Surprised? I suppose not, but I bet you though she would be higher on the list. J.K Rowling has become the most successful writers ever, arguably, because she has already made more money then any of the others. 

9. Leo Tolstoy

    * 413 Million copies

He lived from 1828 to 1910 and there is no doubt that the length of time since he first published his work is a factor in how many copies he has sold. But time is not enough itself and the continuing relevance and enduring style as well as his talent have kept his work alive and selling for over 100 years.

8. Gilbert Pattern (William George Gilbert Pattern)

    * 500 Million copies

A writer of dime novels Pattern started writing his most famous series about Frank Merriwell by producing one 20 thousand-word story a week for twenty years. He also wrote westerns under the name Wyoming Bill. Gilbert Pattern seems to have found success using an immense capacity for prolific writing and a willingness to sell cheap. 

7. Dr. Suess (Theodore Seuss Geisel)

    * 500 million copies

 He published over 60 books, although some estimates range from 44 to 80 books. Animated characters and a wonderful sense of humor as well as his own particular skill as a cartoonist defined his work

6. Danielle Steel (Danielle Fernande Dominique Schuelein-Steel )

    * 570 million

Scandal, love, romance, and the lives of the rich and famous people involved! Translate that into 28 languages that are circulated in 47 countries and you have the second female and the third American to make the list of top 10 best-selling fiction authors of all time. 

5. Enid Blyton

    * 600 million copies

With over 800 different books Enid Blyton is easily the most prolific author on the list and having sold books in countries like Malta, India, Pakistan, New Zealand, Singapore, Australia and Japan in nearly 90 different languages it is easily to see how fifty years of sales have come to make her the 5th best-selling author of all time.

4. Georges Simenon

    * 700 million copies

The first outright detective/mystery writer. Georges Simenon is best known for his fictional detective Maigret, first published in 1931. Originally written in French, now translated into 50 different languages, he wrote over 500 different books fueled by an increasingly active nightlife involving prostitution, drunkenness and basic raising hell. 

3. Harold Robbins

    * 750 million copies

Sex sells. He knew the value of sensationalism and the difference between selling Romance, as opposed to selling sexy. He was first published in 1948 with his book Never love a Stranger which fast became a controversial, and therefore best selling, graphic sexual thriller. 

2. Barbara Cartland

    * 1 billion copies

An author of romance novels Barbara Cartland passed away at the age of 99 years old in 2000. Jigsaw, published in 1923, was a mischievous social thriller that fast became a bestseller and put her on the path to becoming the 2nd best-selling author of all time. 

1. Agatha Christie

* 4 billion copies

Queen of Crime. Her most famous Detectives were of course Mrs. Marple and Hercule Poirot. Author of 85 different books Agatha Christie has been translated into, at least, 56 different languages that have sold between 2 and 4 billion copies. Even her stage play, The Mousetrap, holds the record for the longest initial run for a play in the world.

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