The Five Top Bestselling Authors of All Time

Have you ever wondered who the best selling authors of all time are? This is a list of the five all time best selling authors based on estimated sales.



William Shakespeare is one of the most, if not the most, famous author of all time. This playwright and poet lived from 1564-1616. He even wrote plays for Queen Elizabeth I herself. Some of his most best known works include Hamlet, Macbeth, King Lear, and many more. Shakespeare has sold an estimated 2-4 billion copies of his poetry and plays.


Agatha Christie is known for her detective, mystery stories, especially her series centered around detectives Hercule Poirot and Miss Marple. Christie was the author of the longest-running play called The Mousetrap and a few romance novels under the name of Mary Westmacott. She was made a Dame in 1971 for her contributions to literature. She wrote eighty-five books total and sold an estimated 2-4 billion copies of her books as well.



Barbara Cartland, a British romance novelist, wrote 723 novels in total. In 1975, she published the most novels in a single year ever. Cartland focused mainly on romance novels set in the 19th-century victorian era. Not only did she write novels, but also plays, music, verse, drama, operetta, and magazine articles. She has sold between 500 million to 1 billion books.


Danielle Steel is currently the best selling author of all time and the fourth bestselling author ever. She is an american romance novelist and has written 120 romance novels. Born in 1947, Steel is still alive today. While most of her books are romance, she had also published poetry and children’s books. Steel has sold between 500-800 million copies.



American adventure novelist Harold Robbins wrote over 25 best selling novels. His novels were known for their graphic scenes with sex, violence, power, and drugs. Some of Robbins’ most famous works are Never Love a Stranger (1948) and The Carpetbaggers (1961). He has sold about 750 million copies of his novels.

Some authors such as Jane Austen, Charles Dickens, Miguel de Cervantes, and others, there is not an exact estimated number of how many books they have sold. Others behind these top five listed include Georges Simenon, Sidney Sheldon, J.K. Rowling, and many more.