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What is the Best Selling Book?

The best selling book of all time, not including the Bible or historical political works, is A Tale of Two Cities, by Charles Dickens. The fictional novel, with more than 200 million copies sold, started out in 1859 as a weekly magazine installment series in which a chapter was published in each magazine edition. Most of Dicken's works were published in this fashion, partly because it was the style of the time and partly because authors were paid by installment. The style worked for both author and publisher, as readers were held in suspense from issue to issue, creating demand.

More Novel Facts:

  • The Bible, commonly known as the highest selling book of all time, has more than six billion copies in circulation.

  • Agatha Christie currently holds the record for best-selling fiction author of all time.

  • The best selling book in its initial release is Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, by J.K. Rowling. It sold more than nine million copies in its first 24 hours of publication. It's the only book in history to achieve platinum status in one day.
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