In this article, we look at the 33 best selling books of 2023. You can skip our detailed analysis of the publishing industry and head over directly to the 10 Best Selling Books of 2023.
WordsRated is a research organization that tracks trends in the books and publishing industry. According to its report titled Global Book Sales Statistics, the global book sales revenue was estimated to be slightly over $78 billion in 2023 - which is 2.53% higher than last year. This is an encouraging figure, considering that sales had dropped by over 10% in 2022 compared to 2021.
Over 2.2 billion books are sold each year. The US, China, UK, Germany, and Japan are the top five book buying countries, accounting for nearly two-thirds of the global book sales. Their share is likely to rise further to 68% by 2027.
However, trends in the book market are changing. Brick and mortar bookshops account for only 50.3% of the global revenue from book sales. Today, more than 25% of the books are sold through online channels. E-books, or electronic books, are also a phenomenon that is growing in popularity. Texts and images are displayed digitally, allowing readers to read books on their smartphones, tabs, or computer screens. The concept first emerged in the 1990s, with companies selling book content for reading on personal digital assistants (PDA). It has seen a boom since Amazon.com, Inc. (NASDAQ:AMZN) launched Kindle, its e-reading device, in 2007. According to the PEW Research Center, 30% of Americans now read e-books.
Another change has been the advent of audiobooks, which is the fastest growing segment in the books industry. Audio books are audio recordings of books being read out loud. Global audiobook revenue is estimated to reach $5.16 billion in 2023. In 2021, more than $1.8 billion worth of sales were generated from this segment in the United States. Audio books are quickly becoming the preferred mode of books for people belonging to low income groups. Percentage of adults with an annual household income of under $30,000, who have listened to an audiobook, increased from 14% in 2019 to 22% in 2022, as per a survey by PEW.
Due to a drop in print book sales revenue globally and other business reasons, Amazon.com, Inc. (NASDAQ:AMZN) in March, this year, announced the closure of all of its physical bookstores in the US. However, print book sales still make up nearly 80% of the industry revenue. Barnes & Noble Education, Inc. (NYSE:BNED) is the largest bookstore chain in the US having presence in 627 locations. In 2022, Barnes & Noble Education, Inc. (NYSE:BNED) had a revenue of $1.5 billion.
In the books publishing industry, some of the biggest companies currently are Pearson plc (NYSE:PSO), Penguin Random House, HarperCollins, and Simon & Schuster. Pearson plc (NYSE:PSO) publishes textbooks and digital courses for teachers, and has operations in more than 70 countries. The revenue of Pearson plc (NYSE:PSO) was $4.88 billion in 2022.
Penguin Random House publishes more than 1,500 books every year in various genres. HarperCollins’ print and digital catalog is close to 0.2 million titles, with the company recording a revenue of $2.19 billion in FY 2022. Simon & Schuster is another major billion dollar publishing company; a lot of its books are sold on Amazon.com, Inc. (NASDAQ:AMZN). You can read more on this in our article, 20 Biggest Publishing Companies in the World.
Before we head over to the list of the best selling books of 2023, it requires mention of some of the best selling books, series and authors of all time. Don Quixote, with 500 million copies sold is the best selling book of all time. The Spanish novel authored by Miguel de Cervantes was released in two volumes in 1605 and 1615. Whereas Harry Potter is the best selling series of all time with 450 million copies sold. Unsurprisingly, William Shakespeare tops the list of the best selling fiction authors in history, with an estimated three billion copies of his books being sold.
The top 100 books on Amazon, and all 11 categories of bestsellers on The New York Times Company (NYSE:NYT) were carefully analyzed to build a pool of the bestselling books in the industry. Once that was determined, we ranked the best 33 books based on their number of copies sold in 2022 or 2023, or both. Information was obtained from various sources such as Amazon, The New York Times, Literary Hub, Publishers Weekly, Barnes & Noble, and Forbes, among others. In the case of estimated number of books sold being the same for two or more books, we used their publishing year as tie-breaker - the book which was published earlier and still remains a bestseller outranked the one that was released later.
Let’s head over to the 33 best selling books of 2023.
33. Things We Never Got Over
Estimated Copies Sold: 50,906
Written by Lucy Score, Things We Never Got Over is an exceptional story of a woman who rediscovers herself after a relationship breakup and falls in love with a wealthy bar owner. An estimated 50,906 copies have been sold since its release in 2022 according to Publishers Weekly.
32. I Will Teach You To Be Rich
Estimated Copies Sold: 71,400
Authored by Ramit Sethi, this is a 2009 personal finance book that is currently on seventh place in The New York Times Company (NYSE:NYT) bestseller list in the self-help category. Over 1 million copies of the book have been sold so far, an estimated 71,400 of which were in 2022.
31. Outlive: The Science and Art of Longevity
Estimated Copies Sold: 82,907
Outlive was ranked among the top books on New York Times’ bestsellers list in the nonfiction category. It is a great book for those who are interested in adopting a healthy lifestyle and prolonging their lives.
30. The Housemaid
Estimated Copies Sold: 0.1 million
Fiction novel written by Freida McFadden is a riveting story that is currently among the top selling books of 2023.
29. Happy Place
Estimated Copies Sold: 0.2 million
Happy Place was released in April 25, 2023, and is authored by Emily Henry who is widely known for writing romance novels. Happy Place is also based on friendship and love. Close to 0.2 million copies have been sold so far between the studied period of 2022-23.
28. Dog Man: Twenty Thousand Fleas Under the Sea
Estimated Copies Sold: 0.38 million
This is the 11th book in Dav Pilkey’s Dog Man series and was released this year. It is among the top 20 on Amazon.com, Inc. (NASDAQ:AMZN)’s 2023 best sellers list, and is highly popular among children.
27. Maybe Someday
Estimated Copies Sold: 0.54 million
Colleen Hoover's Maybe Someday is next on our list. It sold 543,658 copies in 2022 according to Literary Hub.
26. Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See?
Estimated Copies Sold: 0.58 million
Released in 1967, children's picture book authored by Bill Martin Jr. still remains a bestseller in 2023. Last year it sold an estimated 0.58 million books to earn a place in the 33 best selling books of 2023.
25. The Four Agreements: A Practical Guide to Personal Freedom
Estimated Copies Sold: 0.6 million
The self-help book published in 1997 and authored by Don Miguel Ruiz has still managed to be among the best selling books in 2023 more than two decades later. Text in the book is focused on the code of conduct based on ancient Toltec wisdom. A little over 0.6 million copies were sold in 2022.
24. Fairy Tale
Estimated Copies Sold: 0.627 million
Fairy Tale has sold 627,598 copies since its release in 2022. It is authored by Stephen King, and remains a best seller in 2023 as well.
23. Oh, the Places You'll Go!
Estimated Copies Sold: 0.628 million
More than three decades after its release in 1990, the book is still among the best selling books of 2023 on Amazon.com, Inc. (NASDAQ:AMZN). The children’s book is authored by Dr. Seuss. It sold 0.628 million copies according to Publishers Weekly last year.
22. The Body Keeps the Score: Brain, Mind, and Body in the Healing of Trauma
Estimated Copies Sold: 0.638 million
Authored by prominent psychiatrist Bessel van der Kolk, this book explores how trauma affects the human body, including the brain. More than two million copies of the book have been sold since it was published in 2014. Number of copies sold in 2022 were 638,831.
21. It Ends with Us
Estimated Copies Sold: 0.67 million
It Ends with Us, authored by Colleen Hoover, who has also written many other books covered in this article, is next on our list. The book is based on the relationship between her parents. More than 4 million copies of the book have been sold since its release in 2016. In 2022, an estimated 0.67 million copies were sold.
20. The Very Hungry Caterpillar
Estimated Copies Sold: 0.74 million
Eric Carle’s 1969 children’s picture book, The Very Hungry Caterpillar, is the story of a caterpillar that is hungry and eats a variety of foods before becoming a butterfly. The book is available in more than 60 languages. Over 50 million copies have been sold since its publication. 738,840 of these were sold last year according to Publishers Weekly.
Estimated Copies Sold: 0.75 million
Verity is one of the most sold books of 2023. Authored by Colleen Hoover, it finds a place on the bestsellers lists of both Amazon and New York Times with 0.75 million copies sold in 2022.
18. Diper Överlöde
Estimated Copies Sold: 0.83 million
Jeff Kinney's Diper Överlöde is the 11th book in the Diary of a Wimpy Kid series. It has sold an estimated 0.83 million copies since its release in October 2022.
17. November 9
Estimated Copies Sold: 0.99 million
The New York Times' bestseller November 9 sold close to one million copies in 2022. The book is based on a love story between an aspiring novelist and his unexpected muse.
16. Tomorrow, and Tomorrow, and Tomorrow
Estimated Copies Sold: 1 million
Amazon named Tomorrow, and Tomorrow, and Tomorrow as the best book of 2022. Released in July last year, it is among the top most selling books of 2023 as well. Paramount Pictures, in 2021, locked a $2 million deal for film rights of this book.
Estimated Copies Sold: 1 million
Next on our list is Hannah Grace’s book, Icebreaker, which was named among the Top 100 Best Sellers on Amazon.com, Inc. (NASDAQ:AMZN) in 2023. Icebreaker is fourth on the paperback fiction best sellers list of The New York Times Company (NYSE:NYT). It was released in November 2022, and has since sold an estimated one million copies according to Barnes & Noble Education, Inc. (NYSE:BNED).
14. The Last Thing He Told Me
Estimated Copies Sold: 1 million
The Last Thing He Told Me has spent 65 weeks on New York Times’ best sellers list. The mystery thriller novel was published in May 2021 by Simon & Schuster, and is authored by Laura Dave.
13. Reminders of Him
Estimated Copies Sold: 1.3 million
Released in January 2022, this is a story of a mother released from prison after five years, returns to her town with the hope to reunite with her daughter. Around 1.3 million copies of the book has been sold since it was published. It is authored by Colleen Hoover.
12. The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo
Estimated Copies Sold: 1.3 million
The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo is a fictional novel authored by Taylor Jenkins Reid, and published in 2017 by Atria Books. The plot is based on the life of Evelyn Hugo, a fictional Hollywood star. The book is ranked 11th on Amazon.com, Inc. (NASDAQ:AMZN)’s list of bestsellers in 2023 despite being released six years ago in 2017.
11. Ugly Love
Estimated Copies Sold: 1.45 million
Colleen Hoover’s Ugly Love is a heart wrenching love story, with the plot centered around love at first sight which went wrong. The writer has also authored best sellers It Starts with Us, and It Ends with Us.
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Disclosure: None. 33 Best Selling Books of 2023 is originally published on Insider Monkey.