Thursday, August 19, 2010
Again, I decided to show some statistics. This list might be able to help you decide which author to try out.
Again, this list is borrowed from Wikipedia and is constantly updated. Be sure to check it out occassionally to keep in touch with the latest developments.
I am only mentioning the top ten authors. Stephen King, Nora Roberts, Erle Stanley Gardner, Stephanie Meyer, RL Stine, John Grisham and other authors rank below ten and hence are not mentioned.
I have provided a link to the wikipedia page at the bottom.
I am writing author name with sales and genre.
William Shakespeare 2 billion- 4 billion Drama and poetry
Agatha Christie 2 billion- 4 billion Detective, mystery
Barbara Cartland 500 million- 1 billion Romance
Harold Robins 750 million Adventure
Georges Simenon 500- 700 million Detective, Maigret
Sidney Sheldon 370- 600 million Thriller
Enid Blyton 300-600 million Children's
Danille Steel 500-600 million Romance
Dr. Seuss 300- 500 million Children's literature
Gilbert Patten 125- 500 million Adolescent adventures
So, those are the top then best selling writers. You might have heard most of the names. I've done an author review of Barbara Cartland. You can check it out if you want.
Writers like Charles Dickens, Jack Higgins etc. were not included because of no proof of sales.
Who doesn't know Willian Shakespeare- the king of drama? His books have been popular ever since I can remember. His works are taught to English graduate and post graduate students. Even people who have not heard his name have heard of his famous works like Romeo and Juliet (I bet there's no one(almost) who doesn't know the name of this play), Merchant of Venice, A Midsummer's Night Dream, Macbeth and many others. While all his plays are tragedies, he was an equally famous writer of comedy.
He is a little outdated and his language might seem archaic but he truly deserves this top position because of his great story writing. Romeo and Juliet is the ultimate love story. His other works are equally witty and popular. He has given birth to numerous popular saying through his work and is without doubt the most influential writer ever born (up till now).
While his language might seem a little flowery and overdone, I recommend this writer because his stories are filled with substance. Who can write such epics but William Shakespeare?
The second position, to the surprise of some, is currently occupied by Agatha Christie. Her sales is more or less recorded and though she has not been very influential, she has been famous and commercially popular. Her work 'And then there were none' sold over 100 million and remains the best selling mystery novel. While Sherlock Holmes is very popular, Poirot and Margret and popular too. Her works are igneous masterpieces that can be understood by everyone. Though she starts off very slow and boring, the conclusion to her mysteries is always mind blowing and unexpected. Every book of hers is unique and doesn't copy plots. Agatha Christie had one very big advantage over Sherlock Holmes and Father Brown and that was the universal appeal of her novels. The solutions to Sherlock Holmes mysteries are scientific and are sometimes not understood by common people. Agatha Christie's novels don't contain any scientific work except 'cyanide' which is a poison. She presents all the clues to the reader and doesn't try to hide anything. Her plotting is wonderful and she does each detail perfectly.
One very big problem I find with her books is that they are very very slow. She wastes time in idle chit chat and petty conversations. Though these are clues, they make her stories boring sometimes but the ending is worth the patience.
Barbara Cartland is my favourite author and one of the earliest romance authors and one of Britain's most popular celebrities. Vogue called her the 'true queen of romance'. Her books again, anjoy good slaes because of universal appeal. Her books are not to girly, though they are aimed at women and contain no adult content and can be read by anyone. Most Barbara Cartland readers these days are teenagers. She has written a lot of books and most are just a derivation of the other. While Barbara Cartland lacks orignality, she makes up for it with her writing style which is easy to understand and emotional. Her romances are generally categorised as historical. She doesn't give too many historical details and complicate issues. Generally, her heroines are weak and heroes are perfect. In fact, Barbara Cartland was the first one to invent this formula which most romance writers follow these days.
Her books are very short and don't contain too many side characters. They are the kind of novels that can be finished in one or two hours and leave the reader satisfied. Her novels are very emotional, something that romance writers these days are not able to write. Her kind of love is pure and fulfilling. You can read her complete author review on this site. I did it last month.
I have never read anything by Harold Robins in my life but I have heard his name. He is the first american author on this list. Check out his Wikipedia entry to find out about the kind of books he writes.
Georges Simenon is another writer I haven't read. He seems to be a popular French Writer. If you have to say anything about this writer, please add it in the comments. He writes detective fiction.
Sidney Sheldon is up next. This list was updated recently to include his name. He is really popular in America for his cliffhanger suspense/ thriller novels. Sidney Sheldon's novels contain strong adult content and so are not advisable for young readers. He is very popular as a master storyteller and is one of the pioneers of thriller. His stories are engrossing and can't be put down once you pick them up. He is known for his use of cliff hangers at the end of every chapter. His novels are about strong women. He believes that men cannot live without men and women are strong characters. Most of his fanbase comprises of females. He is known as one of the best contemporary novelists. He has written only around nineteen books and most of his fans have read all of them (I know many of them). He is always striving for perfection. 'Mediocre' is a word that doesn't exist in Sidney Sheldon's dictionary.
"I try to write my books so the reader can't put them down," he explained in a 1982 interview. "I try to construct them so when the reader gets to the end of a chapter, he or she has to read just one more chapter. It's the technique of the old Saturday afternoon serial: leave the guy hanging on the edge of the cliff at the end of the chapter."
Enid Blyton is the most popular children's writer. She has written lots of famous children's series like Secret Seven and Famous Five. Enid Blyton's stories are mostly good memories for all those kids who grew up reading her stories. Her stories vary in genre and theme but are aimed at children.
Danille Steel is the only living writer on this list as of 2010. She writes romance novels. I have read some and I don't find her anything spectacular but my cousin is crazy about her. A good writer for romance fans. Some of her works are not romance but she generally sticks to romance. She is still writing and her books still top the bestseller lists.
Dr. Seuss is another writer I haven't read. He is a children's writer so many kids might have grown up reading his books. One of the good things about being a children's writer is that your novels, if they are good, will always be a part of children's hearts. People are influenced by what they read in childhood so maybe being a children's writer is satisfying (just pondering). He is known for his imaginative characters. National Read Across America Day is held on his birthday in his memory.
The last writer on this list is Gilbert Patten. I again, haven't read his books though a lot of people have been recommending his books to me. They are hard to find. He is a writer of dime novels. He is famous for his Frank Merriwell series.
The writer right after him who just missed the list is Leo Tolstory famous for his epic War and Peace. He is the best selling russian writer (where is Anton Chekhov?).
So, that's all for today. Many writers as mentioned above have not made it to this list due to disputed sales.
I haven't read many of the writers in this series and that is a signal to start reading more. I hope you'll enjoy reading this writers. I have read only six out of ten writers. If you have any suggestions or comments on this post, please don't hesitate to write.