Who Sold the Most Books in 2022?

Who Sold the Most Books in 2022?

By Melody E. McIntyre


2022 was a strong year for adult fiction. Publisher’s Weekly notes an 8.5% annual increase and that adult fiction dominated the top of the overall bestsellers list with 15 of the 25 top-selling books. Which authors sold the most books in 2022? Spread across multiple platforms, formats, and sellers, finding the exact numbers to determine the exact order of best-selling authors is difficult. So here are 10 of the best-selling authors in 2022.

#1 – Colleen Hoover

Top Selling Books: It Ends with Us, Verity, It Starts with Us, Reminders of Him, and November 9

With 6 out of 10 of the best-selling books, Colleen Hoover dominated the bestseller list and was easily the top-selling author in 2022. Her top-selling book, It Ends with Us, which sold over 2.7 million copies in 2022 alone, is a contemporary romance about a woman torn between her current lover and an old flame. Five of the other books are also romances, with the exception of Verity, a psychological thriller about an author hired to complete an injured writer’s famous series.


#2 – Sarah J. Maas

Top Selling Books: A Court of Thorns and Roses – 441,000 and House of Sky and Breath – 285,000

Maas was a top seller in the fantasy category, and partly because of her sales, Macmillan, a distributor of Bloomsbury, sold the most fantasy books in 2022. Her success demonstrates the power of a strong series. In 2022, she released House of Sky and Breath, the second book in her Crescent City series, but her big seller was A Court of Thorns and Roses, the start of a five-book series, which was originally published in 2015.

#3 – Stephen King

Released in 2022: Fairy Tale – 627,598 copies

As a perennial favourite of the bestseller list, it is no surprise to find Stephen King here. In 2022, he published Fairy Tale, a dark fantasy about a young boy on an adventure with his loyal dog. While Fairy Tale debuted at the top of the list when it was released in September, at the end of the year, it claimed the 15th spot overall for 2022. King is known as a master of horror, and Fairy Tale has some horrific elements for sure, but it is ultimately a second-world fantasy.


#4 – Emily Henry

Top Books: Book Lovers – 576,701 copies; People we Meet on Vacation – 540,803 copies

The only author other than Colleen Hoover, with more than one book in the top 25 overall bestselling books of 2022, is Emily Henry. Her books, which placed at 21 and 25, were both romantic comedies. Henry began by writing young adult fiction but shifted to adult romance in 2020. People we Meet on Vacation and Book Lovers are her second and third adult romance books, respectively.

#5 – Taylor Jenkins Reid

Top Selling Book: The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo – 1,272,458 copies

Continuing the dominance of romance books is Taylor Jenkins Reid’s book, which placed seventh on the top 25 bestsellers lists. The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo is the story of a young reporter who gets to interview an aged starlet about her long, complicated life. Reid’s success demonstrates the power of the backlist and trending on Tiktok. The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo was originally published in 2017, and here it is, in the top ten books five years later.

#6 – Delia Owens

Top Selling Book: Where the Crawdads Sing – 1,868,518 copies

Owen’s Where the Crawdads Sing was the only book in the top 5 that was not by Colleen Hoover. The story is about Kya, who was abandoned at age seven and raised herself in the North Carolina marshland. When a popular member of the town is killed, Kya is tried for his murder. Originally published in 2018, Where the Crawdads Sing had a surge in sales in 2022 due to the release of its movie adaptation in October 2022.


#7 – John Grisham

Books on the NY Times bestseller list in 2022: The Judge’s List, week of January 9, and Sparring Partners, week of June 19

While his books did not end up in the overall list of the top 25 top-selling books of 2022, John Grisham’s books held the top spot twice. The Judge’s List is a legal thriller originally published in October 2021. John Grisham is famous for his legal thrillers. What makes Sparring Partners unique in this list is that it is not a novel but a collection of three novellas. This is Grisham’s first collection of novellas, and naturally, all three are legal thrillers.

#8 – James Clear

Top Selling Book: Atomic Habits – 1,287,253 copies

The 6th top-selling book in 2022 is a departure from the fantasy and romance titles that dominate the list. Atomic Habits: An Easy & Proven Way to Build Good Habits & Break Bad Ones is a self-help title. This book, too, was released before 2022 in 2018. James Clear is a speaker and writer who focuses on habits, decision-making, and continuous improvement. The book has sold over 15 million copies so far.


#9 – Jeff Kinney

Top-selling book: Diper Överlöde (Diary of a Wimpy Kid #17) – 830,325 copies

Rounding out the top ten top selling books of 2022 is a children’s book. Kinney began his series online in 2004 before signing a multi-book deal with Abrams Books to turn it into a print series. Since then, the series has produced multiple spin-offs and a film series. 


#10 – Eric Carle and Dr. Seuss

Top selling books: Eric Carle: The Very Hungry Caterpillar – 738,840 copies and with Bill Martin Jr: Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See? – 583,564 copies sold

Dr. Seuss: Oh, the Places You’ll Go! – 627,750 copies

Further cementing the importance of a solid backlist, two more children’s authors placed in the top 25 despite their books coming out decades ago. All three of these children’s books were published decades ago, yet are present in the top 25 bestselling books of the year. To this day, I have fond memories of reading all three books in my childhood, as I am sure many do.



  1. Pango Books “The 25 Best-Selling Authors of 2022” https://pangobooks.com/blog/best-selling-authors-2022
  2. Publisher’s Weekly: https://www.publishersweekly.com various articles including: https://www.publishersweekly.com/pw/by-topic/industry-news/bookselling/article/91256-colleen-hoover-was-queen-of-2022-s-bestseller-list.html and


  1. Temple, Emily “These are the Bestselling Books of 2022” https://lithub.com/these-are-the-bestselling-books-of-2022/
  2. Wikipedia: various articles: https://en.wikipedia.org/ 

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