Who sold the most books in 2023?

Who sold the most books in 2023?

Women authors filled the bestseller lists for 2023 with 17 of the top 25 bestselling books on Publisher Weekly’s list being written by women. Similarly, Amazon’s top 25 best selling books in 2023 featured 13 books by women. Another trend this year was the dominance of adult fiction over children’s fiction. Publisher’s Weekly’s list only has six children’s books included and Amazon’s list only has five. But which authors sold the most books?  Spread across multiple platforms, formats, and sellers, finding the exact numbers to determine the exact order of best-selling authors is difficult. So I have chosen to feature 10 of the best-selling authors in 2023.

#1 – Colleen Hoover

Top-Selling Books: It Ends with Us, It Starts with Us, Verity, Ugly Love

In 2022, Colleen Hoover had six of the top ten best-selling books and while in 2023, she only had three in the top ten, she was still the top selling author. Her three books together sold a combined total of 3.4 million copies. Besides these, she also released three other new books in 2023: Heart Bones, Never Never, and Too Late:Definitive Edition.

Her main genre is romance, but she also writes psychological thrillers. Lately, some readers and influencers have begun pushing back against Hoover’s depictions of abusive relationships, but this marks the second year in a row where she is the best selling author of the year.


#2 – Rebecca Yarros

Top-Selling Books: Fourth Wing and Iron Flame

With two books in the top ten, Yarros was easily one of the top-selling authors in 2023. She began writing while her husband was deployed overseas and is best known for her Empyrean series, which begins with Fourth Wing. Iron Flame is its sequel. Described as “military fantasy”, the series centres on Violet who is called to a military college to learn to ride dragons. 


#3 – Sarah J. Maas

Top-Selling Book: A Court of Thorns and Roses

Coming it at #11 on Publisher Weekly’s 2023 bestseller list is A Court of Thorns and Roses, the first book in Sarah J. Maas’ fantasy series. Even though this book debuted in 2015 and the fifth book came out in 2021, this series is still on the bestseller list. This fantasy series is about a young woman who has to live among the Fae and has been optioned for a series on Hulu. Maas has built her career writing epic fantasy series starting with Throne of Glass, which she started when she was sixteen years old.


#4 – Prince Harry (J. R. Moehringer) and Britney Spears (Sam Lansky)

Top-selling books: Spare and The Woman in Me

I am coupling these together because they sold a high number of books, but both were ghostwritten. As well, both celebrities suffered injustices and speak to that in their memoirs. Coming in at #3 on both the Publisher’s Weekly and Amazon lists is Prince Harry’s memoir, Spare, ghost-written by J. R. Moehringer.. The title is based on the phrase “an heir and a spare” and reflects how Prince Harry saw himself. Britney Spears’ memoir, The Woman in Me, placed 10th on the Publisher’s Weekly list and 5th on Amazon’s. This book was ghost-written with the journalist Sam Lansky. The title refers to a song lyric from her song “I’m Not a Girl, Not Yet a Woman”.

#5 – Bonnie Garmus

Top-selling books: Lessons in Chemistry

Lessons in Chemistry is Bonnie Garmus’ debut novel. It was originally published in 2022, and in 2023, it reached #8 on the Publisher’s Weekly list and #6 on Amazon’s. Garmus’ book has been translated into 42 languages and has been adapted for a television series on Apple TV+. Garmus previously earned her bachelor’s degree in creative writing/aesthetic studies and worked as a copywriter and a creative media director. Lessons in Chemistry is a historical fiction comedy takes place in the 1960s and stars Elizabeth Zott, the only female chemist on the team. 


#6 – Dav Pilkey

Top-selling book: Twenty Thousand Fleas Under the Sea (Dog Man #11)

Dog-Man is a crime-fighting canine who is a police officer and, despite not having any superpowers, will dress up as “The Bark Knight” sometimes. The eleventh book in the Dog-Man series, released March 28, 2023, sold over 1 million copies in 2023. Dav Pilkey is also the author of the famous series, Captain Underpants, and several others. 


#7 – Jeff Kinney

Top-selling book: No Brainer, Diary of a Wimpy Kid #18

Other than Pilkey’s book, only five other children’s books were in included in Publisher Weekly’s top 25, including classics such as Oh, the Places You’ll Go and The Very Hungry Caterpillar. Placing at #14 with Publisher’s Weekly and #23 at Amazon.com, is the latest in the Diary of a Wimpy Kid series, No Brainer. In this 18th entry of the series, Greg, the titular “wimpy kid” has to save his school from being shut down. The author, Jeff Kinney, did not set out to become a children’s author, but originally wanted to be a cartoonist. When he was unable to get his comic syndicated, he started writing the Diary of a Wimpy Kid and signed a multi-book deal in 2006.


#8 – James Clear

Top-selling book: Atomic Habits: An Easy & Proven Way to Build Good Habits & Break Bad Ones

Clear’s self-help book was #6 on the list in 2022 and moved up to #5 in 2023 by selling over 1.1 million copies in 2023 and over 16 million overall. James Clear is a speaker and writer who focuses on habits, decision-making, and continuous improvement. Atomic Habits is his only book, but he originally published it in 2018 and it is still holding strong on the best-seller lists. It is the top-selling book on Amazon.com in 2023.


#9 – Taylor Jenkins Reid

Top-selling book: The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo

Many of the books on the best-seller list for 2023 were not published in 2023 and Taylor Jenkin Reid’s The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo is no exception. It was published in 2017 and while it has slipped from #7 to #12 on Publisher’s Weekly’s list and from #8 to #16 on Amazon.com, it still sold over 800,000 copies. 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.


#10 – Freida McFadden

Top-selling book: The Housemaid

In a list dominated by fantasy, romance, and memoirs, Freida McFadden’s The Housemaid is a rare psychological thriller and the first in a series of three. Freida McFadden is practicing physician who writes thrillers and medical humour. She also writes non-fiction and poetry. She self-published her first book on Amazon KDP in 2013, and The Housemaid is her twelfth book. The Housemaid was published in April of 2022 and is being optioned for an upcoming movie.



  1. Milliot, Jim “Women Ruled the 2023 Bestseller List” Publisher’s Weekly https://www.publishersweekly.com/pw/by-topic/industry-news/bookselling/article/94047-women-ruled-the-2023-bestseller-list.html 
  2. Pango Books “The 25 Best-selling Authors of 2023”  https://pangobooks.com/blog/2023-bestselling-authors
  3. Willingham, A.J. “Colleen Hoover is the Hottest Author in America. She Also may be the Most Controversial” CNN  https://www.cnn.com/2023/08/27/entertainment/colleen-hoover-books-controversy-cec/index.html
  4. Temple, Emily “These are the Bestselling New Books of 2023” Literary Hub https://lithub.com/these-are-the-bestselling-new-books-of-2023/ 
  5. Best-Selling Books on Amazon.com in 2023 https://www.amazon.com/gp/bestsellers/2023/books 
  6. Wikipedia: various articles: https://en.wikipedia.org/ 


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