Do authors ever choose their own editors?

The most successful books of all time

It is not always known whether the authors of the following books were primarily concerned with reinforcing certain expressions or emotions through the look or feel of their works. Without a doubt, cover designs, book formats or typographies were not only selected on the basis of economic criteria. Already in the Middle Ages or earlier, the marketing rules that are still valid today were consciously used to emphasize content or to reinforce moods.

Printed books again
on the rise

In the 140-character age, the attention of users and readers is less than that of goldfish. One reason for this is the informal overload in digital media. Still, by far the most successful books of all time were sold as printed works, not as digital ones.

Haptic books with emotional power

With a printed book, readers always hold the entire work in their hands, virtually every single page. The proximity to the respective authors is tangible. The entire formatting of a book is often adapted to the content, the story and the mood. Such emotional experiences are completely lost with digital counterparts. While only the current “page” is always shown on the digital display, the rest of the work is hidden on a data memory and is therefore no longer part of the whole at the moment of reading.

This is probably also the explanation for the fact that books, i.e. printed works, are on the rise again. The feeling of a real and printed book cannot be digitally imitated.

The fact that such digital works usually do not even belong to us is a reason why frequent readers like to take up the printed book.

Digital books are often only borrowed

Only a printed book can give you final certainty that the respective works are actually in our own possession after we have bought them. This is by no means always the case in the digital world:

“Without warning or justification, Amazon deletes an Amazon customer's digital bookshelf. Anyone who thinks he owns the e-books they have bought is wrong ",

so reported the Frankfurter Rundschau as early as 2012. Since then, such reports have been increasing. As a rule, according to the terms and conditions of most providers, digital works are bought or only borrowed under certain conditions.

"The book was much better!"

Everyone knows the disappointing moment: a book that you have read yourself is filmed. True to the motto of good storytelling “pictures in the head”, our own worlds emerged in our heads while reading the book. We have a clear idea of ​​the bridge in the fog at dawn or the scar on the villain's face. We see the castle in our minds and even hear the creak of an old wooden floor.

Of course, films then have a hard time matching this film that has already been made for the cinema in the mind. Even religious books should work in this way, although sometimes they are not read at all, but only bought according to the respective socialization and presented or displayed in a decorative way. That explains why such works top the list of the most printed books of all time:

The greatest bestsellers
are religious or political

The work is probably the best-selling book worldwide "The Bible"with an estimated edition of

2.5 billion works.

The book of books was created from around 1400 BC to 100 AD, so it can refer to various authors who have repeatedly modified the work over the course of time, which also happened afterwards, albeit less fundamentally.

This book of books of occidental culture is nowhere near the words of Chairman Mao Tse-tung (1893-1976), even as"Mao Bible"referred to, caught up with it on around

1.5 billion printed works


This is also due to the enormous population of China. And the fact that the work was "part of the good form", so it can often be found unread on various bookshelves, which is also considered safe for the Bible.

The Koran (religious sayings, so-called “suras”) almost made it today

a billion copies,

which found their customers especially in the Arab region and was therefore written down for 23 years by Mohammed (570 to 632 AD), who, following tradition, received messages from Allah.


The one written by Marx"Manifesto of the Communist Party", the so-called draft of Marxism, has been valued proudly to the present day

500 million times

produces, making it one of the most successful books by German authors.

Other very successful plants such as"Poems of Chairman Mao", published in 1966 and has been around since then

400 million times

sold collection of poems by Mao Tse-tung (1893-1976). The work reached about the same edition"Xinhua Zidian - Chinese Dictionary" (1957), written by Wei Jiangong (1901-1980).

With around 250 million

sold works counts the book"Xinhua Zidian, Chinese Dictionary", written by Wei Jiangong (1901-1980), also one of the world's most successful books.

Apart from other religious or political books likethe book of mormons with appreciated

over 200 million works sold,

it is mainly fantasy or novel works that have also achieved nine-digit sales.

The most successful books in the world:
Novels, fantasy, textbook

Charles Dickens (1812-1870), England, succeeded with the historical novel"A story from two cities" 1859 his greatest success, which to this day is considered the most successful book outside of the political and religious genre and around 200 million times has been sold.

Also from England are two books, each around 150 million times were sold. For one, the fantasy novel"Lord of the rings"(1954-1955) by John R. R. Tolkien (1892-1973), on par with the Boy Scout Manifesto"The Boy Scout Book" by the British Robert Baden-Powell (1857-1941).

The detective novel"And then there was no more" (1939), written by Agatha Christie (1890-1976), Great Britain, also made it up over 100,000,000 copies sold.

More successful works with
over 50 million copies sold

  • The king of Narnia“, Fantasy novel from 1950, written by C. S. Lewis (1898-1963), Ireland, with circa 85 million sold works.
  • you“, An 1887 novel written by H. Rider Haggard (1856-1925), Great Britain, made it up 80 million sold works.
  • The little Prince“, An illustrated story from 1943, written by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry (1900-1944), also had a circulation of approx 80 million Piece and is one of the most successful works by French writers.
  • The book "The alchemist“, A novel from 1988, co-created by the author Paulo Coelho (1947) 65 million copies sold.
  • The work "The catcher in the rye“, A novel from 1951, written by J. D. Salinger (1919-2010), USA.
  • The most successful non-fiction book should be "Think and become rich“Be, A Guide to Success 1937, Written by Napoleon Hill (1883-1970), USA.

The list of books over or around 50 million copies sold is relatively long, let's just think of titles like"Sacrilege - The Da Vinci Code""Black Beauty""The name of the Rose" or"Lolita".

The most successful
Books from Germany

One of the most successful and important German books, along with works such as those by Marx, is the book"Diary of Anne Frank", which corresponds to the real diary of Anne Frank and has been sold around 30 million times.

Since only a few really critical books make it into the bestseller lists, the novel is at this point„1984“ mentioned, a book that was written in 1949 by the British writer George Orwell (1903-1950) and, due to its terrifying topicality, has been worth reading more than ever for several years.

The novel by Erich Maria Remarque (1898-1970)"Nothing new in the West" from 1929, has been sold 20 million times.

The fantasy novel "The never ending Story", Written in 1979 by Michael Ende (1929-1995), found 16 million buyers, roughly on a par with the novel by Patrick Süskind (1949)"The perfume"which has found around 15 million customers since 1985.

Incidentally, the book by the Reich Chancellor and later dictator Adolf Hitler made it"My fight" to ten million printed copies, many of which were probably not read at all, only given away.