James Patterson has achieved many milestones in his long and ultra-successful career as an author, and in early April he hit another: he became the first author to sell more than 100 million copies across all print formats since BookScan—now known as Circana BookScan—started recording unit sales of print books in 2004. Patterson easily topped the print sales accrued by Dr. Seuss, whose books have sold 83 million copies since 2004.
Patterson’s top-selling print book as measured by BookScan is Honeymoon, which edged out 3rd Degree for the #1 spot. Like many of his bestsellers, those two are parts of series, and books in the Women’s Murder Club and Alex Cross series have fared particularly well. His top 10 bestselling titles sold just about 12 million copies, meaning that the rest of Patterson’s oeuvre racked up sales of 88 million copies in total.
That kind of sales breadth is a testament to just how well Patterson’s books have sold across the different print formats, as well as to the number of titles out in the market. Patterson’s longtime U.S. publisher, Hachette Book Group, reported that the author has had 100 #1 New York Times bestsellers over his career and that his backlist of adult fiction and nonfiction stands at 179 titles.
“James Patterson is America’s greatest storyteller,” said Michael Pietsch, HBG CEO. “His unquenchable appetite for creating stories has led him to create characters like Alex Cross, the Women’s Murder Club, Michael Bennett, and Maximum Ride, who live in the minds of tens of millions of readers, young and old, around the world. Story, story, story, story, story: Jim lives them, loves them, and—together with coauthors like Dolly Parton, Bill Clinton, Mike Lupica, and his wife Sue Patterson—keeps inventing new ones that keep the whole world turning pages. Here’s to the next 100 million!”