Which King Book Sold The Best?

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Moderator

Ms. Mod
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Jul 10, 2006
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That would be assuming only one publisher was involved. Scribner now is publishing books that were originally published by Penguin or Doubleday. Those sales records aren't necessarily carried forward for the next publisher's record keeping. The paperback books are in a completely different division even if they're under the same parent company. And then you have all of the international publishers. When they put out those numbers about XXX million books sold, they are taking their best guess estimate.
 

Neesy

#1 fan (Annie Wilkes cousin) 1st cousin Mom's side
May 24, 2012
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That would be assuming only one publisher was involved. Scribner now is publishing books that were originally published by Penguin or Doubleday. Those sales records aren't necessarily carried forward for the next publisher's record keeping. The paperback books are in a completely different division even if they're under the same parent company. And then you have all of the international publishers. When they put out those numbers about XXX million books sold, they are taking their best guess estimate.
Good point for sure - plus we're talking about a guy who has been writing for how many years now? A long time since his first book was published.
:add:

Have a good weekend - too bad it's not another long one! :howdy:
 

Moderator

Ms. Mod
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Good point for sure - plus we're talking about a guy who has been writing for how many years now? A long time since his first book was published.
:add:

Have a good weekend - too bad it's not another long one! :howdy:
Hope you feel better so you can have a good weekend, too! Not a long weekend but it is my week coming up that I work at home Monday, Tuesday and Thursday so almost as good as having holidays off.
 

Wayoftheredpanda

Flaming Wonder Telepath
May 15, 2018
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I’m pretty sure The Tommyknockers was his bestselling novel, ironic considering how even he hates it. It makes sense considering it was published during one of his highest peaks of popularity and would’ve sold a gajillion copies off his name alone. I heard this somewhere but haven’t fact checked it, so take it with a grain of salt.
 

Doc Creed

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Nov 18, 2015
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I’m pretty sure The Tommyknockers was his bestselling novel, ironic considering how even he hates it. It makes sense considering it was published during one of his highest peaks of popularity and would’ve sold a gajillion copies off his name alone. I heard this somewhere but haven’t fact checked it, so take it with a grain of salt.
Yeah, I read that The Tommyknockers sold the most during the time ('87/'88) he had four books on the NYT bestseller list, but I'm curious about total sales as of 2018.
 

Rrty

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Jun 4, 2007
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Years ago, I used to go down to my local library and sometime around March (if I recall correctly?) I would ask for the Publishers Weekly issue that compiled a list of best-selling books for the year, and it would have attached to the books the number of copies sold. As per some of the discussion here, that year when King published four books almost in a row (maybe it was a fourteen-month period) might have been the time of peak sales. He was moving a million in hardback at the time. I believe, too, that if you saw a number-of-books-sold stat, it was a pretty good figure because sometimes the trade-magazine's entries would not have the number because the publisher didn't want it divulged...it was only given to the magazine for purposes of rank placement. Keep in mind that, like box-office figures, publishers probably liked this info being public, for obvious reasons.

The Tommyknockers, strangely, might be a good guess. Thing is, though, I'm assuming we want lifetime sales, and I'm going to guess maybe The Shining. It is also a great guess, but I'm wondering if its length will keep that book down over time.

For those interested, if you check out Publishers Weekly's lists these days, they place copies sold in them. I'm awaiting Elevation's stats myself, assuming it charts.

Nowadays, because of obvious industry disruptions, King does not sell one million of anything...I'm not sure many do, if at all, any longer. Hundreds of thousands is more the order. Of course, I think Publishers Weekly may underestimate sales, and I'm not sure how e-sales relate to the stats (I believe they are not counted, or inferred, but I forget to be honest). The reason for the underestimate may be because the system for doing this is still somewhat young (I think, anyway; please don't take any of this as fact and conduct your own research), as far as I can tell. In fact, the recent list mentioned changes to the methodology.

I'm not sure if Ms. Mod would be interested in doing this, but maybe a quick email to someone at Publishers Weekly would give us the answer? If she asked, someone might reply. If I asked, understandably, there would be no reply. I don't know if King would be willing to answer this, or King's agent. I too get curious about this stuff. Maybe Bev Vincent might take a guess? Good discussion...(and again, I guess The Shining)…(one more parenthetical before I go...over the very long term, I wonder if the short-story collections will be most popular or garner the most sales, only because of length and the fact that colleges probably will rely on them for courses more than they already do)….
 

Rrty

Well-Known Member
Jun 4, 2007
1,351
4,349
For those interested, the new Publishers Weekly list is up, and Elevation is ranked third on the overall list with a little over 62,000 copies sold in its first week. It doesn't show up on the hardcover list (usually there is overlap with titles on both overall and hardcover lists) oddly; perhaps because it is a shorter work in actuality? Maybe it should be on the sci-fi/fantasy lists. If that is the case, then it may not show up until next month, as I believe some lists are not updated weekly.

Check out the list if you'd like by going to the site; I won't supply a link because I believe it becomes outdated after seven days.
 

RichardX

Well-Known Member
Sep 26, 2006
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It sort of surprises me how few books even a best selling author like King sells. If a new books sells in the 100K range for a hardcover edition, that is basically equivalent to a large NFL crowd for one game (most of whom are paying five-ten times the cost of a book for a ticket). That is not a whole lot of constant readers relative to the entire US population of over 300 million people.
 

kingricefan

All-being, keeper of Space, Time & Dimension.
Jul 11, 2006
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It sort of surprises me how few books even a best selling author like King sells. If a new books sells in the 100K range for a hardcover edition, that is basically equivalent to a large NFL crowd for one game (most of whom are paying five-ten times the cost of a book for a ticket). That is not a whole lot of constant readers relative to the entire US population of over 300 million people.
Most of the population doesn't even read books.
 

kingricefan

All-being, keeper of Space, Time & Dimension.
Jul 11, 2006
29,487
123,879
Spokane, WA
I think one of his books that he wrote in the mid to late 1980's when he was mega popular(not that he isn't now). I don't think he is as popular now because the horror thing has died out (not that King is just a horror writer). I would say maybe Misery.
Misery or It would be my guess also.
 
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