We all have our favourite authors, our go to writers that we barely even look at the blurb or the critics’ reviews before adding their latest tome to our already heaving shelves.

But which ones have done that the most often? Who are the most bankable authors? Here are the top ten.

Please note, I am fully aware that a 2 billion leeway in the sales estimates is probably a little over generous but those are the only reasonably verifiable  figures I can find.

William Shakespeare

With sales of between 2 and 4 billion for his plays and poetry, the bard tops our list of best sellers.

Agatha Christie

Another author with estimated sales of between 2 and 4 billion units; Agatha’s 85 place her a close second.

Barbara Cartland

With sales of between 1/2 and 1 billion copies of her romance novels, Ms Cartland is placed third. With 723 novels written throughout her life, it’s hardly surprising she had a huge following.

Danielle Steel

Between 500 and 800 million sales of Danielle’s 120 titles have been sold to date and she is currently the best selling author alive.

Harold Robbins

With only 23 titles published, Harold Robbins’ 750 million sales is an impressive achievement.

Georges Simenon

With 570 titles to his name, Georges 500 to 700 million sales brings him in a respectable sixth.

Enid Blyton

Everybody’s favourite childhood author has sold an estimated 300 to 600 million novels. She does have 800 books to her name though.

Sidney Sheldon

370 to 600 million book sales from just 21 titles is good by anyone’s standards.

Gilbert Patten

209 book titles making between 125 and 500 million sales places Gilbert ninth on our main list.

Dr Seuss

44 novels, between 100 and 500 million sales and our main list is complete.

That’s a lot more sales than I imagined and some names I certainly didn’t expect. There were also a number of authors who I expected to see who didn’t make the top ten. The next five are as follows:

J.K Rowling – 11th
Leo Tolstoy – 12th
Horatio Alger jr – 13th
R.L. Stine – 14th
Dean Koontz – 15th