If you’re in fiction writing for the money, you might want to switch genres.
A cursory look at Amazon’s best-selling titles of 2018 reveals something surprising: Not a single book in the top ten is a novel. Only one can even be considered fiction, and that’s the tongue-in-cheek children’s book A Day in the Life of Marlon Bundo (ranked #2 on the list). The top seller, Fire and Fury, is also political in nature, with the other members of the top 10 being cookbooks and self-help titles.
Finally, at #11, the tides turn: Madeleine L’Engle’s beloved YA novel A Wrinkle in Time swoops in to bring hope to the fiction writers of the world. But the first novel for adults doesn’t show up until #15, and the fifth best-selling novel on our list doesn’t land a home until #40. (Ouch.)
Still, the best-selling books on our list are a varied bunch, with authors ranging from an acclaimed novelist to a former president. Here are the top five current best-selling novels for adults on Amazon (and stay tuned for a top-selling YA list in the near future).
1. Little Fires Everywhere by Celeste Ng
Celeste Ng’s career thus far has been the stuff of legends. Her debut, Everything I Never Told You, was named Amazon’s best book of 2014 and became an international best-seller. Her second book, Little Fires Everywhere, is set to follow the same path: It hit the New York Times best-seller list immediately after its release and has stayed there for 42 weeks. Amazon selected it as the best novel of 2017, and today it sits at #15 on the best-selling books of 2018 list. A Hulu series starring Kerry Washington and Reese Witherspoon is already in the works, so be sure to snag a copy before the show is released.
2. The President is Missing by James Patterson and Bill Clinton
Released in June 2018, the book is already at #23 on the list – and as the #1 most-read novel on Amazon, it’s certain to climb higher as the year progresses. Called “ambitious and wildly readable” by the New York Times Book Review, the book boasts a 4.5-star rating with 1700+ reviews.
3. Before We Were Yours by Lisa Wingate
This runaway best-seller was released more than a year ago, yet sales still surge, keeping this novel at the #25 spot on Amazon’s list. Winner of the Southern Book Prize, the novel is based on a real-life nightmare in America’s history, when Georgia Tann kidnapped thousands of poor Sourthern children to sell to the wealthy for decades. Author and former journalist Lisa Wingate is no stranger to fiction, with 20+ novels under her belt and a slew of literary awards, including the Pat Conroy Southern Book Prize. The Huffington Post calls Before We Were Yours “one of the year’s best books” in 2017.
4. Beneath a Scarlet Sky by Mark Sullivan
Fans of historical fiction, especially WWII-era fiction, can’t miss this best-selling novel from Mark Sullivan. The book follows Pino Lella, an Italian teenager, who is unable to escape the war invading all of Europe and ultimately winds up as a personal driver for top Nazi general Hans Leyers – giving him the opportunity to pass along intelligence to the Allies. Reaching #1 on the Amazon charts, now’s the time to read this epic: Spider-Man alum Tom Holland is set to star in the film adaptation.
5. The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho
Madeleine L’Engle isn’t the only one to have a beloved classic reappear on the best-seller list years after it was published. With more than 11,000 reviews and counting – plus high praise from superstars like Neil Patrick Harris and Pharrell Williams – this book’s sales show no sign of slowing down, even on the 25th anniversary of its publication in English. Pretty good for a book Coelho reportedly wrote in two weeks, eh?