Sunday 17 September 2023

Which is my most successful trilogy?

Because different people focus on different parts of my work, or swim in particular social media seas, they often have a rather warped sense of the relative successes (sales-wise) of my various trilogies.

I have on several occasions seen people stating with certainty that The Book of the Ancestor is my "biggest" series. And I was asked today if that was true.

Here are the sales of my trilogies relative to each other. Obviously there is some contribution from the length of time those series have been on sale. Prince of Thorns, for example, is 12 years old and recently had its 31st reprint in paperback in the UK.

Which is a clue to the answer. The Broken Empire is far and away my most commercially successful work.

I've sold in the region of 2 million books, and the Broken Empire trilogy accounts for over half of those sales by itself.

There are many writers whose career is dominated / overshadowed / represented by one book that they wrote, and that one book's sales may heavily eclipse all the rest put together. Often it's the first book they had published. The mechanism for this is fairly obvious if you think about it.

Would I like some of my other books to bust out just as big? Sure. Do I think they will? The odds are against it, but who knows. Jorg broke down the door, and I'll keep stealing the furniture until someone throws me out.


  1. I think it's impressive Ancestor overcame Red Queen's War. Many author arcs would likely be sloping away consistently due to general fade + how recent the newer entries are, but Ancestor bucks the trend.

  2. The Broken Empire will forever be cherished by me forever because it got me back to reading! It will never not be special.

  3. This is a bit surprising to me. I knew Prince of Thorns was by far your best-known work, and I knew Book of the Ancestor was one of the most popular. I expected Book of the Ice to have more sales than Impossible Times due to Book of the Ancestor's popularity and my seeing less discussion of Impossible Times than of the works set in the Broken Empire and on Abeth. Maybe my impression was skewed because I frequent fantasy-related spaces more than sci-fi-related ones.