I often find that an author's lesser-known works are among my favorites; some examples are Steinbeck's "Tortilla Flat" and "The Wayward Bus", Jack London's "The Road," and Twain's "The American Claimant" (not to mention Grisham's "A Painted House").

I know that "The Innocents Abroad" was Twain's most popular book (in terms of number of sales) during his lifetime, but since then, I would imagine it has been overtaken by "Tom Sawyer" and "Huck Finn" and possibly others.

I would like to know, particularly, where "The American Claimant" fits in among Twain's other works. Mulberry Sellers is, IMO, one of Twain's most entertaining and fascinating characters - perhaps without peer among his protagonists - after Huck Finn and Tom Sawyer, that is.

Is there an online site that would show, filtered by author, how many copies of each of an author's works have sold? Even if it was just ordered by rank (1..N), rather than numbers of sales or copies printed, I would find it very interesting.

  • Sorry, but requests for off site resources are off topic here. You may have better luck somewhere else.
    – Mithical
    Mar 22, 2017 at 18:51
  • 3
    A question such as "how popular is The American Claimant in terms of book sales" would absolutely be on topic. And an answer to that question would presumably show you where to find sales figures for various books.
    – user111
    Mar 22, 2017 at 19:00
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    @Mithrandir Where's the meta consensus saying that resource requests are off-topic? The closest I can find is this, which has a relatively low-scoring answer (+3/-1) characterising "bad" resource requests in a way that basically comes down to GSBS. IMO, this question here doesn't count as a "bad" resource request - either there is a site of the kind the OP is looking for, or there isn't, and it'll be pretty clear whether or not a given answer actually provides one or not.
    – Rand al'Thor
    Mar 23, 2017 at 0:43
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    @Mithrandir I have to agree with Rand on this one. Scope decisions like this one should be made by the community as a whole, not by just moderators.
    – fi12
    Mar 23, 2017 at 23:56

1 Answer 1


There is no central repository for total sales numbers for books, so any composite list will be by approximation only. Their approaches, content and methods all differ and they make interesting reading.

It is important to consider the source and to interpret with great care. Most aim at recent sales and historic figures, if present at all often are all but obscured by more recent, bigger volume. You will find little on Mark Twain beside his recently published 'autobiography' I'm afraid.

Here are several, in no particular order:

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