The bestselling books of all time

Publisher Cornerstone (part of Random House) announced this week that the erotic novel has sold in excess of 5.3m copies in print and ebook – more than The Highway Code or Dan Brown's The Da Vinci Code.Find the latest best selling books, stories and opinions on politics, business, society, lifestyle and culture, as well as featured stories and multimedia coverage from SHINE.

The book has remained in the top slot in the UK bestseller lists for the 16th week running. The second and third books, Fifty Shades Darker and Fifty Shades Freed, are also selling fast, with UK sales of 3.6m and 3.2m respectively. Combined UK sales for the trilogy are in excess of 12m copies, with rights to the book sold around the world and published in languages including Albanian, Chinese, Russian, Serbian and Vietnamese.

But is it right? Proving sales across platforms independently is very difficult as there are so many outlets. Nielsen Bookscan, which collects the retail sales information from point of sale systems in more than 31,500 bookshops around the world, does not provide collated sales across e-books and physical books, which means we' are reliant on publishers.

So, bearing that in mind, Nielsen have given us their top 100 list of all-time Uk book sales. It shows volumes of each book, its publisher and genre. So, how does Fifty Shades compare?

It's not top on this list: that's got Dan Brown's Da Vinci Code at number one, followed by the Harry Potter novels. First thing to say is that the Highway Code dominates everything - but because it has been around for so long it artificially jumps near the top of the list with the many versions since 1998 selling over 4.8m copies. So we've removed it from this list although it's easy to compare.

But considering the Fifty Shades books have only just been published, they are already a powerful force. Fifty Shades itself has sold 3,758,936 copies, with the two follow-ups, Fifty Shades Darker and Fifty Shades Freed selling over two million copies each. This is how the big series compare:

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