Forbes India 15th Anniversary Special

The bestselling business books of all time

Published: Dec 1, 2016 06:37:52 AM IST
Updated: Nov 30, 2016 12:24:56 PM IST

Sifting through a million physical copies is a challenge in today’s publishing climate; doing so with a business book is even trickier. Yet 11 authors have managed it since 2004, when Nielsen began tracking book sales. Occupying the executive suite: Tom Rath’s StrengthsFinder 2.0, from 2007, which purports to help you discover hidden talents and put them to use.

Rath’s sales demolish even those of such well-known pop-econ-psych works as Blink and Freakonomics. The oldest title still being plucked off shelves: The find-a-career classic What Color Is Your Parachute?, first published in 1970 and now in its 47th edition.

The bestselling business books of all time

Klieg Lit
Celebrities are big business in the book industry, routinely securing boffo advances for their memoirs. Now there’s also a cottage industry of celeb publishers eager to cash in on the back end, too. Some imprints have been small, such as actor Viggo Mortensen’s Perceval Press, which focuses on the arts and criticism. Others are more mainstream. One certain to do well: Oprah Winfrey’s as-yet-unnamed Flatiron Books imprint, which will publish her memoir in 2017.
The bestselling business books of all time

Flight Booking
Chieh Huang, co-founder and CEO of Boxed, shares what he reads at 30,000 feet

The bestselling business books of all time
Image: Patrick James Millet

In a good book, I look for people who have made a tonne of mistakes, so I can learn from them. One of the observations in The Founder’s Mentality [by Chris Zook and James Allen] is that founder-led companies, in general, perform better on the stock market. Before that, I read The Hard Thing About Hard Things [by Ben Horo­witz, co-founder of VC firm An­drees­­sen Horo­witz]. He went through so much. He had two weeks of cash left and IPO’d as a last resort.

(This story appears in the 09 December, 2016 issue of Forbes India. To visit our Archives, click here.)