We’ve created this fascinating interactive graph to explore how old authors were when they published their first bestseller. Since we absolutely love writing, we were intrigued by the hard work and dedication put in by authors to create fantastic works of fiction that would put their names on the renowned New York Times bestsellers list. We also feel that writing is a unique discipline in regards to becoming famous. We knew that a lot of famous authors waited more than half their lives to “make it” onto the most vaunted list in fiction. In a society where stars are seemingly becoming younger every year, the art of becoming a bestselling author takes determination and perseverance. 

To make our bestselling authors graph, we began delving into the New York Times bestseller list, focusing on fiction books and noting down the genre and author of those books. We then conducted research into the author to find out how old they were when their book was first published, comparing their birth year to the year of publication. Importantly, we decided only to look at when authors first achieved bestselling status, purposely leaving out any future bestselling books from the same author. 

authors graph

Rather than simply looking at the age of writers, the team decided to go further by assessing any discrepancies that may have arisen between the genre of the book and the gender of the author. We discovered some interesting statistics, with horror authors getting their bestsellers published younger on average. There was also no difference between men and women in terms of their age, positively showing that gender doesn’t have any influence on authors becoming bestsellers for the first time. We also realised that the number of new bestselling authors has been increasing over the decades, and we expect this trend to continue!

Explore our interactive graph for yourself to find out the age of your favourite authors when they first became bestsellers, and discover other interesting statistics!