The Purpose Driven Book Sales

Posted on April 10, 2005

The Purpose Driven Life

Rick Warren, Pastor of Saddleback Church and author of The Purpose Driven Life, made publishing history after his book simultaneously hit number one on all four major bestseller lists, including The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, USA Today and Publishers Weekly. The Purpose Driven Life has been listed in the top ten of all four bestseller lists before, and has been on The New York Times list for a record 114 weeks.

As to whether this is the first book to reach the number one spot across the board so long after its initial release, Daisy Maryles, executive editor of Publishers Weekly, said, "I believe it is unprecedented." Following its publication in 2002, The Purpose Driven Life went on to become the bestselling book for 2003 and 2004, and the bestselling nonfiction hardback in history, with sales of more than 22 million copies.

The book spiked recently in the bestseller lists again after numerous media accounts told the story about the role the message of The Purpose Driven Life played in the manhunt following a courthouse shooting in Atlanta. Hostage Ashley Smith claimed she was able to gain strength and courage -- and eventually freedom from her captor, alleged gunman Brian Nichols -- after reading to him from the book.

Update: 1-5-19: The book has legs. It continues to sell and has now sold over 30 million copies worldwide. The Purpose Driven Life is available for purchase from