Rowling vs. Pratchett

As with the Stargate vs. The Hobbit post before, I realize that these little ads on Facebook are not supposed to be direct comparisons of popularity, but the way they are presented still comes across as quite funny to me.

I’m pretty sure that, in reality, J.K. Rowling is much more popular than Terry Pratchett, but the way Facebook chooses to present these things might make you think otherwise.

I think somebody at Facebook needs some lessons in effective data presentation.

On the other hand, they appear to have humorous juxtaposition well covered.

7 thoughts on “Rowling vs. Pratchett

  1. Dril

    That would actually be quite an interesting comparison in terms of actual books sold.

    I mean, Rowling’s obviously more popular, but Pratchett has many times the number of books she has.


  2. NJ

    Terry would totally win! J.K!! Nothing better than a bad joke turned into a worse one through the comedic timing of text.


  3. psecure1-alpha

    quick look about, rowling: 400million, pratchett: 65 million. still don’t see why people like a scrawny little wizard so much…!


  4. sente

    I remember seeing a reference that 10% of the fantasy literature sold in UK was written by Terry Pratchett, although I do not remember the source for that.

    In my book shelves the Pratchett vs Rowling score is 20-0.


  5. Wilhelm Arcturus Post author

    I liked Pratchett the first time I read some of his books, about 10 years back, but he wore me down after about about 7 and the ones I did read did not hold up well over time.

    They did a made-for-TV movie version of The Colour of Magic, which I watched last year on NetFlix. It wasn’t very good and the plot was so jumbled I thought that they surely must have messed up the story. Then I went back and read the book and realized they were about as spot on as they could be. Ah well.

    Pratchett vs. Rowling on our bookshelves is 7-7. But we have all the Harry Potter movies and have watched them multiple times, so I think Rowling wins around our house.


  6. bhagpuss

    Having worked as a bookseller throughout J.K.Rowling’s career I can attest that she is a phenomenon without comparison. None of Pratchett’s books makes much of a ripple when it launches. They sell decently but unspectacularly on release and are steady in back catalog. They are very much genre titles, although they are towards the top of their genre.

    From the third onwards, all the Potter titles dwarfed every other sale. Nothing else has been remotely like it, although booksellers and publishers alike are constantly hoping for lightning to strike twice.

    I’m not making any comment on the comparative quality of the two author’s works, but I don’t think there’s any doubt who has the sales figures.


  7. Kris

    the way i see it HP is an easy read and translates wonderfully into a film adaption but the best thing about the Discworld books is that you cant just wait for the film to come out.

    All the wit and charm are in the description of the world and its history which couldn’t possibly be put that into a film unless you turned it into dialog some how. you do actually need a brain to get the jokes and get into the style whilst any kid can pick up a HP book and enjoy it.

    its very hard to be original any more but any one that looks back in time more than a couple of years will know JKRs books are about as unoriginal as lady gagas music. i will absolutely confess to reading JKR before TP but upon discovering discworld, i had certainly found my favorite.


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