D&D 5E Amazon best and worst sellers for 5e so far

Calling it scam is rather disengenious. Especially if you consider that nearly the whole 3.5 books were available for free online.
We played dnd for quite a while with 3.5 rules without buying a single book.

Also 4e books were not worth the paper they were printed on, as the rules have been updated so much, i bet not a single power could be used straight out of the book. Also here too you could see a shift bqck to traditional dnd which paved the way for 5e, even thoigh there was nearly no target audience for 4e essentials, because most people either loved 4e so much that they did not like the changes or hated it so much that they didn't even consider 4e essentials.
 

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JEB

Legend
Also here too you could see a shift bqck to traditional dnd which paved the way for 5e, even thoigh there was nearly no target audience for 4e essentials, because most people either loved 4e so much that they did not like the changes or hated it so much that they didn't even consider 4e essentials.
To be fair, I was an exception. I skipped original 4E but did pick up the Essentials books, out of curiosity. So I guess I was within their target audience. Though that was also because they were on clearance at a chain bookstore... and I didn't actually read them until after 5E came out... but still!
 

We liked 4ed but the essential books were atrocious for a lot of reasons.

3.5 had more change to it than what met the eye at first glancedand the number of splat book was as ridiculous as in 2ed.

2ed was not bad at first but it suffered from over printing of splat books a lot more than any edition. At least it gave us more outlandish settings than any other edition.

1ed and BECMI were the real gems and 5ed captured that feel at first. With 5.5 coming I fear that the Splat years are making a comeback with a vengeance.
 
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teitan

Legend
Amazon sales aren’t reliable because products will get their category changed randomly and sometimes a product sells well on Amazon but nowhere else. The MtG settings for example, sold extremely well but are probably listed under MTG and not D&D by Amazon. The Tyranny of Dragons compilation doesn’t chart because it was game store exclusive. The Starter set got moved to Board games and has been occasionally goofed into other versions and editions. At one time Theros was a top selling D&D book, the number 2 setting on the top 100 D&D books and Wildemount was a top book on all of Amazon for a few months.
 

JEB

Legend
Randomly decided to check again and how much the rankings had changed:

YearRankings
2014PHB (#1 -> #1 -> #1)
MM (#7 -> #4 -> #2)
DMG (#5 -> #5 -> #4)
Hoard of the Dragon Queen (#44 -> #40 -> #40)
Rise of Tiamat (#121 -> #152 -> #158)
2015SCAG (#23 -> #21 -> #27)
Out of the Abyss (#30 -> #28 -> #37)
Princes of the Apocalypse (#29 -> #35 -> #50)
2016Volo's (#6 -> #6 -> #9)
Curse of Strahd (#21 -> #23 -> #20)
Storm King's Thunder (#34 -> #34 -> #46)
2017Xanathar's (#4 -> #7 -> #8)
Tales from the Yawning Portal (#19 -> #17 -> #30)
Tomb of Annihilation (#22 -> #24 -> #34)
2018Mordenkainen's Tome of Foes (#10 -> #9 -> #16)
Waterdeep: Dragon Heist (#18 -> #22 -> #26)
Waterdeep: Dungeon of the Mad Mage (#24 -> #25 -> #38)
Ravnica (#31 -> #27 -> #44)
2019Essentials Kit (#11 -> #10 -> #6)
Eberron (#13 -> #15 -> #17)
Ghosts of Saltmarsh (#20 -> #18 -> #28)
Baldur's Gate: Descent Into Avernus (#28 -> #32 -> #35)
Acquisitions Inc. (#38 -> #42 -> #61)
Rick and Morty starter set (#66 -> #78 -> #79)
2020Tasha's (#2 -> #3 -> #3)
Wildemount (#16 -> #14 -> #13)
Theros (#25 -> #29 -> #22)
2021Fizban's (#3 -> #2 -> #7)
Strixhaven (#17 -> #20 -> #12)
Van Richten's Guide to Ravenloft (#26 -> #19 -> #15)
Candlekeep Mysteries (#14 -> #16 -> #23)

Relative positions are all unchanged from the last one... until you get to 2021:
  • Fizban's is still #1 for the year
  • Strixhaven is ahead of Ravenloft again (after dropping behind last time)
  • Candlekeep Mysteries dropped from second place to the bottom rank
It'll be interesting to see what broad ranking 2021 stabilizes to once we're a few years out.
 

Hussar

Legend
And the thing that is totally blowing me away, is that this is for ALL books, not just D&D books, right? This isn't the "games" ranking, it's the ranking of all books available on Amazon.

Good grief, having four books in the top twenty (ish) of Amazon is freaking amazing. No wonder D&D is growing like it is.
 

JEB

Legend
And the thing that is totally blowing me away, is that this is for ALL books, not just D&D books, right? This isn't the "games" ranking, it's the ranking of all books available on Amazon.

Good grief, having four books in the top twenty (ish) of Amazon is freaking amazing. No wonder D&D is growing like it is.
Nope, this is just their ranking in the "Dungeons & Dragons Game" category. (Which excludes a few official D&D books, for whatever reason...)

Not that their overall rankings are terrible, to be clear - the 5E Player's Handbook is #172 among all books!
 

Hussar

Legend
Nope, this is just their ranking in the "Dungeons & Dragons Game" category. (Which excludes a few official D&D books, for whatever reason...)

Not that their overall rankings are terrible, to be clear - the 5E Player's Handbook is #172 among all books!
Ah, right. Give my head a shake. That makes more sense. :D Duh.

Still, as you say, the 5e PHB still being in the low hundreds after nearly ten years is unfreakingbelievable.
 

Urriak Uruk

Gaming is fun, and fun is for everyone
So as others have pointed out, current sales doesn't ready provide that much value for measuring ALL sales. The more recent releases will skew heavily as the Amazon ranknig is based much more on more recent sales.

So weirdly, the more reliable metric... is number of reviews! It's not perfect, as a polarizing/controversial book may get a lot of reviews that don't equate sales, but normally it does point that a book with more reviews, has more sales overall.

The book with the most reviews? The Player's Handbook of course, with 39,403. Then the Dungeon Master's Guide at 22,742, and the Monster Manual at 21,784. Makes sense, they're the core books!

Then it's Xanathar's at 19,667. Tasha's isn't far behind, 18,612.

Then the Starter Set at 16,204, and the Essentials Kit, 14,262.

Then it's... Volo guide to Monsters! 12,179.

The most reviewed setting is Wildemount at 7,946, but Eberron is close behind at 7,922.

And of course, the most reviewed adventure is Curse of Strahd, 5,570.
 

Ok. Point them my way. 3.5 had minimal impact. You could run a 3.0 adventure with 3.5 rules with no changes (except damage reduction) and vice versa. Like no change at all. Your PCs wouldn’t even know the difference. Let’s no pretend this is like an edition change.
By this token 1e to 2e wasn't an edition change as you could run a 1e adventure with 2e rules. That change, however, did not change the shape of a horse from 5ft by 10ft to a 10ft square the way the 3.0 to 3.5 change did. Never mind the changes to the skills, or to from memory literally dozens of spells or to spell resistance or how spell immunity interacted with casters.

3.0 to 3.5 was a deliberate edition change with the goal of changing just enough that you were supposed to buy all the books again. And we have Monte Cook's account that it was planned by the accountants even before 3.0 was launched.
 

JEB

Legend
Swapping out sales rank in category for total reviews as per @Urriak Uruk's suggestion...

YearRankings
2014PHB (39,424) [4.9]
DMG (22,755) [4.9]
MM (21,802) [4.9]
Starter Set* (16,216) [4.7]
Hoard of the Dragon Queen (3,061) [4.8]
Rise of Tiamat (2,623) [4.8]
2015SCAG (6,084) [4.7]
Out of the Abyss (2,271) [4.8]
Princes of the Apocalypse (1,775) [4.7]
2016Volo's (12,188) [4.9]
Curse of Strahd (5,574) [4.9]
Storm King's Thunder (2,215) [4.8]
2017Xanathar's (19,679) [4.9]
Tales from the Yawning Portal (3,417) [4.8]
Tomb of Annihilation (2,726) [4.8]
2018Mordenkainen's Tome of Foes (8,544) [4.9]
Ravnica (4,252) [4.8]
Waterdeep: Dragon Heist (4,165) [4.8]
Waterdeep: Dungeon of the Mad Mage (3,141) [4.8]
2019Essentials Kit (14,279) [4.8]
Eberron (7,930) [4.8]
Baldur's Gate: Descent Into Avernus (3,881) [4.8]
Ghosts of Saltmarsh (3,719) [4.8]
Rick and Morty starter set (3,378) [4.8]
Stranger Things starter set* (2,517) [4.7]
Acquisitions Inc. (1,973) [4.7]
Tyranny of Dragons* (875) [4.8]
2020Tasha's (18,625) [4.8]
Wildemount (7,951) [4.9]
Icewind Dale: Rime of the Frostmaiden* (6,059) [4.8]
Theros (4,986) [4.8]
2021Van Richten's Guide to Ravenloft (4,051) [4.8]
Fizban's (3,461) [4.8]
Candlekeep Mysteries (3,416) [4.8]
Wild Beyond the Witchlight* (1,851) [4.8]
Strixhaven (893) [4.7]
* Not in the "Dungeons & Dragons Game" category

Excepting the ones from outside the D&D category, this lines up pretty well with the category rankings, excepting:
  • The DMG edges out the MM
  • Ravnica is ahead of the two adventures for 2018
  • Baldur's Gate is ahead of Saltmarsh
  • Rick and Morty is ahead of Acquisitions Inc
  • 2021 completely reshuffles, again, with Ravenloft now on top
I also added the star rating, for reference - D&D books have on average 4.8 stars, the exceptions being:
  • 4.9 stars: core rulebooks, Volo's, Curse of Strahd, Xanathar's, Mordenkainen's, Wildemount
  • 4.7 stars: Starter Set, SCAG, Princes of the Apocalypse, Stranger Things, Acq Inc, Strixhaven
No 5.0 ratings, and nothing below 4.7.
 

doctorbadwolf

Heretic of The Seventh Circle
It's a common assumption that's always proven wrong. It's not D&D fans plus MtG fans that picks these up, it's the subset of people who are fans of both.
Not really. Most people I know who bought the MtG setting books don’t play MtG. They picked them up to get more tools for a certain type of dnd game, or because they liked what they read about it online, or because of the art, or because they really wanted to play a centaur or whatever.
 


darjr

I crit!
Spelljammer made it to six out of all books, while in preorder
7025C802-3F87-4F04-82DF-C39B0CA34983.jpeg
 

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