10 Best Authors Like Paulo Coelho for Fans to Collect

Discover our list of the best authors like Paulo Coelho. The diverse books on this list have many options. Add them to your book list today.

Paulo Coelho is one of the best Brazilian authors; he attended a Jesuit school throughout his childhood. He knew he wanted to be a writer early on. Coelho was a troubled youth, and at 17, his parents committed him to a mental institution. Though he didn’t appreciate their help at the time, as an adult, he realized their actions were necessary to straighten him out. After his release, Coelho enrolled in law school and gave up on becoming a writer. However, he soon discovered he hated law and dropped out to travel worldwide. Finally, in 1982, he published his first book, Hell Archives.

Even though he had successfully published a book, he felt he had yet to succeed as a writer. While trying to decide if he would continue this path, he told himself he would write a new book if he saw a white feather on one particular day, and he did. That omen caused him to write The Alchemist, which he published with a small run of just 900 copies. It succeeded, and HarperCollins contracted a larger print run in 1994. Since then, Coelho has continued writing, publishing one novel every two years. But, The Alchemist remains his most popular and well-known book.

Best Authors Like Paulo Coelho Ranked

1. Herman Hesse, 1877 – 1962

Herman Hesse
Herman Hesse

Hermann Hesse was a German author who wrote in the early to mid-1900s. As a student at the Evangelical Theological Seminary of Maulbronn Abbey, he learned he had a writing passion. After leaving school, Hesse started working at a bookshop. When he finished his shifts, he would write. In 1904 he published Peter Camenzind, his first novel, and realized he could make a living as a writer. Just two years later, he published his second novel, Beneath the Wheel, and his writing career was established. Hesse continued writing novels, essays, short stories, and poetry until he died in 1962. In 1946, he won the Nobel Prize in Literature for his work.

“Teachers dread nothing so much as unusual characteristics in precocious boys during the initial stages of their adolescence. A certain streak of genius makes an ominous impression on them, for there exists a deep gulf between genius and the teaching profession. Anyone with a touch of genius seems to his teachers a freak from the very first.”

Herman Hesse, Beneath the Wheel
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Beneath the Wheel
  • Hesse, Hermann (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 192 Pages - 07/01/2003 (Publication Date) - Picador (Publisher)

2. Robin Sharma, 1964 –

Robin Sharma
Robin Sharma

Robin Sharma is the Canadian writer best known for the book The Monk Who Sold His Ferrari. Sharma started his career with a law degree and worked as an attorney until he turned 25. At that time, he realized he wasn’t satisfied with his career choice, sparking him to pursue a career as a writer. 

The Monk Who Sold His Ferrari, which he published in 1999, has sold over three million copies. The book is based on his experiences after leaving the world of law. Sharma also wrote The Saint, the Surfer, and the CEO, published in 2002, and The Leader Who Has No Title, published in 2010. In addition to writing, Sharma works as a public motivational speaker. You might be interested in exploring more fantasy books, check out our round-up of best JK Rowling books.

“Push yourself to do more and to experience more. Harness your energy to start expanding your dreams. Yes, expand your dreams. Don’t accept a life of mediocrity when you hold such infinite potential within the fortress of your mind. Dare to tap into your greatness.”

Robin Sharma, The Monk Who Sold His Ferrari
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The Monk Who Sold His Ferrari: A Fable About Fulfilling Your Dreams & Reaching Your Destiny
  • Sharma, Robin (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 198 Pages - 04/02/1999 (Publication Date) - HarperSanFrancisco (Publisher)

3. Antoine de Saint-Exupery, 1900 – 1944

Antoine de Saint-Exupery
Antoine de Saint-Exupery

Antoine de Saint-Exupery was a French writer from the early 1900s. Before he started his writing career, he was a commercial pilot, and during World War II, he fought with the French Air Force. In addition, he spent over two years living in America, and that was when he wrote three of his most important books. In 1926 he published his first novella, The Aviator, in a literary magazine. Three years later, he published Southern Mail, his first book.

During his time in America, he wrote The Little Prince, one of his most famous works and his first children’s book. Just one year later, de Saint-Exupery disappeared in an airplane on a reconnaissance mission. His body was never recovered, but his bracelet and debris from his plane were discovered in 1998 and 2000, so it is believed he was lost at sea.

“Grown-ups never understand anything by themselves, and it is tiresome for children to be always and forever explaining things to them.”

Antoine de Saint-Exupery, The Little Prince
The Little Prince
  • Hardcover Book
  • de Saint-Exupéry, Antoine (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 96 Pages - 10/06/2015 (Publication Date) - Mariner Books (Publisher)

4. Yann Martel, 1963 –

Yann Martel
Yann Martel

Canadian author Yann Martel is the author of Life of Pi, a book that became an international bestseller with 12 million copies being sold around the globe, which then became an award-winning movie. Martel was born in Spain and lived in Portugal and British Columbia before his parents joined the Canadian foreign service. The family traveled extensively throughout his childhood before settling in Ontario when he was in high school. Many of the exotic places he lived worked their way into his books.

After graduating, Martel started working as a writer, publishing short stories in The Malahat Review and winning multiple awards for these. In 1991 and 1997, the Canada Council for the Arts awarded him writing grants, which allowed him to start writing novels. Self, his first novel, was published in 1996. In 2001, he published Life of Pi, which won the Man Booker Prize a year later.

“If we, citizens, do not support our artists, then we sacrifice our imagination on the altar of crude reality, and we end up believing in nothing and having worthless dreams.”

Yann Martel, Life of Pi
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Life of Pi[LIFE OF PI][Hardcover]
  • Hardcover Book
  • YannMartel (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 06/30/2002 (Publication Date) - HoughtonMifflin (Publisher)

5. Khaled Hosseini, 1965 –

Khaled Hosseini
Khaled Hosseini

Author Khaled Hosseini is an Afghan-American novelist who lived in Iran, Afghanistan, and France as a child. Hosseini became a naturalized citizen after his family sought asylum in the United States when he was 15. After attending college, he worked as a medical doctor but spent time writing in his free time. In 2003 he published The Kite Runner, the story of a boy with a traumatic childhood due to the fall of the Taliban in Afghanistan. The book was instantly successful and was the best-selling novel in the United States in 2005. Since its publication, it has been made into a film in which Hosseini makes a cameo appearance.

In addition to writing, Hosseini works as a Goodwill Envoy for the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees while using the Khaled Hosseini Foundation to raise humanitarian relief for the people of Afghanistan. The success of his writing allowed him to stop working as a doctor not long after publishing The Kite Runner.

“I wondered if that was how forgiveness budded; not with the fanfare of epiphany, but with pain gathering its things, packing up, and slipping away unannounced in the middle of the night.”

Khaled Hosseini, The Kite Runner
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The Kite Runner
  • Khaled Hosseini (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 400 Pages - 03/05/2013 (Publication Date) - Riverhead Books (Publisher)

6. Mark Haydon

Book cover of 13th Witch by Mark Haydon
Book cover of 13th Witch by Mark Haydon

Mark Haydon is the pen name of Adrian Attwood, an author from Westmorland in the United Kingdom. Haydon self-publishes his books under his independent publishing company called Paw Press. Throughout his adult life, Hayden worked odd jobs for a brewery and as the Town Clerk for Carnforth. The author also spent a few years working as a teacher. Haydon is the author of King’s Watch, a series of urban fantasy novels that starts with 13th Witch, published in 2017, through to the final novel in the series, Four Roads Cross, which he published in 2021. The author also has the Operation Jigsaw series and the DCI Morton series.

“The City of London is ancient, one of the oldest continually inhabited settlements in Britain – it’s much older than the idea of ‘England,’ for example. There are parts of London which feel alive in a way that’s got nothing to do with the people who live there. The Tower is one of those places.”

Mark Haydon, 13th Witch
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The 13th Witch (The King's Watch)
  • Hayden, Mark (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 200 Pages - 08/25/2018 (Publication Date) - Paw Press (Publisher)

7. Mircea Eliade, 1907 – 1986

Mircea Eliade
Mircea Eliade

Romanian author Mircea Eliade wrote both fiction and historical books. As a young man, he was a Romanian philosopher, journalist, and essayist. The author got his education at Spiru Haret National College, studying alongside several authors and philosophers who became his close friends. In 1921 he published his first short story, “The Silkworm’s Enemy.”

Just four years later, he published Novel of the Nearsighted Adolescenthis first book, which was an autobiographical story. In addition to writing, he was vocal against the Communist regime taking over Romania, which earned him exile in the 1940s, forcing him to move to France for a period. While in exile, he wrote for several French magazines.

“But the novel will be different. I’ll be the hero, naturally. Yet I’m worried that my life – stifled by writing and books – won’t be of interest to my readers.”

Mircea Eliade, Novel of the Nearsighted Adolescent
Diary of a Short-Sighted Adolescent
  • Eliade, Mircea (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 176 Pages - 07/01/2016 (Publication Date) - Istros Books (Publisher)

8. Elif Shafak, 1971 –

Elif Shafak
Elif Shafak

Elif Shafak is a Turkish-British writer and activist with 19 published works. Shafak’s writings have been translated into 55 languages, making her an international phenomenon. Of her works, her novels are her most famous. The author was born in France but was raised by her mother in Turkey after her parents separated. She studied international relations and women’s studies in college, then got a Ph.D. in political science.

Eventually, Shafak immigrated to the United States and became a college professor. In 1998, she published her first novel, Pinhan, which won the Rumi Prize in Turkey. Though her subsequent books were translated into English, she started writing in English in The Saint of Incipient Insanities, which was published in 2004. 

“Home isn’t where it used to be. Home is anywhere you hang your head.”

Elif Shafak, The Saint of Incipient Insanities
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The Saint of Incipient Insanities: A Novel
  • Hardcover Book
  • Shafak, Elif (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 368 Pages - 10/01/2004 (Publication Date) - Farrar, Straus and Giroux (Publisher)

9. Jostein Gaarder, 1952 –

Jostein Gaarder
Jostein Gaarder

Norwegian author Jostein Gaarder writes children’s novels and short stories. In his books, he often takes the child’s perspective to show the natural wonder of the world from the child’s perspective. The author was born to a school headmaster’s father and a teacher and author’s mother, so children’s fiction was a big part of his life.

Gaarder published his first book, The Diagnosis, and Other Stories, in 1986, followed by The Frog Castle in 1988. In 1990 he published The Solitaire Mystery, which won the Norwegian Critics Prize for Literature for the best children’s book. Sophie’s World, his 1991 novel, is his most famous, with translations into 60 languages. Are you looking for more fiction books to add to your reading list? You might want to check out our round-up of the best James Michener books!

“Life is both sad and solemn. We are led into a wonderful world, we meet one another here, greet each other – and wander together for a brief moment. Then we lose each other and disappear as suddenly and unreasonably as we arrived.”

Jostein Gaarder, Sophie’s World
Sophie's World
  • Jostein Gaarder (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 403 Pages - 05/23/1995 (Publication Date) - Phoenix/Orion Books Ltd (Publisher)

10. Sidney Sheldon, 1917 – 2007

Sidney Sheldon
Sidney Sheldon

Author Sidney Sheldon was born in Chicago to parents of Russian Jewish ancestry. During the Great Depression, he won a scholarship to attend Northwestern University. Sadly, he had to drop out of college to work to support his family and enlisted in the Army. During his service, an injury led to his discharge, and Sheldon then moved to Hollywood to work on scripts and write musicals for Broadway.

After this varied career path, he discovered his love for writing, publishing his first novel, The Naked Face, in 1969. It won the Edgar Allan Poe Award, and he published The Other Side of Midnight, which worked its way to the number one spot on the New York Times bestseller list. Sheldon also published several books for younger readers, including The Adventures of Drippy the Runaway Raindrop.

“To be successful, you need friends, and to be very successful, you need enemies.”

Sidney Sheldon, The Other Side of Midnight
The Other Side of Midnight
  • Sheldon, Sidney (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 464 Pages - 06/27/2017 (Publication Date) - Grand Central Publishing (Publisher)

Looking for more? Check out our round-up of the best Jewish authors!

  • Nicole Harms has been writing professionally since 2006. She specializes in education content and real estate writing but enjoys a wide gamut of topics. Her goal is to connect with the reader in an engaging, but informative way. Her work has been featured on USA Today, and she ghostwrites for many high-profile companies. As a former teacher, she is passionate about both research and grammar, giving her clients the quality they demand in today's online marketing world.

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