Have you ever wondered who the top book author and writers in the world were, based on their net worths and incomes? American James Patterson tops Forbes magazine’s list of the 15 richest writers in the world.
Literature is not just about words and letters. It’s also sometimes about numbers and big money. Especially when it comes to ranking the writers who have earned the most money… That’s what the American business magazine Forbes does, publishing all sorts of record lists and has just released its list of the 15 writers who have made the most money in 2011.
According to this ranking, it is American James Patterson who has climbed to the top of the podium, with $94 million in revenue in 2011, most of it coming from the royalties linked to the colossal sales of his many books. The writer is well ahead of the runner-up, none other than Stephen King. Thanks to his thrillers, his hero Alex Cross, and some series for young people, Patterson has become the undisputed leader in book sales in the United States. But he is also the author of the world’s most widely read thrillers, with sales estimated at nearly 200 million copies.
For those grumpy people who say that books don’t pay, Patterson offers a serious denial!
Stephen King is Second Richest
A great year for Stephen King, who is in second place with 39 million in earnings. The last novel of the American master of horror, has been a nice critical and public success. With this 1200-page apocalyptic novel, King proves that one can sell millions of books and be a good writer.
Janet Evanovich is third with 33 million. After having written sentimental novels for a long time that didn’t really meet with the public, she has successfully taken up crime writing. She is best known for the series of adventures of Stephanie Plum, a fine lingerie saleswoman who had to become a bounty hunter to make ends meet…. This lady seems to be fond of numbers and puns, as shown by the titles of her books: Quatre ou double, Cinq à sexe, or Six appeal, available in pocket format from Pocket.
Next, in a pocket handkerchief, and with winnings ranging from 26 to 19 million: John Grisham (author of the mythical La Firme and L’Affaire Pélican, both adapted for the cinema), Jeff Kinney (young author of children’s books, notably Le Journal d’un défonflé), Bill O’Reilly (TV star journalist), Nora Roberts (a particularly prolific author, she writes about ten novels a year), Danielle Steel (at 64, the American can boast of being – with her 80 or so best-sellers – the most popular contemporary author in the world), Suzanne Collins and Dean Koontz.
J. K. Rowling out of the Top 10
The Englishwoman J. K. Rowling, a billionaire thanks to her Harry Potter hero, fails to make it into the Top 10 this year. She is only in eleventh place, with “only” 17 million in winnings.
As for Stephenie Meyer, she takes the 13th place thanks to the sales of the Twilight saga. Even though her phenomenal success is now behind her, the novelist still pockets some $14 million this year. Born in 1973, she is the youngest of the sixties.
It will not have escaped your notice that these 15 authors are all English-speaking. Is this hegemony a new sign of the endemic American protectionism? Or is it proof of the general public’s total lack of interest in novels from elsewhere?
The Top 10 of the world’s best-paid writers in 2011
1 – James Patterson ($94 million)
2. Stephen King ($39 million)
3. Janet Evanovich ($33 million)
4. John Grisham ($26 million)
5. Jeff Kinney ($25 million)
6. Bill O’Reilly ($24 million)
7. Nora Roberts ($23 million)
8. Danielle Steel ($23 million)
9. Suzanne Collins ($20 million)
10. Dean Koontz ($19 million)
The Future of Author Net Worths and Rankings
The world’s richest author has a net worth of more than a billion dollars. Female authors top the list of the world’s richest authors, headed by Elisabeth Badinter with a billion dollars 1.3, followed by the brilliant mind behind the Harry Potter series, JK Rowling with a billion.
For more top lists and business information, read through the latest resource and reference guides found on Advertising Charts. And with data always changing, new lists and updated rankings will be happening all the time.