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These are the world’s 11 richest authors: From JK Rowling to EL James and more

Here’s the Forbes magazine list of the world’s highest paid authors, who sold nearly 30 million volumes in the US over the last 12 months and filed $312.5 million in pretax income

books Updated: Aug 09, 2017 08:33 IST
HT Correspondent
JK Rowling’s Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, which she co-wrote with Jack Thorne and John Tiffany, was the bestselling book of 2016 and sold over 4.5 million copies in the US.
JK Rowling’s Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, which she co-wrote with Jack Thorne and John Tiffany, was the bestselling book of 2016 and sold over 4.5 million copies in the US.(AP)

Who says a career in writing doesn’t pay? While most authors may still be supporting their passion for the written word with day jobs, there are also those whose labours have turned them into bona fide millionaires. Here’s the Forbes magazine’s list of the world’s highest paid authors, who sold nearly 30 million volumes in the US over the last 12 months and filed $312.5 million in pretax income.

1. JK Rowling ($95 million)

The British novelist’s golden run, which began in 1997 with the publication of the first Harry Potter book, continues. Her stage play Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, which Rowling co-wrote with Jack Thorne and John Tiffany, was the best-selling book of 2016 and sold over 4.5 million copies in the US. The movie adaptation of Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them (2016), which Rowling adapted for the big screen and also co-produced, also made hefty profits.

2. James Patterson ($87 million)

On the Forbes’s list for the fourth year in a row, the all-time best-selling American novelist is reported to have signed a seven-figure payment for co-writing a thriller, The President is Missing, with former US president Bill Clinton. Though the book will be out in June 2018, the authors are already in talks for selling the film rights of the book. JJ Abrams, Steven Spielberg and George Clooney, among others, are said to have shown interest in the project.

3. Jeff Kinney ($21 million)

Jeff Kinney’s immensely popular Diary of a Wimpy Kid series continues to power him to the top of best-selling lists. The franchise has also seen four fairly successful film adaptations.

4. Dan Brown ($20 million)

Dan Brown received an eight-figure advance for his next novel Origin, which is slated for an October 3 release.

5. Stephen King ($15 million)

With a new book out every year, the very prolific Stephen King is always in news. According to Forbes, he sold 1.9 million books in the US in 2016. The much-awaited film adaptation of his 1986 horror novel, It, will be released on September 8.

6. John Grisham ($14 million)

Grisham’s The Whistler was the third top-selling book of 2016. His latest thriller Camino Island is already soaring on the best-selling charts.

7. Nora Roberts ($14 million)

Roberts is among “America’s richest self-made women” with a net worth of approximately $370 million. Her latest book Come Sundown, which released in July, debuted at no 1 on the New York Times best-sellers list.

8. Paula Hawkins ($13 million)

The British novelist, who debuted on the Forbes’s list last year, sold 2.2 million books in the US over the last 12 months. While the film adaptation of The Girl on the Train was released in 2016, Hawkins’s second best-selling novel Into The Water is also being made into a movie.

9. EL James ($11.5 million)

The Fifty Shades trilogy seems to be a gift that keeps giving for EL James. She manages to stay on the list despite not writing anything new in the last 12 months and given the fact that the second Fifty Shades film (Fifty Shades Darker) tanked at the box office.

10. Danielle Steel ($11million)

Here’s a writer who has earned her place on the current list (rather than reaping past gains). The best-selling romance novelist published six books in the last 12 months, including a picture book, and her newest, The Duchess, has been on the New York Times best-seller list since its release in July.

11. Rick Riordan ($11 million)

The Percy Jackson series continues to rake in cash for Riordan who has since then moved on to pen newer mythological tales such as The Heroes of Olympus and The Trials of Apollo series. The second book in the Trials of Apollo series was released in May this year.

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