The world's highest-paid authors, according to Forbes
James Patterson: $94 million
Stephen King: $39 million
Janet Evanovich: $33 million
John Grisham: $26 million
Jeff Kinney, $25 million
Bill O'Reilly: $24 million
Nora Roberts: $23 million
Danielle Steel: $23 million
Suzanne Collins: $20 million
Dean Koontz: $19 million
JK Rowling: $17 million
George RR Martin: $15 million
Stephenie Meyer: $14 million
Ken Follett: $14 million
Rick Riordan: $13 million
No surprises there. These people have turned writing into a production line.
Very interesting. But it doesn't tell us much else when you've got a writer's writer like King, and Bill O'Reilly a ?!@&**!! on the list. Although, now that I think of it--it gives me hope that I might be able to just eke out a modest living at this writing game, because a few on this list are definitely less talented than most writers on Crimespace.
:). King has been around a while and has hit on a subgenre with great appeal. But make no mistake about it: King is a businessman first. For him, publishers and moviemakers jump through hoops, and I daresay he employs an officefull of lawyers and accountants.
Of course he does, I. J. But you're are mistaken about one thing--Stephen King is a WRITER first, a businessman second. That is the difference. A few of these others on the list are...hacks. And I hate to bestow even that title on them. Some of my favorite Hardboiled/Noir authors were called that in their day. So I guess I'll drop the "hack" term and refer to their work as "child-like," and they themselves as "boobs."
My first quarterly royalty check was for $34.99. Watch out, James Patterson, I'm on my way!
I should have linked the story, which pointed out much (most?) of the money listed above came from TV and movie royalties, advances, etc.
I'd seen this article, too. A great list to aspire to and while we can argue the "quality" of some or all of their writing, each of the authors on this list have tapped into something the reading (and to Jack's point) and/or the movie/TV watching audience wanted. They successfully connected to the consumer of their product. I think that is an amazing feat and something I will be studying how and what they do to try and determine just how in the hell they did it.
Just got through commenting on this under "Reading" re 50 Shades. We do know what people will buy.
Patterson the highest paid writer, making millions... and takes out NYT ads saying the covernment should subsidize the publishing industry.
Poorly hones sense of irony, apparently.