Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Highest Paid Authors

Forbes recently ran an article listing the top 10 highest earning authors. The lead sentence: "Times may be tough for book sellers, but for Stephen King, James Patterson and Stephenie Meyer, the money keeps rolling in." Uh-huh. Times are tough for most authors, too. Just not these folks:

  1. James Patterson
  2. Stephenie Meyer
  3. Stephen King
  4. Danielle Steel
  5. Ken Follett
  6. Dean Koontz
  7. Janet Evanovich
  8. John Grisham
  9. Nicholas Sparks
  10. J.K. Rowling
Top on the list is James Patterson. From the Forbes' article:
Patterson's literary empire includes television, comic book and gaming deals. His foreign sales alone bring in well over $10 million a year. Patterson's e-books are posting respectable numbers, too. I, Alex Cross alone has sold 160,000 units digitally. Ironic, given that there's no computer in his home office--Patterson writes all his novels in longhand. To date he has published 51 New York Times best sellers.
I haven't read any of Patterson's books. I have seen a couple of the Alex Cross movies and really enjoyed them. (Plus I get a kick out of Patterson appearing on the TV series Castle.)

The article goes on:
Vampire romance author Stephenie Meyer ranks second this year. Her Twilight series has become such a juggernaut that despite not releasing a new title in 2009, she earned $40 million over the year. About $7 million of that came from movies adapted from the Twilight series. In June the third Twilight installment pulled in $175 million in its first six days, the most successful first week of any movie of 2010.
Let me just say that the majority of authors don't make anywhere near this amount of money. Most of us hold day jobs, struggle to pay the rent/mortgage and have bigger balances on our credit cards than we'd like. I don't dream about getting rich like these folks; I dream of the day when I can quit the day job and support myself with my writing.

Have you read these authors? What do you think of their writing?

1 comment:

Colleen Love said...

I've read quite a few of them on that list.
Have to agree with you on the whole sales thing. :) *sigh* I am really not very good at marketing myself! But I just keep plugging along. :)
At least with these bigger names having ebooks, they are bringing more awareness to the market. I still have people ask me what ebooks are, so... yeah.