Monday, August 23, 2010

Who Were the Top Earning Authors?

Forbes had an article here last week on the world's highest-paid authors in the twelve months ending June 1.

Here they are:

1) James Patterson (thriller)
2) Stephenie Meyer (fantasy)
3) Stephen King (horror)
4) Danielle Steel (romance)
5) Ken Follett (suspense)
6) Dean Koontz (horror)
7) Janet Evanovich (mystery)
8) John Grisham (legal thriller)
9) Nicholas Sparks (romance)
10) J.K. Rowling (fantasy)

Six men and four women, and they're all unabashedly commercial fiction writers. They range in age from 36 (Meyer) to 67 (Evanovich). During the past twelve months, they earned a combined 270 million dollars with Patterson at the top with $70 million (one out of every 17 novels sold in the U.S. is his) and Rowling at the bottom with a mere $10 million (her last book came out in 2008).

When Patterson was criticized by Stephen King for being a terrible writer, Patterson responded, "I am not a great prose stylist. I'm a storyteller."

Storytelling sells.

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