Forbes published an article that lists the top 10 highest-paid authors based on the time period from June 2009 through June 2010. Earnings are based on the sale of books, film rights, television, gaming deals, and other income.
I reproduced the list here (or you can view Forbes' picture slide-show):
- James Patterson ($70 million)
- Stephenie Meyer ($40 million)
- Stephen King ($34 million)
- Danielle Steel ($32 million)
- Ken Follett ($20 million)
- Dean Koontz ($18 million)
- Janet Evanovich ($16 million)
- John Grisham ($15 million)
- Nicholas Sparks ($14 million)
- J.K. Rowling ($10 million)
Here's some tidbits I pulled from watching the slide-show:
- One out of every 17 novels bought in the U.S. is authored by Patterson.
- King is currently involved in the Haven television series on the SyFy channel which is based on his novella, The Colorado Kid. (I read The Colorado Kid and I still don't see the connection, but that was a long time ago so maybe I need to give it another read)
- Steele collected a reported $1 million from a settlement brought about by a former assistant who was convicted of embezzling $760,000 (once again proving that having lots of money isn't always a good thing; buy, hey, Steele came out $240,000 richer for her efforts)
- Koontz has produced forty-four New York Times bestsellers.
- Evanovich changed publishers when her now former publisher refused to agree to a $50 million advance that the author wanted for her next novel.
- Earlier this year Grisham's entire 23-title backlist made its digital debut as Random House e-books.
- Surprisingly, Rowling rounds out the list at the bottom. Don't feel sorry for Rowling, though; she's still a billionaire.