“50 Shades Of Grey” author E.L. James nailed down the top spot on
Forbes’ list of the World’s Top-Earning Authors. It was her first appearance on the ultra-exclusive list.
The former television exec raked in $US95 million from sales of her kinky, chick-lit trilogy, which sold more than 70 million copies in 2012. James made $US5 million for her seal of approval on a film adaptation, due in theatres August 2014.
Forbes says there’s typically certain critera for making the list. The author usually has to write in a genre with mass commercial appeal. Even then, those authors have to crank out five or more works a year to be competitive. And books written for young adults that trickle into adult readership can catapult authors onto the list.
James defied all the norms and still managed to knock long-time top-earner, James Patterson, to number two.
Patterson, who made $US91 million in the last year, writes one of every 17 hardcovers released in the U.S. every year, according to Forbes.
James has to get cracking if she wants to stay at number one.
Here’s the full list of the Top-Earning Authors, with their most recent best-sellers noted:
1. E.L. James, “50 Shades of Grey” — $US95 million
2. James Patterson, “Maximum Ride,” “Witch & Wizard” — $US91 million
3. Suzanne Collins, “Hunger Games” — $US55 million
4. Bill O’Reilly, “Killing Lincoln,” “Killing Kennedy” — $US28 million
5. Danielle Steel, romance novels — $US26 million
6. Jeff Kinney, “Diary of a Wimpy Kid,” “The Third Wheel” — $US24 million
7. Janet Evanovich, Stephanie Plum detective novels — $US24 million
8. Nora Roberts, “Thankless in Death,” “Dark Witch” — $US23 million
9. Dan Brown, “Inferno,” “The Da Vinci Code” — $US22 million
10. Stephen King, “Under the Dome,” “The Shining,” — $US20 million
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