Wednesday, 14 September 2011

James Patterson - world’s top-selling author

According to Forbes magazine’s annual list of the highest paid authors, James Patterson was the world’s highest paid author with earnings of $84m in the year to April 2011, selling more than 10 million books. Declaring that the golden era of books is over due to a fall of 23% in the sales of adult hardback books in the first half of 2011, Forbes attributes Patterson’s continued success to his diversification into the young adult market and his "riding the strong updraft of the fast-growing e-book category". Patterson, who has published over 80 books, is most famous as the creator of the detective Alex Cross. He signed a 17 book deal with his publishers, Hachette Book Group, in 2009 and working with a team of co-authors has published 10 books since then. He has new books planned for every month between now and Christmas. Patterson branched out into the young adult market a few years ago with his Maximum Ride and Witch & Wizard series. A film based on his Alex Cross series just went into production. In addition to all of this, Patterson has sold over 1 million e-books.

Another prolific author Danielle Steel was second on the highest earning author list, earning $35million. Horror and suspense writer Stephen King was third and Janet Evanovich was 4th earning $22m with her Stephanie Plum mysteries. Stephenie Meyer, author of the Twilight vampire novels, only earned $21m (half of the previous year's total) but she only published one novella last year – The Short Second Life of Bree Tanner of which 2.3 million copies were sold.

J.K Rowling, who only earned $5 million last year did not make the top ten list. The last book in her Harry Potter series was published in 2007 and the final film in the series came out this summer. However, her earnings are expected to increase as her book will be made available in e-format through her virtual online bookstore Pottermore. However, two authors for children did make the top ten list. Rick Riordan is author of the Percy Jackson and the Olympians series which has been adapted for the big screen and Jeff Kinney, creator of the Diary of a Wimpy Kid series, has earned $17million from his books and film spin-offs. Dean Koontz, John Grisham and Nicholas Sparks were the other authors on the top ten highest-earning author list according to Forbes magazine.

World's top-earning writers:
James Patterson, $84 million
Danielle Steel, $35 million
Stephen King, $28 million
Janet Evanovich, $22 million
Stephenie Meyer, $21 million
Rick Riordan, $21 million
Dean Koontz, $19 million
John Grisham, $18 million
Jeff Kinney, $17 million
Nicholas Sparks, $16 million

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