Jump to Main ContentJump to Primary Navigation
Top

From J.K Rowling to Paula Hawkins: 2016’s highest paid authors have been revealed

jk rowling (2).jpg

Aspiring writers, prepare to have to your dreams fuelled by the outrageous success of these authors. They all had to start somewhere, right?

Forbes has revealed this year’s definitive list of the highest-paid authors in the world, and it’s pretty darn impressive. Especially when you consider that the number of adults who love to read is apparently in decline.

Featuring the usual suspects – J.K Rowling, James Patterson, John Grisham – the list reveals just how much each writer has banked over the past 12 months, making for incredibly inspiring (or envy-inducing, depending on your mood) consumption.

Though overall author earnings have reportedly dropped year on year – a study last year revealed a 7% drop in reading among American adults – the novelists have still managed to rake in a whopping combined total of $269 million (just over £200 million), with James Patterson topping the list.

James Patterson Bullseye

Diary of a Wimpy Kid author Jeff Kinney comes in at second place, earning $19.5 million (around £14.5 million) proving that if you can engage the younger market, you really are set.

Naturally, J.K Rowling completes the top three thanks to the ongoing and unstoppable success of the Harry Potter series.

Girl On A Train author Paula Hawkins meanwhile has broken her way into the upper ranks for the first time with a cool £7.5 million. Although with sales set to surge once the big screen adaptation of her novel starring Emily Blunt hits cinemas this autumn, she may well fare even better on next year’s tally.

The estimated earnings are based on sales of books, e-books and audiobooks, along with money made off the back of TV and movie adaptations, or in J.K Rowling’s case, plays and theme parks.

Ready for the full list? See below.

Highest-earning writers in the world 201

  1. James Patterson, $95 million (£71.2 million)
  2. Jeff Kinney, $19.5 million (£14.6 million)
  3. J.K. Rowling, $19 million (£14.2 million)
  4. John Grisham, $18 million (£13.4 million)
  5. Stephen King, $15 million (£11.2 million)
  6. Danielle Steel, $15 million (£11.2 million)
  7. Nora Roberts, $15 million (£11.2 million)
  8. E.L. James, $14 million (£10.4 million)
  9.  Veronica Roth, $10 million (£7.5 million)
  10. John Green, $10 million (£7.5 million)
  11. Paula Hawkins, $10 million (£7.5 million)
  12. George R.R. Martin, $9.5 million (£7.1 million)
  13. Dan Brown, $9.5 million (£7.1 million)
  14. Rick Riordan, $9.5 million (£7.1 million)

Related

file.jpg

The greatest quotes from Harry Potter books for all moments in life

beatrix potter books.jpg

The greatest pearls of life wisdom from Beatrix Potter

Opener_rt.jpg

How to write a short story: our essential guide to getting published

cv dos and donts.jpg

The five clichéd phrases you should never use on your CV

iStock_45453806_LARGE.jpg

Bite-size novels that were made for your commute

girls series 6 spoilers.jpg

Girls spoiler: new photos of Lena Dunham expose major plot twist

emily blunt and meryl streep.jpg

Meryl Streep in talks for Disney’s Mary Poppins sequel

Daria MTV Classic.jpg

MTV is bringing back Daria for our acerbic pleasure

balloons.jpg

Revealed: the startling thing we really won't do for love

Comments

More

JK Rowling invented Quidditch to ‘annoy men’ after row with her ex

The Harry Potter author is such a badass

by Kayleigh Dray
07 Dec 2016

Watch Emma Watson star in chilling new trailer for The Circle

We’re getting serious Black Mirror vibes from this social media thriller

by Kayleigh Dray
07 Dec 2016

Read an exclusive extract from 2017's most hotly anticipated novel

Devour the first three chapters of the psychological thriller here

by Sarah Biddlecombe
06 Dec 2016

Stylist's pick of the best new books for 2017

From family sagas to crime thrillers

by Sarah Shaffi
05 Dec 2016

Margaret Atwood’s The Handmaid’s Tale: First look at new TV series

Elisabeth Moss dons Offred’s famous red gown for the first time

by Kayleigh Dray
05 Dec 2016

The Girl on the Train author, Paula Hawkins, is back with second book

In a Stylist.co.uk exclusive, here's everything you need to know

by Sarah Biddlecombe
29 Nov 2016

You can now spend the night in the world's first library hotel

Why not cosy up in your own book nook?

by Sarah Biddlecombe
29 Nov 2016

You can now read Jane Eyre in Charlotte Brontë’s own handwriting

A luxury edition of Brontë’s original manuscript has been reprinted.

by Moya Crockett
28 Nov 2016

Mary Berry to meet with ‘civilised’ bookworms who shun #BlackFriday

Forget #BlackFriday; Mary Berry is all about #CivilisedSaturday

by Kayleigh Dray
25 Nov 2016

10 beautiful books to buy as Christmas presents this season

by Scarlett Cayford
24 Nov 2016