jk rowling

The world’s top earning writers

Becoming a professional author is no mean feat. It often takes multiple rejections, years of hard work and a real passion for the art of writing to achieve even a small amount of success.

Therefore, when an author does get it right, delivers something unique and gets their names on bookshelves across the country, the financial rewards can be impressive.

Often coming from humble beginnings, it is an authors passion for their work that sees them do the job rather than hoping to make money. This is largely due to the amount of time it can take to reach the top. Here at Champions Publishing take a look at some of the world’s highest earning authors.

There are many ways in which you can measure the wealth of writers, but, for the purpose of this blog, we have decided to concentrate on net worth.

1.     J.K. Rowling – net worth $650 million

No list of top earning writers would be complete without the creator of the most successful book franchise of all time, J.K. Rowling. The woman behind the wizarding world of Harry Potter, no one could have predicted the success her books would have when Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone was released in 1997.

Now, more than 500 million copies of the seven novels have been sold, in 68 different languages. But, it isn’t just the books that have contributed to Rowling’s wealth. The series has since spawned eight blockbuster films, two theme parks, a London studio tour, an award-winning West End show, a brand new spin-off film series (Fantastic Beasts) and much more with the wizarding world continuing to expand.

All of these projects have seen Rowling become the first ever author to become a billionaire due to their fiction writing. However, she has since lost her billionaire status due to her charitable efforts. 

2.     James Patterson – $570 million

The first author to sell a million e-books, James Patterson is well known for his collection of mystery, thriller and romance novels, selling over 300 million copies. He is arguably best known for his Alex Cross series which has produced 24 novels to-date, the most recent of which came out earlier this year.

The series has also been brought to life on the big screen with the first two novels hitting cinemas in 1997 and 2001 respectively with Morgan Freeman taking on the role of Alex. 2012 saw the franchise rebooted with Tyler Perry in the main role.  

Other popular books released by Patterson include the Women’s Murder Club books and Michael Bennett series – the number one bestselling detective series of the last 25 years.     

3.     Stephen King – $400 million

The stand-out name in the horror and supernatural genre, the ‘King of Horror’ Stephen King has been frightening both teens and adults alike for decades, winning a whole host of awards along the way. Responsible for novels such as The Shining, Cujo, Pet Sematary, and IT, many of his works have been brought to life on the big screen.

As well as his standalone books he is also responsible for the fantasy series The Dark Tower, which has released eight books and was made into a film last year.

Born and bred in Maine, the majority of his stories take place with the state as a backdrop and he has also released numerous audiobooks as well as online stories.

Danielle Steel – $385 million

Having sold over 800 million copies of her novels, Danielle Steel is the bestselling author alive, with only Agatha Christie, William Shakespeare and Barbara Cartland as the only other writers in history who have sold more copies of their books than Steel.

Specialising in romance novels she has released over 100 novels to date and usually follow a similar theme. Often, they focus on a wealthy family who experience a crisis surrounding their relationships.

Never afraid to shy away from serious issues, her works have been adapted for television receiving Golden Globes nominations.  

2 years ago
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