Forbes on the World’s Highest-Paid Authors in 2016

Forbes on the World’s Highest-Paid Authors in 2016

Along Came a Spider James Patterson-smallForbes magazine is out with its annual round-up of top-paid authors. There aren’t a lot of surprises — but they also estimate the earnings for each writer on the list, and there are some eye-popping numbers. Here’s the top names on the list, as compiled by Natalie Robehmed:

  1. James Patterson – $95 million
  2. Jeff Kinney – $19.5 million
  3. JK Rowling – $19 million
  4. John Grisham – $18 million
  5. Stephen King – $15 million
  6. Danielle Steel – $15 million
  7. Nora Roberts – $15 million
  8. EL James – $14 million
  9. Veronica Roth – $10 million
  10. John Green – $10 million
  11. Paula Hawkins – $10 million
  12. George RR Martin – $9.5 million
  13. Rick Riordan – $9.5 million
  14. Dan Brown – $9.5 million

Robehmed also notes which authors dropped off the list this year… and who may be on their way out:

Newly off the list are Gone Girl‘s Gillian Flynn, The Hunger Games‘ Suzanne Collins and mystery novelist Janet Evanovich, who all saw sales of their catalogs take a dive.

Even George R. R. Martin may be on his way out: HBO has confirmed its Game of Thrones series will conclude after next season. Martin has already spent a half-decade writing the hotly anticipated sixth installment of A Song of Ice and Fire and without a new book, his earnings may falter next year.

See the complete article here.

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Bob Byrne

Apparently I’m not into the popular authors. I’ve read a fair amount of Grisham, but not for several years now.

And I liked Angels & Demons and the Da Vinci Code.

Never cared much for the Stephen King I’ve read and except for maybe a GRRM short story, that’s it. Not one book from the rest of the list.

With the many co-written books, surprised to see Janet Evanovich going down.


That is one heck of a gap between the top 2!

Amy Bisson

Anyone know how long it’s been since Dean Koontz was on the list? I know he made tons of money during the 90’s, his backlist is still readily available at Barnes and Noble and Books-a-Million, and his new books seem to still be fairly popular.

Joe H.

For me, the shocking thing is the gap between Patterson and, well, everybody else. But I know he’s a) incredibly prolific and b) not afraid of the “collaborations”.

I waiting for the FORBES list of BIGGEST EBAY SF PAPERBACK BUYERS. John, you’ll be near the top of that list!


Paula Hawkins is the author of “Girl on the train”, which supposingly is the new “Gone Girl”. I guess a single worldwide besteller is worth ten Million. Good to know…

(Ive read Gone Girl and while Im not into thriller, found it pretty original, but too depressing for my taste. I havent read Girl on the train, because Im neither into thrillers nor into books that are the “new” version of a different book 😉


So, does James Patterson actually write anything? My impression is that he might just come up with an idea, and then he hires one of the legion of writers who desperately need work to write it for him. And stands back and rakes in the bucks.

I’ve read a few things with Patterson’s name on them and didn’t think they were too good.

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